Research shows that tapping can be an effective strategy for releasing anxiety. Phobias and panic attacks are what happen when anxiety comes out to play.
Anything that can help put some distance between the client and the fear provides a sense of safety. So, people with lots of anxiety routinely end up on medications.
Medication doesn’t get rid of the problem.
Medication helps to manages the symptoms by giving the person a way to avoid the anxious feeling.
But it doesn’t resolve what’s causing the anxiety. It just puts a chemical lid on top, keeping the underlying feeling trapped inside.
Drugs don’t discriminate. They put a lid on all feelings, including the good feelings. So, eventually, these folks end up in your office because they want to reclaim their ability to feel good by resolving the anxiety.
Anxiety is not an emotion.
Anxiety is a diagnosis.
Depression isn’t an emotion.
It’s a diagnosis.
For our purposes, a diagnosis is nothing more than a label.
You can’t treat a label. But if your client is being treated for an issue that has been diagnosed get a medical referral from their doctor.
At the very least, get an agreement that you’re going to work on the underlying stress – not the diagnosis. Hypnosis practitioners are not qualified to diagnose, prescribe, or treat a diagnosed problem.
All we can do is work with a person’s thoughts, feelings and emotions. These are the things that generate internal stress that can result in a diagnosis. So, there is much you can do to help a person who is suffering with anxiety.
But as far as you’re concerned, anxiety is merely a label.
Labels like “anxiety” are helpful for many people.
Having a label satisfies their Conscious Mind’s need for reason and logic. A label gives them a reason for having all the crazy symptoms. And this gives a sense of control.
Having a label also helps put some distance between the client and the fear.
As a temporary measure this can sometimes be helpful. But the Subconscious Mind is still left wrestling with the unresolved, underlying conflict. And that can generate more problems.
Anything that will put some distance between the client and the fear provides a sense of safety. That’s the Subconscious Mind’s Prime Directive – Safety. So, that needs to be your top priority.
It’s important that you work with the Subconscious Mind. So, when you begin working with anxiety, start by using whatever words the client uses.
If they call it “anxiety,” use that word to begin with.
What’s beneath the label often has to do with some kind of fear that has been generalized. So, the objective is to guide the client into identifying an actual emotion.
To get rid of the anxiety, you need to translate the label into an actual emotion that can be released.
The way to so that is by using the EFT set-up phrase for tapping. If you don’t yet know tapping, you can still use the set-up phrase in your sessions. Just use autosuggestion, instead.
Adding tapping or rubbing will help stimulate the energy system of the body which will aid in releasing the feeling much more quickly. You can have the client:
- Tap on the Karate Chop Point on the side of the hand while saying the suggestion.
- Rub on the Neurolymphatic Release Points on the chest. (Tender spots on the upper chest region.)
- Tap on the Collar-Bone Point (on the underside of the collar bone).
- Tap on the Gamut-Point on the back of the hand between the ring and pinky fingers.
4 Objectives for Setting Up
The following four tips are specific objectives I have when formulating a series of set-up statements for a client.
The statements don’t always follow a specific order. It’s more important that you work with where the client is at than it is to follow the protocol exactly. So, adapt them to the needs of each client.
The basic EFT set-up phrase is, “Even though I have (this problem) I deeply and completely accept myself.”
This statement is repeated three times while tapping on the fleshy part of the side of the hand called “the karate chop point.” A reminder phrase is then repeated while tapping through the sequence of points on the body.
1. Release the Resistance to the Feeling
The first objective is to release resistance to feeling the feeling. To release this resistance you must first make the feeling acceptable. People with anxiety do not want to feel that feeling. It’s uncomfortable. That’s the problem.
The feeling that they’ve been trying to avoid is a Part of them. It’s a need that’s trying to be heard. So, you need the client to give their permission for the feeling to be there before you can release it.
The first objective is always to remove resistance to feeling the feeling. This will make more of the feeling available to work with.
2. Increase Awareness of the Feeling
Once the feeling is allowed to be there the next step is to increase awareness of the feeling.
You want to bring up as much of the feeling as possible. Increasing focused attention on the feeling will amplify the feeling.
The more intensity of feeling there is, the more you have available to release. And the more you release, the more dramatic your results will be.
When there’s intense anxiety, there’s no need to intensify the feeling. Nor should you. The client is already over-stimulated.
The purpose of tapping is to help calm the nervous system of the body. But to do that, the client needs to be more aware of what’s happening in the body.
Anxiety is usually felt throughout the body. It might be described as an antsy feeling. Or a feeling of being on edge.
As the client focuses on that feeling in the body you’ll find they will start to become aware of a more specific emotion. Targeting a specific emotion will make it easier to release. So, ask the client – Where do you feel that in the body? Then find out where specifically in the body it feels the worst.
Where in the body that feeling feels the strongest?
This will give you something more specific to work with. And the more specific you can be, the better your results will be.
3. Focus on Self-Acceptance
The third objective is to make the client acceptable despite having this feeling.
The underlying problem is one of self-rejection. This is what the EFT self-acceptance statement addresses. That anxious feeling is a Part of the client. And they’re trying to get rid of it.
Trying to get rid of a Part of oneself is going to generate MORE anxiety. So, helping the client accept themselves even though they have this feeling will reduce the anxiety.
The traditional EFT self-acceptance phrase says, “Even though I have this problem I accept myself.” This statement addresses the real problem.
The objective is to make the client acceptable despite having the problem. Every Part of a person is acceptable – even the problematic ones.
Like people, Parts are just doing the best they can with the resources available to them.
4. Get a Statement of Commitment
In hypnosis, we are always setting up for the client to be willing to take the next step. The fourth objective is to elicit a statement of commitment to let the feeling go.
This is really where the steps are all leading – getting the client to a point where they are willing to release the feeling. This gives the Subconscious Mind permission to lighten up and let it go. So, you want a firm statement of commitment to release the feeling.
To let go of a feeling, the client must first take ownership of the feeling. The way to take ownership of a feeling is to validate it. Give it permission to be there. Then the client can give themselves permission to let it go.
Remember – you can’t do it for them. You can’t make the client do anything. Real change requires a conscious choice on the part of the client. So. get a verbal agreement by having the client state it out loud. “I’m ready to let this go!”
So, that’s 4 Tips for setting up to release anxiety.
- Release resistance to the feeling
- Increase awareness of the feeling
- Focus on self-acceptance
- Get a statement of commitment