What Is EFT Tapping and Is It Right for You?

Local coach Meghan Barich talks to us about this method of relieving stress and creative blocks and how she combines it with journaling.
Woman tapping forehead with middle finger

Image of Meghan BarichEFT tapping piqued my interest years ago. It’s a method to relieve stress where you literally tap on different meridian points in your body, the same ones used for acupuncture. According to Dr. Peta Stapleton, a leading researcher on tapping, EFT combines “psychotherapy and acupressure, bringing together elements of exposure, cognitive therapy, and somatic stimulation. Think “acupuncture without needles” because it “stimulates various pressure points on the face and body to relieve stress.” As you tap, you speak a phrase that speaks to your current challenge to stay focused on the issue at hand. Doing this allegedly relieves anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders.

It all sounded good to me. 

I pinned a Gabby Bernstein YouTube video to my “Health” board on Pinterest. I checked out a book from the library. The pin was never opened again. The book was returned without fully being read. What I didn’t realize was that I needed someone to guide me through the process.

Enter Meghan Barich. Meghan is a certified EFT Tapping coach, a certified Journal to the Self® instructor, and a painter. She offers her services to clients in a variety of ways. I sat down with her recently to discuss EFT tapping and the fascinating and truly transformative way she uses it in conjunction with journaling.

Can you explain, in layman’s terms, what EFT tapping is, and what it does to one’s body and mind?

EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques. It’s often referred to as “tapping” because the practice involves self-applied two-finger tapping through meridian points on the body. It combines the Western approach of talk therapy with the Eastern somatic practice of acupressure. By tapping on these meridian points, EFT is proven to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels and calm the amygdala and hippocampus. When all this chills out—and we’re no longer in flight-flight-freeze mode—we can make better decisions and choose our next actions.

How did you discover EFT tapping? What has been your experience?

I had experienced EFT once with a therapist and had seen Gabby Bernstein use it on a webinar once. I filed those experiences away as “interesting”. Several years later, during a large group virtual meeting for an organization I’m involved with, one of the guests—Jackie McDonald—tapped with about 100 of us at the same time. 

I watched the energy shift in that group dramatically—and my own mood lifted so much. I became curious. Then, when I left my advertising career in March due to extreme burnout, Jackie opened up her EFT certification program. It was one of the immediate, full-body “HECK YEAHS!” to join. It was right on time to help me nurture my own nervous system back to health and in the process learn how to help others to do the same.

It has changed my entire experience of myself. I used to be so afraid of my own emotions or think that they didn’t deserve much attention. With EFT, I now see how my emotional experience wrapped around limiting beliefs had been stopping me from creating the life I desired.

You are a certified Journal to the Self® instructor through the Therapeutic Writing Institute. How did you come to combine the journal work with tapping?

Journaling and EFT make great, natural companions. Both provide a safe way, to be honest with ourselves and to hold space for a wide range of emotions. I believe that creative expression and the expressive arts are the most powerful ways we can access our own inner wisdom.

Journaling can help us see our blocks … fast. EFT removes limiting beliefs, resistance, and blocks. We can weave these practices together in so many ways. Facilitating that weaving lights me up—getting to see the transformations in my clients is the coolest gift of this work. I absolutely love it.

As for my own experience, I’ve had a couple sessions with Meghan, and I plan to have more. The tapping calms me—and I should emphasize here, me finding calm is a feat. I am currently tackling some work projects way outside my comfort zone. I wrote about them in Meghan’s intake form, then she uses my words as we tap through the session. At the end of the first session, I burst into tears. The Oprah Ugly Cry. When the session ended, the procrastination, imposter syndrome, and general overwhelm was gone. I flew through work that I had assumed would have taken me months to complete.

I’m not saying the goal is to be productive. I’m saying, I told myself a defeatist story, it was causing me to panic (I can really get in my own way sometimes) and the tapping just removed those roadblocks. I just started working instead of stressing. It was a fast shift.

Meghan offers 45-minute and 90-minute tapping sessions. (You can go way deeper in those 90-minute sessions, people.) She also offers a free tapping experience every Sunday evening called “The Sunday Scaries” on her Instagram to set you up for the week ahead. Sign up for her newsletter and you get another free tapping session sent to your inbox. AND, on December 29th, she is offering a free virtual event: 2021 Time Capsule. Still on the fence? Sign up for a free consultation and get to know Meghan yourself. You won’t regret it.

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