Regular guest blogger Barbara Mark, PhD, takes on Tapping, a way to unblock the body’s energy and release anxiety. Learn more about the Emotional Freedom Technique and how you can tap into some natural perimenopause relief. 

Do you ever drum your fingers on your desk or steering wheel when you start to feel anxious or frustrated?

What if that motion could actually help you feel better? It can – it’s called Tapping.

Tapping into your body’s energy channels

In the same treatment family as acupuncture and acupressure, Tapping involves stimulating certain points on the body to unblock the flow of energy throughout the body. It’s derived from Chinese medicine, which is based upon the complex system of energy circuits throughout the body, called meridians.

Energy moves through the body along these meridians the way that electrical energy moves through our houses along wires. When energy gets blocked in the wires in our homes, as when a circuit is broken, the lights won’t work, or the TV screen goes fuzzy.

When there is pain – physical or emotional – in our bodies or minds, it indicates that there is a disruption or blockage of the flow of our energy. Acupuncture, acupressure, and Tapping are tools to dislodge that blockage.

EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique

EFT or the “Emotional Freedom Technique” was developed and popularized by Gary Craig in the 1990s. His work was based on the work of a psychologist Dr. Roger Callahan who developed a process called Thought Field Therapy in the 1980s. I won’t go into that interesting but complicated story, but the work has been evolved by many practitioners who have embraced an entire field of study under the name “Tapping.”

Craig simplified the process by developing a sequence of tapping certain points (called “The Recipe”) after stating a phrase that identifies or describes the problem. He determined that this process could be used to address any and all problems, emotional or physical.

I have most used EFT with clients who are experiencing anxiety, muddled thinking, or lack of clarity about intention.

However, it is useful for so many challenges women in perimenopause experience, including irritability, inability to focus, anxiety, depressed mood, and tearfulness, as well as many of the physical symptoms that women experience.

Because it’s so effective, I believe every woman should add EFT to her “managing perimenopause” toolkit, along with meditation, yoga, diet, exercise, and western medical treatment.*
tapping chart

How EFT works

A client of mine was experiencing anxiety about an upcoming product launch. Her ambient, perimenopausal anxiety was overwhelming, making it nearly impossible for her to move forward with her part of the process. She was not trusting her instincts and was being a bottleneck as the team lead.

Below is the sequence we followed to manage her anxiety and unblock her energy and confidence. Please reference the diagram to see where the touch points are on your body.

First: Identify the problem, how you feel about the problem and the intensity of that feeling on a scale of zero to 10. You then compose a “set-up” statement of the problem to bring your physical, emotional, and psychological attention to the problem you are addressing:

“Even though I feel this paralyzing anxiety about the next steps of the product launch, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

It was not necessary for her to say more about the problem, as we had discussed it in depth and arrived at this summary statement to hold all of the details of her experience in this situation.

Second is the set up of the sequence. With the four fingers of one hand tap the Karate Chop point of the other hand. Repeat the set-up phrase three times aloud while simultaneously tapping the Karate Chop point. Then take a deep breath.

You will see on the diagram that you also have the option of tapping on what are called “sore spots,” but my client opted for the Karate Chop version to start.

Third is the complete tapping sequence. During this process, use firm but gentle pressure as if you testing a melon for ripeness. Use two to four fingers depending on the size of the area on your body. (This will become apparent as you move through the sequence. For example there is more room on the top of head than there is at the inner edge of your eyebrow.) Tap with the actual end of your fingers, not your fingernails.

The sequence starts at the top and moves down your body and then to your hand/fingers. All the time you are tapping, keep repeating the essence of your set up problem in your mind. In our example she used: “this launch anxiety.”

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Tap each point about 5 times. The process should be bi-lateral, meaning use the four fingers of both hands to tap the top of your head and then proceed to each of the other points using two or four fingers of each hand on each side of your body.

Head – center of the top of the head

Eyebrow – the inner edge of the eyebrows closest to the bridge of the nose

Side of eye – the area between the outer edge of the eye and the temple

Under eye – the hard area under the eye below the eye and above the cheekbone

Under nose – the point below the nose and above the top lip

Chin – on the chin under the lower lip

Collar bone – on the inside edge each collar bone

Underarm – on the side about four inches under your armpit

Tap the fingers of one hand with two fingers of your other hand, and then switch. Tap just on outside edge of the thumb and the side of the each finger that faces the thumb. Skip the finger between the middle finger and the little finger. End with tapping the Karate chop point again.

Finally, at the end of this sequence we bring the focus back to the initial set up phrase. repeating the entire phrase and sensing the intensity of the feeling connected with the problem.

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If the intensity is higher than a “two” she would go through the entire sequence again with a variation of the set up phrase: “Even though I have some remaining paralyzing anxiety about the next steps of the product launch, I deeply and completely accept myself.”

We repeated the sequence until her intensity was down to a zero or a one.

The result of the tapping for this woman was that she was able to move forward with greater clarity and conviction through the launch. She used tapping on her own when she experienced any moments of anxiety related to the launch.

You might use this process to address your own challenges:

Even though I feel terrible fatigue from sleepless nights, I deeply and completely accept myself.

Even though I am so afraid of having a hot flash in a meeting, I …

Even though I feel horribly irritable right now, I …

There are more advanced techniques which I’ll discuss in a future blog post. Meanwhile, experiment with this process for yourself! Let me know about your results and any questions you might have – email them to

*Always touch base with a trusted medical adviser regarding physical pain or symptoms that concern you to be sure you’re not in need of a medical intervention.

If you’ve tried Tapping, we’d love to know how it worked for you! Leave us a comment below, or talk to us on our Facebook page or in Midlife & Menopause Solutions, our closed Facebook group.