Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is an awesome tool to help kids return to calm. I was in a NYC workshop with Gabrielle Bernstein, author of Miracles Now and May Cause Miracles, a week ago. She introduced us to EFT Specialist and CoFounder of tappingsolutionfoundation.org , Lori Leyden. Lori shared her experiences using EFT to release trauma in the body and mind and also suggested some uses for supporting children with anxiety, strong emotions or trauma. Dr. Leyden’s work was so inspiring and really touched my heart. She has lead the team to work in Newtown after the school shootings and works in Rwanda with orphans. EFT involves tapping on various acupressure points throughout the body while thinking deliberate thoughts. It can be used to release beliefs that no longer serve or to adopt new beliefs depending on what you are saying while you are tapping. To download a free manual on EFT or to watch some free videos, please visit: http://www.emofree.com/eft-tutorial/eft-tapping-tutorial.html. There are so very many uses of EFT. Some other suggestions are the following:
- practice happy thoughts
- release negative emotions
- reduce negative feelings associated with events
- practice calm thoughts before bedtime
- release unwanted memories about the day before sleeping
I think it is an awesome tool to help kids get back into their body and to practice being aware of their thoughts. It’s fun too! My favorite way to introduce it is to place stickers on a stuffed animal and demonstrate the tapping technique while tapping on the stuffy. Any stickers will do 🙂 Not only is tapping on a stuffy an excellent way to show a child where the acupressure points are, but it can also be used as a surrogate for tapping on ourselves. Here’s an example script to get you started. I chose the example “feeling worried at school” but you can substitute any worry or issue to substitute within the script. First, invite your child to think about feeling worried at school and on a scale of 0-10 where 0 is no worry and 10 is the most extreme worry, ask her to report how she is feeling and assign it a number.
Take a deep belly breath in and release. Repeat. Now, begin with tapping the side of the hand and say “Even though I am worried at school, I am awesome and wonderful.” (Repeat 3 times)
Now go through the following tapping points for a cycle of three:
Tapping on the inside of the eyebrow, state a worry associated with school.
Tapping on the sides of the eyes, state a worry associated with school.
Tapping underneath the eyes, state a worry associated with school.
Tapping under the nose, state a worry associated with school.
Tapping under the mouth, state a worry associated with school.
Tapping the chest, state a worry associated with school.
Tapping under the arms, state a worry associated with school.
Tapping on the top of the head, state a worry associated with school.
Take another deep breath after you are finished tapping through the points a few times. Pause and ask your child to check in with her body. See if the number of intensity has changed. No worries if it hasn’t. Try another round until she feels a shift. This script can be repeated with health issues, anger, sadness, any other strong emotion, positive feelings, etc…
I like to follow a round of releasing with a round of embracing (what you want to experience instead…such as “I feel calm, I feel focused, I feel peaceful, I fell wonderful, I feel positive, I feel relaxed…..).
Here’s some more resources on tapping for kids:
http://www.tappingstar.com (promoting tapping to relieve anxiety in school)
I like these videos on YouTube by Brad Yates that give more ideas for using EFT with kids: http://www.bradyates.net/ww/wizardswishvideos.html
Happy Tapping! I would love to hear how it goes and any results you experience. Post them here if you like!!!!