“Tapping” Basics

A man and a woman demonstrate the "Under Nose" tapping point.

Basics of “Tapping”

What is Tapping?

“Tapping” is a simple stress management technique where we actually physically Tap on specific points and areas of your face and body. Clinical evidence shows that there is a rapid decrease in the stress hormones, cortisol, among many other observable changes, leading to an increased sense of calm.  More and more science and clinical data is being presented that explains the mechanism of this long passed down experiential wisdom. Tapping can also be considered a trauma informed mindfulness tool, that is simple and easy to learn and perform.

How Do We Tap?

This Tap-along video by Ulf and Gunnila from the PeacefulHeart.se will guide you through the basic protocol of Tapping, showing you the basic Tapping points. Try Tapping along, and see how your nerves respond.
>> Watch the 5 min Tap-along Video for Stress Reduction and Calm (TTT) (Free to download).

Where Do We Tap?

The Tapping points are selected based on traditional Asian healing methods that have been around for thousands of years. The following image shows some of the Basic Tapping Points.

Ten tapping points are shown. "Top of the Head" is in the center on top of the head. "Eyebrow" is at the innermost point of each eyebrow above the nose. "Side of Eye" is just past the outer corner of each eye. "Under Eye" is below the center of each eye on the cheekbone. "Under Nose" is in the center below the nose and above the lips. "Chin" is in the center of the valley between the mouth and chin. "Tarzan Thump" is at the inner edge of each collar bone. "Tickle Point" is about four inches below each armpit. "Back of Hand" is near the knuckle at the base of the ring finger. "Side of Hand" is halfway between the base of the pinkie finger and the wrist.


Why Do We Tap?

Scientific studies of acupuncture suggest that stimulation of specific points leads to shifts of activities in the brain and nerves. This then can also lead to a shift in the neurotransmitter and hormone productions. Similarly Tapping has been shown to help calm the nerves and to neutralize the imbalance caused by unhealthy stress. Tapping appears to work by  disrupting the negative stress loop, and preventing the building up of stress. As we are able to move away from a stressed state into a calmer state quicker, it will have positive impacts, such as being able to focus better, relate to others better, make better decisions and so on. This helps us be more productive and happier.

Where Can I Learn More?

You may enjoy this recorded 30 min workshop offered by the Peaceful Heart Network (April 2021) to gain some perspectives of why Tapping can work based on their experience and knowledge.

If you would like to attend a live workshop, a 30 min online workshop is currently being offered through USG Well-Being on the 3rd Fridays of each month. All are welcome.

As of Spring 2023, we are still continuing with our weekly mini Tapping Circles that started in 2020. Come join Tap into calm with us 🙂

Last but not least, if you would like to bring the Tapping experience to your unit or class (i.e. for team building or as a mindfulness or emotional intelligence exercise) please reach out to tapping@ece.gatech.edu. By now around 100 units on GT campus have enjoyed the experience ranging from 10 ~ 60 min, with anywhere from 10 – 200 participants at a time.

Anything Else To Be Aware of?

  • There are many variations, adaptations of Tapping (TFT, EFT, TTT, etc.). Although EFT Tapping is most well researched clinically and is well established to be considered an evidence based modality, this website will primarily be focusing on a simplified non-verbal style of Tapping. This style may be called “Trauma Tapping Techniques (TTT),” “Tap & Breathe,” “Bronze Tapping,” “Silent Tapping,” and so on.
  • “Tapping” is considered to be generally safe. However, as with any potent tools, there can be situations where stress response can intensify even with the most gentle form of Tapping presented here (though rare). If handled correctly, this can be a catalyst of a breakthrough. Yet without the right support, it can potentially feel overwhelming and scary. Therefore, if you ever notice adverse reactions, please seek out good emotional support and professional help as soon as you can to navigate through this very important (and typically temporary) phase with the least amount of pain.

Welcome to the new phase of self-care and self-regulation.

“The ability to consistently self-regulate with EFT [Tapping] has greatly increased my quality of life.  Better and more consistent moods, more present with clients, family, friends and colleagues….”
Dr. Robert Rhoton
CEO Arizona Trauma Institute, co-editor International Journal of Trauma Practice and Research