Run the Gamut

ready to run the gamutHave you ever heard that expression?  I have heard it and used it, but only understood it through context, never knowing a dictionary definition.  Merriam-Webster defines it as “to encompass an entire range of something.”  Synonyms include rage, spectrum, span, scope, breadth, scale, or extent.  Gamut is also a term that can apply in meridian tapping.  While in tapping it is the name of a tapping spot, to me it also relates to increasing the breadth and scope of your tapping, or “getting the whole thing”.

There is a spot on the back of the hand between the knuckles at the base of the ring finger and little finger.  It is the third point on the Triple Warmer acupuncture meridian which is responsible for turning on and off the fight/flight/freeze response.  It is also associated with the spleen meridian. Carol Prentice, in her article at www.thetappingsolution, describes the use of the 9-Gamut Procedure.  She indicates that disturbances in spleen energy may be involved in both physical and emotional problems.

The 9-Gamut Procedure was taught as an important component of the Emotional Freedom Technique decades ago when I was first learning it. For some reason, I don’t completely understand, many practitioners stopped teaching it regularly. Actually, so did I.  It was the part of the tapping procedure that looked the strangest and I feared that it prevented people from actually wanting to do the technique.  Recently, I have revisited that decision and have decided to include it again in my own tapping.

Energy Tapping by Gallo and VincenziOther Energy Psychologists, such as Fred Gallo and Harry Vincenzi, in their book Energy Tapping, use a form of this procedure and call it Brain Balancer.  This is a very accurate label for what the 9-Gamut Procedure does.

The 9-Gamut Procedure includes these steps:

Tap the Gamut spot on the back of the hand continuously

  1. Close your eyes tightly
  2. Open your eyes wide
  3. Without moving your head, look hard down to the right, as if trying to see your right hip
  4. Without moving your head, look hard down to the left, as if trying to see your left hip
  5. Without moving your head, circle your eyes clockwise
  6. Without moving your head, circle your eyes counter-clockwise
  7. Hum a few seconds of a tune such as Happy Birthday or Row Your Boat
  8. Count to 5 slowly
  9. music for hummingHum a few seconds of a tune such as Happy Birthday or Row Your Boat

At this point most people seem to need some explanation of why you are being encouraged to do this.  Eye movements are tied to brain function.  So when you look right you are using the left side of your brain and when you look left you are using the right side of your brain.  Similarly, humming stimulates the right side of the brain and counting stimulates the left side of the brain.  When you put this all together you stimulate the whole brain, while also changing the emotional response by tapping on the gamut spot.

Mair Llewellyn posted an interesting article on www.emofree.com that describes the pros and cons of using the 9-Gamut procedure.  The cons are pretty much what I had expected: takes longer, looks weird, and can be intimidating to new tappers.  The advantages include a method for tying tapping to other healing practices that people may have heard of such as neurolinguistic programming (NLP), EMDR, and other brain balancing techniques that are increasingly more popular in the media.  Another advantage is that blocks to change/healing seem to happen more quickly when it is used.  Previously unconscious memories can be unlocked.  The third advantage that she identifies in the silent period during the 9-Gamut which provides a break from the words often used while tapping the other points.  In this silence self-awareness and insight have a chance to bloom.  Lastly, the gamut point itself is quite useful whenever there is pain or emotional trauma.  As I stated before, it is associated with that fight/flight/freeze response that is a part of the trauma/pain experience.

Still not convinced?  Dawson Church, an amazing practitioner, and researcher published an article on EFT Universe  that shared research on the eye movements from University of South Florida in a sample of people with PTSD and depression.  Researchers found that the emotional distress held in memories of traumatic events was rapidly reduced  while using Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART).  ART also uses eye movements similar to the 9-Gamut Procedure.  While the exact mechanism for change is still under study, research indicates that many different techniques that use eye movements have been clinically useful in reducing emotional distress.

Ready to give it a try?

  1. Do setup statement while tapping on karate chop point as usual
  2. Do a round of tapping using your reminder statement
  3. Before doing your second round of tapping, locate your gamut spot (either hand) between the knuckles of your ring finger and little finger and about a half-inch onto the back of your hand and start tapping
  4. Do the eye movements, humming, and counting
  5. Then continue your tapping as usual
  6. Repeat as desired

 

 

Judge Less and Listen More

prayer flagsThe tapping exercise below also comes from my study of the Tao Te Ching.

 

 

 

 

 

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping karate chop point): I have a tendency to make snap judgments about people, places, events, circumstances – really, just about everything. Even when I take the time to think about things, I’m still making judgments. I often pride myself on being a good listener, but I even make judgments about what I expect other people to say.  I sometimes start thinking about how I want to respond to what people are saying before they even finish saying it.  That is a definite clue that I’m not really listening.  Even though I have this tendency to judge, I choose to move toward judging less.  Even though I often fail to really listen to other people, I choose to move toward listening more.  Even though I have a tendency to judge and a tendency not to really listen, I choose to judge less and listen more.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…I am a very judgmental person

Side of Eye…That doesn’t feel like a very flattering statement

Under the Eye…I can hardly admit that to myself

Under the Nose…I certainly don’t want to admit that to anyone else either

Chin…Even the statement that something is good is a judgment

Collarbone…My need to evaluate or judge things is a sign of my resistance to just experiencing life as it comes

Under the Arm…It sounds to zen to say that there is no good or no bad – there just is

Top of Head…I’m not at a place where I really believe that

Eyebrow…I am open to learning to judge less

Side of Eye…I am open to believing that I could experience more of life without adding judgments about whatever is happening

Under the Eye…I may not be as good a listener as I would like to think

Under the Nose…I get caught up in my own thoughts and fail to really listen to the thoughts of others

Chin…If I am not listening to them – I’m still in my own reality

Collarbone…That means I can’t really understand where they are coming from

Under the Arm…I choose to listen more

Top of Head…I am excited to see where these choices will lead me

9-Gamut

The 9-Gamut is a great procedure to add to your regular tapping.  When I first learned to tap (many years ago) the 9-gamut was always included.  Now it doesn’t seem to be very common, but I still find it useful.  Fair warning: it looks really weird.  This was always the hardest part to get people to do and it is such a shame. If you can roll your eyes (I bet you can do that), hum a tune, and count to 5 you can do this. Keep an open mind and give it a try.

 

 

It Doesn’t Always Need a Label

Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life by Wayne DyerI have posted quite a few tapping examples lately that were based on my reading of the Tao Te Ching.  I was inspired to delve into the Tao Te Ching after reading Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book Change Your Thoughts-Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao.  His discussion of each of the verses has been very meaningful to me.  Considering the magnitude of change that embracing these lessons could bring caused me to start tapping while reading just to manage the anxiety.  Here is another tapping example.  I welcome your comments and questions and hope you will share your experiences.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping the karate chop point): According to Wayne Dyer’s advice we should practice letting go of always naming and labeling. This advice makes me feel sick to my stomach.  I’m really good at naming and labeling.  Naming and labeling is the way that I manage my life and my world.  I cannot imagine what life would be like without the names and labels.  While on one level I know that the names and labels don’t really define the thing, and that those names and labels really only define me – they make me feel safe and secure. In spite of this very, very, very, very strong tendency to name and label, I want to be open to experiencing the world without those names and labels.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…Names and labels

Side of Eye…I love them

Under the Eye…The idea that the names and labels may really limit my experience of the world isn’t new

Under the Nose..Even Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet makes reference to that fact when discussing the rose

Chin…I just can’t imaging what it would be like to experience something without a name or label

Collarbone…That’s probably not true

Under the Arm…I experience things all of the time without names and labels

Top of Head…I usually tend to call it anxiety

Eyebrow…I call that out of control

Side of Eye…Or I make the judgment in response that I must be stupid because I cannot name or label it

Under the Eye…The Tao suggests that names and labels aren’t really necessary in order to experience the world

Under the Nose…The Tao also suggests that my need to label and name may stem from my inability to accept the mystery

Chin…So true!

Collarbone…The word mystery is very much like the word surprise to me

Under the Arm…Very scary stuff

Top of Head…I want to be open to the possibility that I could do it differently

Eyebrow…Maybe I could use my senses to understand something before jumping to the name

Side of Eye…I could lose myself in the fragrance or color of a flower before giving it a name

butterfly on flowerUnder the Eye…I want to experience being in the presence of a butterfly without knowing what kind it is

Under the Nose…I suspect that once I name it I really stop experiencing it

Chin…It is exciting to think that my experiences could be more intense and more real than ever before

Collarbone…I commit myself to more experiencing

Under the Arm…I commit myself to letting go of my need for instant names and labels

Top of Head…I commit myself to considering the mystery

I Don’t Have Time to Exercise

Getting Ready to ExerciseI don’t have time to exercise.”  I say these words a lot.  I’m a very busy person.  Intellectually I know that what I mean is that I don’t have time that I want to allocate to exercise, but the feeling that I don’t have time is quite real.  Tap along with the exercise and see what comes up for you.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (tapping on karate chop point): I don’t have time to exercise. I’m a very busy person.  Where would I find the time? I have way too many things to do so I don’t think I really have the time to exercise.  In spite of all my excuses about time to exercise, I choose to love and accept myself anyway.  Even though I have an amazing number of excuses about why I don’t have time to exercise, I honor that part of me that knows that I really do.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…I don’t have time to exercise

Side of Eye…Sometimes that feels really true

Under the Eye…Sometimes I know it is just an excuse

Under the Nose…I AM really busy

Chin…I have a lot on my plate

Collarbone…Other people rely upon me to get things done

Under the Arm…I often feel overwhelmed with all I have to do

Top of Head…Lets face it, adding exercise to the mix seems pretty daunting

Eyebrow…At the very least it could be quite inconvenient

Side of Eye…I don’t know how I would fit it into my day

Under the Eye…What other things would I have to give up?

Under the Nose…If I get other people to do their own stuff I could probably find some time to exercise

Chin…But that will mean conflict

Collarbone…If I asked for help with some of my own stuff I probably could find some time to exercise

Under the Arm…But asking for help is hard

Top of Head…I realize that I don’t have to do it all at once

Eyebrow…I could do a little bit at a time

Side of Eye…Like just parking one spot farther out in the parking lot

Under the Eye…If I really wanted to exercise

Under the Nose…I could be creative in my scheduling

Chin…The first step is deciding that I really want to do this

Collarbone…Then I can decide what exercise or exercises I want to do

Under the Arm…I might be fun to take a class

Top of Head…And learn something new

Eyebrow…I could get the whole family involved some of the time

Side of Eye…Or I could have this as “me time”

Under the Eye…It feels somewhat good to thing about doing this for myself

Under the Nose…I have the same amount of time each day

Chin…That everyone else does

Collarbone…It is up to me to decide how to use it

Under the Arm…I will have to make some choices

Top of Head….Making me a priority

Deeply Ashamed

This is a tapping exercise that I first used in 2011.  It pains me to tell you, but it was true again this week.  I am once again deeply ashamed of how out of control I am about food. In my own defense, it isn’t always true, but some things have obviously changed in my life and another aspect has clearly shown up, so I’m bringing this one back — for me.  Hopefully it will be beneficial for you too.

I have gained a little clarity about why the problem has returned.  I’ve noticed that the time right after work is the most perilous for me and I don’t have the same problem on the weekends usually.  There seems to be something about my lack of control with my job and my lack of control with food.  (We will likely address that in a tapping video very soon.

illustration for karate chop pointThe Setup (tapping on the karate chop point). I am so ashamed of my inability to control my eating. Even when I am eating, my brain and inner self often tell me to stop.  But I am out of control.  Something takes over and I just keep eating and eating and eating.  In spite of being like an out of control animal about food, I want to let go of the shame and guilt about this situation. Even though I have shame and guilt about my eating habits at times, I am trying to learn new skills and new ways of relating to food.  I get out of control around food and I am ashamed of my lack of control.  Even with this “character flaw” of mine, I choose to take baby steps to regain a healthier way of eating and living with food (although I’d definitely be ok with giant steps too.)

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…I am ashamed of my eating

Side of Eye…I am often out of control

Under the Eye…I should be able to control my eating better

Under the Nose…I should be able to control myself better

Chin…Its not like I don’t know any better

Collarbone…I blame myself for this

Under the Arm…I am supposed to be a smart person

Top of Head…Obviously Not!!!

Eyebrow…Other people would be appalled if they really knew how I am with food

Side of Eye…I am so ashamed of myself

Under the Eye…I’m not really out of control all of the time

Under the Nose…Just some of the time

Chin…But I am ashamed all of the time

Collarbone…That doesn’t make sense

Under the Arm…I don’t want to be out of control

Top of Head…I don’t want to feel so much guilt and shame either

Eyebrow…I wonder if there might be something about this that I could change

Side of Eye…I wonder if there is a way I could be more mindful about my eating

Under the Eye…I wonder if there is a way to be more gentle with myself

Under the Nose…Feeling out of control is scary

Chin…Guilt and shame are awful

Collarbone…I would like to feel a little bit better about myself

Under the Arm…I could probably let go of these feelings, at least sometimes

Top of Head…I can control myself when I eat salad

Eyebrow…I can control myself when I eat vegetables

Under the Eye…There’s no reason to feel guilt and shame there

Under the Nose…I can control myself when I eat apples

Chin…Another reason to reject guilt and shame

Collarbone…I may have a bad habit of guilt and shame

Under the Arm…I choose to stop beating myself up when it isn’t appropriate

Top of Head…I choose to love myself into better health

Don’t Try – Do! Another Lesson from the Tao Te Ching

circles in waterWhile the message Don’t Try – Do! may be more recently associated with my little green guru Yoda, it is also a lesson from the Tao Te Ching.  It is also a lesson I have struggled with, although intellectually whole-heartedly support.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping on the karate chop point): I have a tendency to say I’ll try things.  I was taught that I should always be open to trying.  That was supposed to help me find the courage to do things that I might think I could to.  Unfortunately, saying I’m going to try seems to also set me up for failure at times.  I am open to just doing things to whatever level or ability I can at that time and accepting the result – whatever it is.  Even though I tend to think in terms of success and failure, I am open to learning a new way of being.  Even though trying feels more comfortable to me than doing, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.  Even though I am aware that this is a lesson I haven’t quite mastered in the past, I love and accept myself fully.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…The words I use may be holding me back

Side of Eye…It seems like saying that I’ll try something should be a good thing

Under the Eye…But that attitude may be limiting me in some ways

Under the Nose…When I say I’ll try, I instantly insert the possibility for failure in my life

Chin…I am open to learning a new way to choose the events of my life

Collarbone…I wonder how things could be different if I just do things instead of trying

Under the Arm…I choose to use words that open up possibilities

Top of Head…The attitude of trying can sometimes help me avoid commitment

Eyebrow…The attitude of trying can sometimes help me avoid responsibility

Side of  Eye…The attitude of trying can sometimes help me avoid the possibility of failure

Under the Eye…Well — not really

Under the Nose…I am open to redefining failure

Chin…I am open to redefining responsibility

Collarbone…I am open to redefining commitment

Under the Arm…These are all constructs that I have previously accepted as real

Top of Head…Perhaps there is another way to view the world

Eyebrow…I am open to clarity

Side of Eye…I am open to being less tentative about things I choose to do

Under the Eye…I am open to doing

Under the Nose…When I wake up in the morning – I am doing

Chin…When I eat – I am doing

Collarbone…When I go to bed — I am doing

Under the Arm…In all that I face today – I want to do

Top of Head…Trying is in the past.  Now I will do.

There May Not Be a Right or Wrong

questions answers signThere may not be a right or wrong. I’ve been exposed to this concept before and have certainly used it in psychotherapy more than once when encountering someone’s rigid beliefs.  Honestly, this is a concept that I often struggle with and I have a marked tendency to see things in terms of right and wrong.  It requires a conscious decision to see things any other way.

The second verse of the Tao Te Ching addresses the duality of the world.  I understand that I can see beauty because I see ugly and that there is no old without also knowing the existence of young.  I have trouble handling things when what seems  to be polar opposites exist side by side.  I have even more trouble handling it when directly pertains to me.  If I do something that I label as wrong, I’m all bad.  If I do something that I label as great, I lose sight of other parts of me that might not be as great.

I am trying to embrace the duality of life more often.  I’ve been wrestling with the inadequacy of the labels “right” and “wrong” for a long time now.  Below is a tapping exercise to help better understand my struggle.  I hope you tap along.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (while tapping on the karate chop point): Even though I tend to think in terms of right and wrong, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.  Even though I struggle with dichotomous interpretations of the world, I am open to having an easier time with this.  Even though I have blocks to really accepting the new way of seeing the world in my life, I choose to embrace my willingness to change and accept all of me along the journey.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…Life without sadness means life without joy

Side of Eye…Life without illness means life without health

Under the Eye…Life without tragedy means life without victory

Under the Nose…Life without frustration means life without satisfaction

Chin…I’m afraid to embrace the entire human experience

Collarbone…I really prefer only the thing that I label as good

Under the Arm…The rest really scares me

Top of Head…I can’t quite wrap my head around the whole thing

Eyebrow…A part of me wants to get it

Side of Eye…And another part of me doesn’t

Under the Eye…That is just another example of the duality of the world

Under the Nose…I guess I can’t fully understand the concept of approach

Chin…If I don’t also recognize my own feeling of avoid

Collarbone…I’m not sure how this really plays out in my daily life

Under the Arm…I look forward to those moments when I feel like I really get it

Top of Head…And I guess I need to look forward to the moments where I don’t too.  That is the duality of life.

Emotions Are High

angry tigerIt seems that emotions are high (intense) everywhere I go.  That makes me uncomfortable.  When emotions are high it seems harder for me to predict what is going to happen and therefore, harder to feel safe.  I prefer things to be calm and peaceful.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy a good debate, but even then I prefer it to be more intellectual than emotional.

The following tapping exercise is one that I used to begin my journey toward understanding and managing my discomfort.  Feel free to tap along.

illustration for karate chop pointSetup (tapping on karate chop point): Even though emotions are high and that makes me very uncomfortable, I choose to remain calm and confident.  Even though emotions are high and I don’t feel safe with that, I choose to remain calm and confident.  Even though emotions are high and I don’t like that feeling, I choose to remain calm and confident.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…Emotions are high

Side of Eye…And I don’t like dealing with emotions

Under the Eye…They are too unpredictable for me

Nose…I like things that can be measured

Chin…I like things that can be anticipated

Collarbone…I like things that can’t be controlled

Under the Arm…On some level I don’t believe that emotions can be controlled

Top of Head…At least not mine

Eyebrow…And I can’t control the emotions of other people

Side of Eye…That scares me

Under the Eye…So the higher the emotions

Nose…The less I feel in control

Chin…I’m not sure where I learned to fear emotions

Collarbone…But I am open to some clarity about this issue

Under the Arm…I am open to learning more about my emotions

Top of Head…And I am open to learning more about the emotions of others

Eyebrow…I can go slow with it

Side of Eye…I can learn about one emotion at a time

Under the Eye…If it gets to be too much

Nose…I can go back to what I’ve always done before

Chin…I can shut it off

Collarbone…That means I will still be in control

Under the Arm…I can let in as much emotion as I can handle

Top of Head…And I can block the rest if I want to

Eyebrow…I am looking forward to feeling safe with my own emotions

Side of Eye…I believe the day will come when I can feel safe with other people’s emotions too

Under the Eye…Then I will look back and be amazed at my progress

Nose…I am pretty sure that I am safe

Chin…Even when emotions are high

Collarbone…The first step is recognizing the emotions

Under the Arm…I can do that

Top of Head…I can do that

While I was doing this tapping I became aware of specific instances from my childhood that involved high or intense emotions and bad things really did happen.  The way I managed to staff safe was to be aware of everything going on around me and to be hyperalert to the intensity of other people’s emotions.  When viewed from that perspective it is no wonder that I developed this discomfort and feeling of being out of control.   The next step is to tap while remembering those specific situations.  Whenever you can get really specific and use personal experiences the result is so much greater.

I Am Uptight, Anxious, and Overwhelmed

girl on log relaxingThe words uptight, anxious, and overwhelmed describe me all too often.  Life can be going well most of the time, but when something happens that is unexpected (good or bad) it can throw me off my game.  Tapping helps me to recover.

Say that statement out loud, “I am uptight, anxious, and overwhelmed.”  Rate the intensity or truth of that statement on a 0-10 scale (10=very intense or very true). Write down your rating.

illustration for karate chop pointBegin tapping on the karate chop point.  Even though I am uptight, anxious, and overwhelmed, I deeply and completely love and accept myself. Even though I can do uptight, anxious, and overwhelmed better than almost anybody I know, I choose to substitute calm and confidence whenever possible.  Even though uptight, anxious, and overwhelmed come very easily to me, I choose to manifest other feelings that are more comfortable and will help me to reach my goals.

diagram of the tapping pointsEyebrow…I am uptight

Side of Eye…And I choose to release it now

Under the Eye…Bit by bit

Under the Nose…Until I am no longer feeling uptight

Chin…I am anxious

Collarbone…And I choose to release it now

Under the Arm…Bit by bit

Top of Head…Until I am no longer feeling anxious

Eyebrow…I am overwhelmed

Side of Eye…And I choose to release it now

Under the Eye…Bit by bit

Under the Nose…Until I am no longer overwhelmed

Chin…Even though I was feeling uptight before

Collarbone…I released it

Under the Arm…Bit by bit

Top of Head…And I choose to feel calm instead

Eyebrow…Even though I was feeling anxious before

Side of Eye…I released it

Under the Eye…Bit by bit

Nose…And I choose to feel confident instead

Chin…Even though I was feeling overwhelmed before

Collarbone…I released it

Under the Arm…Bit by bit

Top of Head…And I choose to feel calm and confident instead

Eyebrow…I used to feel uptight, anxious, and overwhelmed

Side of Eye…I choose to feel calm and confident instead

Under the Eye…I relase the uptight, anxious, and overwhelmed feeling from every cell in my body

Under the Nose…I release the uptight, anxious, and overwhelmed feeling from every muscle in my body

Chin…I release the uptight, anxious, and overwhelmed feeling from every fluid in my body

Collarbone…I choose to accept calmness

Under the Arm…I choose to acknowledge confidence

Top of Head…I choose to accept health and wellness into my body

Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.  Say the original statement again,  “I am uptight, anxious, and overwhelmed.”  Rate the intensity or truth of that statement now on the 0-10 scale.  Continue tapping with these or other more personal statements until your rating is very low.  If other thoughts popped up, or specific circumstances came to mind, be sure to tap on those at some point to help you maintain the calm and confident feeling.