EFT and the Fear of Heights

My first introduction to tapping (aka The Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT) used acrophobia as the target.  It was a great option given the high prevalence of height phobias.  According to Wikipedia, acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear of heights.  Because we were in southern Florida, an amazingly flat area, it wasn’t possible to truck us of to some mountainous area and we only had five minutes to spend on the technique.  Instead, the leader had us all stand up on some very rickety folding chairs.  I’m not particularly acrophobic, but I am afraid of public embarrassment and falling down would surely trigger embarrassment.  Many people in the audience did report a dramatic change in their height phobia within only a few minutes of tapping.

In my psychology training I have learned about many techniques for addressing phobias including exposure, desensitization, flooding, and medications.  It is usually very difficult, if not impossible to talk someone out of their phobias.  Exposure, desensitization, and flooding really do work.  What most people don’t like about these techniques is that they take a fair amount of time and agony in order to see the results. One extremely positive feature of tapping is that the relief is often rapid and relatively painless in comparison to the more commonly used therapy techniques.

When using tapping to address acrophobia you can focus on the thoughts, feelings, or behaviors and make a huge impact.  Many people report heart pounding, breathing difficulty, and sweating in reaction to their phobia.  Tapping on the meridians while focused on any of these sensations will help to decrease the discomfort.  It can be effective to tap while in the terrifying situation, imagining the situation from the safety of your own living room, or looking at a picture that triggers thoughts of the situation.

You can also tap on the automatic thoughts that happen while experiencing or visualizing the situation.  These may be thoughts such as “I’m going to die”, “I’m going to fall”, or even “This fear is irrational.”  No thought is too trivial or too ridiculous to tap on.  Remember, phobias are irrational by definition.

Some people develop a fear of heights in response to a situation in which something bad happened to them or in response to something that happened to someone else that they learned about.  This could be a childhood prank in which someone acted like they were going to push you off of a bridge or a news report of someone falling off of a roof.  If these events remain stored in your energy system for any length of time a phobia can develop.

One of my favorite tapping techniques is continuous tapping while having a conversation with yourself, or someone else, about the things that have happened in the past.  You can include a description of the event, the sounds, the smells, and the thoughts in your head in the conversation while you are tapping.

Does the thought of skiing on a tall mountain make you shudder?  Does looking over the side of a tall staircase take your breath away?  There is no need to suffer.  Claim your emotional freedom and learn to tap.  Click HERE for a video to get you started.

Yes, but…

Yes, but…Those words can derail us in so many ways.  This applies whether the words are said to us or whether they are part of the little voice in our own head. These words can hold us back from going for our goals.  Tapping can make a difference and neutralize the yes, buts….from the past, present, and future.

Tapping Video: Good Things Are For Everyone

Verse 8 of the Tao Te Ching begins this way :

The best way to live is to be like water

For water benefits all things and goes against none of them

It provides for all people and even cleanses those places a man is loath to go

In this way it is just like Tao

(from Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition by Lao Tzu with translation and commentary by Jonathan Star)

This tapping was inspired by that verse.  I interpret this to mean that good things are to be shared by everyone, from the highest to the most lowly.  Gulp! That means that good things are even for people I don’t like.  I have had to tap on that one more than once, and truthfully have a long way to go. This video is to get you started with this difficult life practice.

Serving Others – Tapping Inspired by the Tao Te Ching

Does serving others seem like a good idea, but when it is time to actually do it you feel resistance?  The following tapping exercise is designed to help you begin to address any resistance you might feel.

Say these words while tapping on the karate chop point: When I think about serving others I get a little uncomfortable. The word “serve” really sticks in my throat.  I think of slavery, oppression, and ownership. I sometimes enjoy doing things for other people, but a resist if I feel I must.  I am choosing to tap now for more clarity about my resistance.  I am choosing to learn more about my motivations.  I am choosing to love and accept myself on this journey.

Eyebrow…The importance of serving others is something I’ve grown up with

Side of Eye…But I’ve also grown up with the concept of being used by others.

Under the Eye…That gets a little muddy in my head sometimes.

Under the Nose…I can’t even say that my motives are always altruistic when I am doing things for other people.

Chin…If I want them to feel gratitude am I really serving?

Collarbone…I don’t know.

Under the Arm…If I want them to remember what I’ve done for them am I really serving?

Top of Head…I don’t know.

Eyebrow…The motive seems to be more important that the action in this one.

Side of Eye…If that is the case, I have a long way to go.

Under the Eye…My behavior is much more in line with service than is my attitude.

Under the Nose…I do care about other people.

Chin…I’m not completely narcissistic and selfish.

Collarbone…I get pleasure from helping others.

Under the Arm…But if I’m getting pleasure from it am I really serving?

Top of Head…Do I have to be miserable to serve?

Eyebrow…Do I have to suffer to serve?

Side of Eye…Many of the great “servants” that I’ve been told about

Under the Eye…Had lots of bad things happen to them.

Under the Nose…I don’t really want that.

Chin…I don’t think this is something that I’m going to get the answer to.

Collarbone…I think this is one of those things where it is the journey that is important.

Under the Arm…I usually hate those.

Top of Head…I’d like some more guidelines please.

Eyebrow…How much service is enough?

Side of Eye…Can two acts of service balance out an afternoon of self-indulgence?

Under the Eye…I’m not totally serious about that, but I’m not totally kidding either.

Under the Nose…I want to get a little bit more comfortable with the idea.

Chin…I’d like to recognize more opportunities for service.

Collarbone…I’d like to think of others more often than I do now.

Under the Arm…I guess that is progress.

Top of Head…I choose to remain open to more clarity and understanding about serving others.

Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.  Notice how you feel.  Were there questions that popped into your mind?  Were there moments of clarity?  Write them down.  They could be inspiration for more tapping later.