Tapping your way to emotional healing


by KING 5 HealthLink


Posted on March 24, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

If you're stressed, depressed or heartbroken you may want to try "tapping" it away.

It's a technique that uses breathing, imagery and tapping on acupuncture points to alleviate psychological problems.

Renee's problems began with a broken heart.

"All of it was over, but I couldn't seem to move on. I just couldn't close my heart to move on," she said.

It's happened to all of us. But rather than the standard techniques for healing a broken heart, Renee tried a mind body technique that uses breathing exercises coupled with imagery and tapping on the 15 acupressure points in the body while repeating positive affirmations.

"It's some ancient wisdom and modern science combined," said Dr. George Pratt, psychologist and author.

Dr. Pratt's latest book, "Instant Emotional Healing: Acupressure For The Emotions" is printed in five languages. He says emotional self-management will help alleviate panic attacks, depression, jet lag, anxiety and anger.

"This is an anti-anxiety treatment point. If you're tapping a point, it is decreasing stress response. It's decreasing cortisol, which creates fight or flight, so you're feeling relaxed and it opens up other ways of your brain working," said Dr. Pratt.

He says the change in brain chemistry can be seen in an FMRI, a scan of the brain that shows what happens to parts of the brain after treatment.

"No hocus pocus. This is a hard science and an exciting time to have a problem because you can do something about it in an easier way," said Dr. Pratt.

"I don't know. I don't have an explanation as to why. I just know it did. It worked," said Renee.

There are critics who describe this as pseudo-science, saying it may be the result of a placebo effect and being distracted from negative thoughts.

Pratt said there are many studies on this technique showing its benefit. Prestigious hospitals are using it to treat PTSD and he says in the brain scans, you can see the changes after treatment.