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EFT or tapping is one of the most beautiful and powerful techniques I know to address trauma, connect to a sense of deep inner resilience, compassion, peace and wisdom. There have been over 100 research studies proving its efficacy. Dawson Church is one of the world’s foremost researchers and teachers of the technique. PLEASE don’t miss this episode, and give yourself the gift of this wonderful tool. I use it every day!
Table of Contents:
- The Value Of Tapping In The World Of Intimacy
- Deeper Alignment To Your Truth
- How Tapping Helps Find Love
- Accessing The Non-Local Space
- How To Do Tapping
- From Fear To Just Magic
- More On Dr. Dawson Church
Research-Backed Neuro-Spiritual Technique To Help You Love: An Interview With Dawson Church
Learn EFT From One Of the World’s Foremost Experts
EFT is one of the most beautiful and powerful and clinically-based methods of softening your heart, finding your inner resilience, working through trauma and being present for love. We’re going to learn this method in this episode from one of the world’s foremost teachers and researchers of this method, Dr. Dawson Church. Stay tuned to this episode of the Deeper Dating Podcast. I’m thrilled to share this with you.
Hello and welcome to the Deeper Dating Podcast. I’m Ken Page and I’m a psychotherapist. I’m the author of the bestselling book, Deeper Dating. I’m the Cofounder of DeeperDating.com, which is a site for single people to meet in an environment that’s kind, respectful and inspiring. Today, I’m really thrilled to share this interview with you, with Dawson Church, who’s one of the world’s foremost experts in tapping or EFT, which to me is one of the most beautiful and empowering tools that I’ve ever encountered for growth and healing, specifically in the realm of connection, intimacy and self-love.
This week and every week, I’m going to share with you the greatest tools that I know to help you find love and keep it flourishing and heal your life in the process, because the skills of dating are nothing more than the skills of intimacy. Those are the greatest skills of all for a happy and meaningful and rich life. I also want to say that everything on this podcast is educational in nature. It’s not medical or psychiatric advice or treatment for any condition. If you’re experiencing any serious symptoms, please do seek help. Finally, if you like what you’re learning here, it would be a wonderful gift if you could leave a review, subscribe and spread the word about the work that we’re doing here.
With no further ado, I want to introduce you to Dr. Dawson Church, but I want to tell you a little bit about him first. Dawson Church, PhD, is one of the world’s foremost experts in EFT or tapping. You’re going to learn how to do that today from him. Dr. Church has been involved in over 200 clinical trials, exploring meditation and tapping. He’s also developed the world’s largest EFT training and certification program.
He’s an award-winning science writer with three bestselling books to his credit. The Genie In Your Genes was the first book to demonstrate that emotions actually drive gene expression. Mind to Matter showed that the brain creates much of what we think of as objective reality. His latest book, Bliss Brain, demonstrates that peak mental states rapidly remodel the brain for happiness.
Dawson has also conducted dozens of clinical trials and founded the National Institute for Integrative Healthcare to promote groundbreaking new treatments. Its largest program, the Veterans Stress Project, has offered free treatment to over 20,000 vets with PTSD over the past decade. Dawson shares how to apply these health and performance breakthroughs through EFT Universe, which is one of the largest alternative medicine sites on the web and that’s EFTUniverse.com.
Dawson, I am so delighted to have you here with me. I’m so excited about being able to share both you and the amazing work that you do, as well as this powerful tool of EFT with my audience. Welcome and thanks for being here.
It’s such a delight, Ken. Any interaction with you is always in the heart, enjoyable and profound. I look forward to our interactions and sharing them with our community.
The Value Of Tapping In The World Of Intimacy
Wonderful, wonderful. We have one of the top experts, arguably the top expert in the world on this subject. There’s so much to cover. Tapping is for me, and I’ve been a meditator for over 40 years and a practitioner of various mindfulness practices, Tapping is one of the most beautiful and powerful techniques I know, and I do it every day. In the realm of intimacy, so many different levels of that, it’s just tremendously valuable. I’d love to start with having you tell us what tapping is.
Well, it’s a very simple technique. Ancient Chinese energy work tells us that there are fourteen meridians through which energy flows in our body, and that these meridians come to the surface in these points called acupuncture points. There are acupuncture meridians. Each of the fourteen meridians has an end point. There are 365 acupuncture points on the meridians. Traditional Chinese medicine stimulates these with needles. You’ve got an acupuncturist. He or she will insert needles in those points and it will stimulate energy flow or remove blockages off energy flow that way.
There are over 1,000 studies of acupuncture showing it relieves all kinds of aches and pains, all kinds of physical and psychological symptoms. Even research showing that it is effective for depression, anxiety and PTSD. What EFT uses isn’t acupuncture. It’s acupressure, pressure on these points. That’s also been around for thousands of years.It's critical to know how to communicate and listen to release your own triggering. Click To Tweet
With acupressure, you usually rub or you tap on those points, and that then has a similar effect to acupuncture. There are over 100 studies of EFT. What research shows is that when you, imagine sitting with a friend of yours and telling them about a nasty, really miserable event in your life. It might be a childhood event. Maybe you’re with a therapist telling about a childhood trauma. Maybe you’re with an adult friend just sharing about an issue that’s really causing you emotional distress.
Now your emotional distress gets high. What happens to the brain is really interesting. The emotional midbrain that hails fight or flight lights up. That sends that stress signal throughout your body. Your blood pressure rises. Your breathing gets shallow. Your cortisol goes way up. Your immunity goes way down. All these things happen when you’re under stress, when that emotional midbrain gets lit up. What we show in studies of EFT tapping is that if you tap on that acupuncture point while you’re doing that, the effect is reversed.
Now picture yourself with your therapist. One of your clients is there in session with you, Ken or you’re talking to a friend and you’re really distressed about this event that happened in your life but you’re tapping. What’s going on now is that the emotional midbrain gets lit up, just like it would if you were telling your traumatic story to someone else, but when your body gets that stimulus on those acupuncture points, it sends a calming signal to that midbrain.
When we hook people up to EEGs or put them in an MRI, and have them tap while thinking about those negative events in their lives, it calms the midbrain. It breaks the association between remembering the bad thing and going to fight or flight. You still talk about the bad thing and remember the bad stuff in your life, but now with that soothing signal coming from the somatic stimulation of acupressure, the midbrain calms right down, and the body no longer perceives the memory of that traumatic event as a cue to go into fight or flight. That’s what EFT is, tapping of acupressure points. That’s what it does to the body. It calms the emotional brain and sets a whole cascade of genetic and hormonal responses too.
That was wonderful and fascinating and a beautiful kind of basis. Now tell us what, well, I’m actually going to say something about this because I trained with you for five days. It was just a peak training experience for me. I use EFT every day of my life. It just has such a profound impact on me, on my relationships and my relationship with myself.
Everyone who is watching this episode is going to learn how to do EFT and how this applies to your relationships, including your relationship to yourself. Dawson, could you just talk a little bit about how this can apply to people in terms of their relationship to themselves, their dating relationships, their search for love, their romantic relationships. How can this be used as a tool?
EFT is absolutely transforming to relationships and I would call it one of the two essential relationship tools. If you go into a relationship without the ability to calm your stress, to regulate your emotions, your chances of a successful relationship are very, very small. Emotional regulation is the key to happiness. There’s a circuit in the brain that handles emotional regulation, but if you don’t have good emotional regulation, if you are subject to whatever stimulus is going to trigger negative emotion, anger, resentment, blame, shame, guilt, any of the negative emotions.
If you’re being triggered that way, and we are. We have childhood relationships with parents and caregivers. We grow up. We have adult relationships, which are usually a reenactment of the wounds of our childhood. We’re usually playing out the scripts of our childhood conditioning in our adult relationships. If you don’t have the ability to regulate your emotions, you’ll have a really hard time.
In my book, Mind To Matter, I present the case history of a man called Graham Phillips who went on an eight-week meditation course. Before and after that, he went into a lab and he had a TV crew with him. They filled the lab doing comprehensive workups including high-resolution MRIs of his brain. He then began to learn to meditate. After eight weeks, they took another set of high-resolution MRIs. His emotion regulation hardware, a little piece of tissue in the center of the brain that governs emotional regulation brain-wide.
His emotion regulation circuit grew 22.8% in eight weeks. He grew that much more physical neural tissue around regulating annoyance at your partner, at your teammates, at other drivers on the road, at other people around you. That hardware in his brain grew 22.8% in only eight weeks. You are literally shifting the hardware of your brain when you meditate and when you tap. You need to have those skills in a relationship, and it makes you not reactive.
If you don’t have emotional regulation, your partner is saying something that annoys you and you’re reacting, or your partner is triggering you, that is then activating an old childhood wound and you’re reacting emotionally. Tapping and meditation are the two skills that are absolutely fundamental to emotional regulation. If you can do emotional regulation, you can be a decent relationship partner not just to your partner, but to yourself. That’s really the benefit of those skills.
Deeper Alignment To Your Truth
That is wonderful. In my tapping, I experienced that all the time. When I tap, two things happen for me, like if I categorize them. One is I recognize my triggers. I recognize where I wasn’t being sensitive, where I wasn’t being compassionate, where I wasn’t seeing the other person enough. Another thing that happens is I see the beauty of the people I’m closest to in ways that I might have missed, like I just notice things and they touch me deeply because I was listening to a song that my youngest put together.
In doing the tapping, it hit me that there was a quality of tenderness that was like a soul gift. I didn’t realize that until I did the tapping. The other one is a sense of personal truth. In conflict, there are my triggers but there are also the emotional truths that are important for me to hold and honor. I don’t know if there’s research on this too, but I find that in addition to calming down my triggers, I develop a deeper alignment to what feels really true to me. Do you have any thoughts about that as well? Because I find that to be another amazing tapping benefit.
There’s a famous brain researcher called Joseph LeDoux. He calls it the hostile takeover of the intellect by the emotions. That’s what happens when you are triggered. When you don’t have a hostile takeover going on, you have your intellect. You have your compassion. You have your ability to see things beyond the standpoint. You don’t have that when you’re triggered. When you’re triggered, when you’re in fight-or-flight, everything seems like a threat, including your partner and your kids, and the people in the world around you.
It is absolutely critical to have that as foundational to your ability to communicate and listen. If you can learn to release your own triggering, you can hear. For example, there are a lot of great relationship skills that people will benefit from learning. One of them that I love is active listening. Again, as a therapist, you teach active listening. We all know what active listening is, but it’s actually quite hard to do active listening if you’re emotionally aroused but if you tap, then you can repeat back what the person is saying.
Before I met my wife like twenty-five years ago, I was in therapy with this girlfriend, and I was pretty good at active listening. The therapist was there. My girlfriend would say something. I repeat back after her. I was so good at this, Ken. I could repeat back verbatim what she’d said, word for word or I could paraphrase it. Either way I just flew fluently between each one, but there was one thing my girlfriend said that I could not repeat back.
She would say this phrase about her worldview and about the way she saw things and I couldn’t say it. My brain could not comprehend that at all. I was getting into the safe space where I couldn’t imagine listening, but then you learn if you can calm yourself, you then can do it. I then learned tapping. Now, I have active listening and tapping.
While I’m doing listening, if I’m doing that other skill, not tapping or meditation, just a basic relationship skill and I’m also adding tapping, then again the emotional temperature on the interaction goes way down. You can hear yourself. You can love the other person. You can take perspective. You can get a sense of an overview of the situation and no longer be enmeshed in it. All of these things, everything just works better if you have some ability to calm those stressful emotions.
I’m thinking how fear like if you think about fear and aggression as being two kinds of triggers. When there’s fear in a relationship, we let go of our truth. When we’re afraid of losing someone or of the other person’s anger, we let go of our truth. When we’re aggressive, we kind of let go of their truth. We stop seeing their truth and being able to see them with heart.
I find the tapping both tempers fear and allows me to hold onto my truth more clearly, but also tempers that kind of aggression and hostility, and allows me to see the other person’s heart. It does both, so it supports assertiveness at the same time as it kind of like deescalates any triggers, which that’s an amazing combination.
It does, yeah. Again, all of that have been lumped under the heading of negative emotion. Negative emotion produces all these triggers in the body. Your ability to release negative emotion is really critical in whatever way, shape or form it comes. If you release negative emotion, you can then hear yourself, understand yourself, and then hear the other person. I don’t know which camp you’re in, Ken, about therapy with a couple or therapy independently. I know John Gray, who wrote the book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, and I are in opposite camps on this.
I know John quite well. John says, “If you have a conflict in the relationship, go work on it with a couples’ therapist and do some tapping, do meditation, do other things, but work on it with somebody, whether with a coach or a therapist.” What I and my wife have done is if we have something going on, we tend to go and work on it separately with our own therapist, and then come back once we’ve dealt with it because I know, for me, I think it’s about her.Tapping is the single best tool for dissipating psychological traumas. Click To Tweet
I’ll go with my ex-wife, my previous wife, with whom I have two wonderful kids. I love to say when I’m in the thick of an argument with her, my first wife, I think it’s all about her. About an hour later, I think, “Well, maybe it was 10% about me.” After about four hours, I think it’s probably about 50/50. By the next day, I realized it was 90% my triggering and 10% about her, so I just learned if you get triggered, just go work with your therapist. Don’t make it about the other person. They’re the detonator. The dynamite is inside of you.
That’s beautiful, and I’m really in both camps. You know, I look at Harville Hendrix work in which, in the couple’s work, for example, each person feels so deeply held. I think that the couple’s work has to allow each person to feel deeply held, and then there can be a similar kind of effect, but I do think there’s space for both, so I’m going to plant my seed in both camps on that one.
The other Hendricks, Gay and Katie Hendricks, they talk about telling your microscopic truth. I know Gay pretty well. My microscopic truth, usually when I’m triggered, is just a transitory minor thing. If I just breathe, I see this in terms of our brain function in biochemistry. If I’m triggered, cortisol is generated. Your cortisol and adrenaline genes reach peak expression in about three seconds. They’re called immediate early genes.
The reason our stress genes pick on and produce a synthesis of these hormones and neurotransmitters so quickly in three seconds is because these are vital to the fight-or-flight response. You don’t want your adrenaline response to take five minutes to kick in if you’re running from a tiger. You want to kick it in three seconds. These things kick in very quickly, and then if you wait twenty minutes, it takes twenty minutes for your body to dissipate cortisol. If you just breathe for twenty minutes or take a walk for twenty minutes, then you dissipate those molecules. Adrenaline takes about twenty seconds to break down in the body so it does not take long.
I think with Gay and Kathlyn, I love their approach. I love some of their books like conscious relationship. My wife and I use those. That was like a Bible for us early in our relationship. Telling the microscopic truth, especially when you’re triggered and your cortisol is just up there, wait for twenty minutes and your microscopic truth will be a whole lot different than the way it was earlier.
How Tapping Helps Find Love
That’s great. To me, this is like the meat and potatoes of the intimacy journey, is that shift that you have, where you leave your microscopic truth and then you’re kind of humbled, and you see a bigger picture or something shifts. That to me is just one of the most beautiful fruits of a conscious intimacy journey. I’m thinking about how this applies to dating, and I’m thinking about the triggers that happen in dating.
A sense of insecurity, intense sexual desire, loneliness, longing, an online and dating environment that is a culture of unkindness. It’s triggering in so many different ways in its own right. So many different levels of this feeling, like you’re a woman and you want to have a biological child, and the clock is ticking and what that adds, all the different traumas that we’ve had.
The hugeness of wanting a partner, knowing how big and important that is or just the hugeness of that journey of finding a partner. I’m thinking of how tapping helps in so many different ways to bring us out of our triggers and into our wisdom, so that not only do we feel better but the path that we choose is one that works better. I’d love to hear you just share any thoughts about that, about how tapping can be used in the search for love, and then I’d love you to teach us how to do it.
Sure. We can go through a quick tapping routine and get a sense of how to do it yourself. It only takes about 2 or 3 minutes to do that so that’s quick and easy. All of these things are clouded by emotion. I say clouded by emotion because when you’re emotional about something, it’s hard to make a rational choice. All of these emotions are driving you, whether they’re emotions like longing or a lust or aversion or the reenactment of childhood wounds. All these complex emotions are an overlay on the relationship.
You’re hardly in the scene with the other person. You’re hardly even relating to the other person or any other person because you’re so bound up in all your own emotional responses. If you can calm those emotional responses, if you can dial down the intensity, then you are going to have a very different experience and a much wiser one. If you’re driven by all these emotions, you make wise choices.
I’ve been married a long time so I have to go back a long time to think about dating. I remember one woman that I was intensely attracted to and wanted to be with. She was bright, smart, witty and just had all these fabulous external characteristics, and yet after doing some tapping on all of my emotions around her, I also had to realize some of her negative qualities and some reasons why I might want to think twice about being with her. I actually decided not to be with her after tapping.
I realized that I was just being driven by all these emotions. When I calmed them with tapping, I realized that there was so much dysfunctionality and co-dependence built into that, that I needed to really back off. It just dials down the emotionality, and then again, in those words of Joseph LeDoux, “There’s no love with this hostile takeover that captures us by emotion, and consciousness then can come to the foreground.” I want to talk about this a little bit more in the episode too because consciousness and being aware of who we are as non-local beings, we’re a little local.
In my book Mind to Matter in the very first chapter, I talked about how we have a local self, local money, local body and local emotions. You have a local mind. You have local awareness. You have all the stuff of life which is all local and yet we are non-local beings. We can gaze at a sunset and be transported beyond ourselves. We hear children singing and suddenly, we’re in this space of heavenly bliss.
We read Rumi, Hafez, St. Theresa or any of these great mystics and be transported into this non-local mind or what the Buddhists call entering oneness with the all that is. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. We want to be able to both have an effective local experience, and also that non-local experience of oneness with all that is. How does that work into a relationship?
Now, you aren’t two human beings stumbling along in your local life. You also are two transcended beings, and you have to make your local life work. You have to get in your car and drive from point A to point B or get on the subway and go to work. You have to manage your money, pay your mortgage and change your kid’s diaper. You have to do all this local stuff and hopefully do it somewhat confidently, and yet, if you are two people that are able to connect in non-local mind and non-local consciousness, it is powerful. I know sex probably isn’t part of the agenda overly here.
It’s always a part of it, yeah.
When sex is a non-local transcendent experience, in addition to being a local experience, then there are levels there, mental, emotional, intensely physical, but it also becomes intensely transcendent and then you have all of those things in one incredibly intense experience. This is the experience of the mystics, Rumi. St. Catherine of Siena talked about being ravished by the divine. These mystics weren’t just feeling good. They were having these ecstatic erotic experiences. Many of them were celibate but they were doing this in this oneness with non-local mind. If you aren’t celibate and you’re doing it with both non-local mind and intense local awareness, pleasure and consciousness, it’s just an experience that is absolutely transformative in your life.
Accessing The Non-Local Space
Let’s talk about this a little bit. How does tapping help you access that non-local space, that kind of transcendent beautiful space? Are you saying that tapping can be used as a tool as well to help people experience that? Because I believe it can and I’m sure you do too, but could you say something about that?
Think of a line and that line is a baseline of just having an okay life. In Psychology, for over a century, we were doing an assessment. You go to a therapist or you go to a hospital. You fill out the Beck Anxiety Inventory, the Beck’s Depression Inventory or the PTSD scale. If your score is zero, you’re at baseline. No depression, no anxiety, no PTSD. How wonderful?
Not really because just being zero for all those adverse things isn’t having a peak experience. Trauma will keep you from zero. EFT is the single best tool I’ve found. In research, there are over 100 clinical trials of EFT and they show that it is a superb tool for dissipating those psychological traumas, but you get to baseline and now you have no more trauma or at least you know that crippling trauma.
At the moment, yes.
In several randomized controlled trials I’ve done, we’ve worked with veterans. These are the people who have flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, avoidance and hyper-vigilance, all of these symptoms of PTSD. Some of them had them since the Vietnam War 50 years ago. These are traumatized people who have been traumatized for a long time. We see, it takes an average of six sessions, six hours. That’s all it takes and those symptoms are just gone. We have many randomized controlled trials showing this effect of EFT, but that just gets you to baseline.
Now, you want to go somewhere beyond baseline, to peak states, to thriving, to transcendent experiences, to oneness consciousness, to non-duality if you know what that is. All of these things are far above baseline and that’s where meditation takes you. You can’t get there if you’re crippled by trauma. If you have not solved your trauma, maybe you hit the mountain top. In Sufi terminology, they talked about hitting the mountain top of transcendent experiences. If you haven’t solved the trauma down below, it becomes the dark side.
That’s where you see spiritual teachers and all these scandals with people having sex with their students and ripping off, exploiting their students financially. All that stuff is the dark side. Are they genuine spiritual teachers? Absolutely. Have they been to the mountain top? Definitely. Unless you’ve solved that trauma thing and gotten to baseline in terms of trauma, then going from the mountain top is just going to bury that in the shadow self. That’s why we need both tapping to liberate us from trauma and then be able to move toward those peak experiences.
Yes, which I think that tapping can help you achieve when you get to that point, but just to say some things about this, you know there’s what they call large-T trauma and small-T trauma. All of us, anyone in a relationship, anyone in the world has experienced small-T trauma around sexuality. Some of us have experienced large-T trauma around sex. All of us have experienced small-T trauma around dating. I just want to acknowledge those. Each place where there’s trauma like that, we make less wise choices.Shifting your energy balance drops emotional responses by an average of 3%. Click To Tweet
Tapping’s ability to help us in the day-to-day insanity of dating is just so critically important too. I think that when you hit that zero point or maybe not even the zero point, but the good enough point, you know, in terms of your moment-to-moment experience of trauma, as you’ve said, then the possibilities for magic to begin to come in, beauty to begin to come in, happen automatically. Then we can use tapping to learn how to hold those beautiful experiences and treasure them even more.
If you are at that stage where you are two transcendent beings, conscious beings coming together on a local level to connect, it is a whole different conversation, but you’re right about the whole dating scene as fuller. Every phase of dating has all of these emotional triggers. Many of us do have various kinds of small-T trauma and maybe big-T trauma. My childhood is being triggered by the small-T traumas of dating.
Having the ability to manage all of those with a tool like tapping makes you much more able to do things like have a transcendent lecture with the person you’re with. When I just meet with a new person, not anyone I’m dating, just a business contact or even a member of my team who I worked with for ten years, I will spend a moment like I did before we went live. I just tuned into my heart and I just have a heartfelt connection with that person on that non-local level.
I remember when I was dating many years ago, I would just spend a moment and say it to myself in my heart and then see it come from my heart in my communications with people. Before I teach a class like a class where I met you, I meditate usually in the morning and then I say it to myself. That again is opening the space to be relating to each other on this local level from that non-local perspective. You see this person as a soul making their way through the world as best as they can with their traumas and their struggles, and then you’re infinitely compassionate. You’re much kinder than you otherwise would be.
How To Do Tapping
Absolutely kinder to yourself, kinder to them. We would love you to teach us. Teach us now, if you could, tapping. This is a tool, folks, that it’s just a tool that everybody should have and you’re going to just learn it from someone so wonderful, so if you could teach that to us, that would be really great, Dawson.
The basic tapping routine is very, very simple. What you do is you first of all, think of a target to tap on. That target could be a current live event. It could be an event from early childhood. It could be an event that’s a persistent issue for you for a long, long time. Pick something clear and if possible, make it an event. Rather than a whole period of your life, for example, let’s say you had a really miserable job and it was miserable for about two years, don’t pick “my miserable job”. Pick an event from “my miserable job” that really exemplified how miserable it was, “The time my supervisor cut me off and didn’t let me explain what I was doing.”
You’ve got an event now. You find your event, then you give your event a name. You identify where on your body you feel emotion when you think of the event, “I’m thinking about my supervisor cutting me off. That’s the name of my event, “supervisor cut me off. I tuned in to my body. I’m feeling a really leaden feeling in my gut,” and then you give your experience a number from 0 to 10. Is it a 5, 7 or 9? How high is it on the emotional scale? A 10 out of 10 means it’s as painful as it can possibly be. Zero means, “I can think about my supervisor cutting me off and I feel nothing whatsoever.” Do you feel a 4 or 9? What is your number on that scale?
You have an event, a body sensation and a number. In fact, I’d like you to do this right now as I’m talking just to test this for yourself. As you’re listening, think about an event, but please think about a recent event in the last two weeks. It could be the reaction you had to watching a news story. The event could be watching a news story, and then specify the name of the news story. It could be an interpersonal conflict. It could be disappointment, but make sure it’s an event.
Find where it is in your body and then get your numbers 0 through 10, and then write down your number before we do any tapping. This is important because people’s numbers drop so quickly. They can’t believe it. We worked with veterans before and the veteran will say, “I came in here with this really intense anxiety about getting in the elevator. When I left, I got in the elevator with no anxiety whatsoever.” They’ll say, “I can’t believe I was that anxious before.” The therapist pulls out their sheet of paper and says, “You were an 8 out of 10.”
We need to write down your number because often, it drops so quickly, your conscious mind can’t believe it. Write down your number now. If you want, you can write down the name of your event and your body location as well, then we’ll tap and we’ll tap for maybe two minutes. Start with tapping on the side of your hand over here. This is an acupuncture meridian line. While you tap there, think about the name of your event and then also reflect on the fact that you’re okay now.
We call this in EFT the setup statement. Using the supervisor example, “Even though my supervisor cut me off, I’m okay now. I’m safe now.” You tap and you think about both those things, both about the event and the fact that right now, there’s no tiger in the room with you. There’s no bomb blast happening right now. You’re safe, you’re in your body and you tap there. A couple of more times, think about the event. Again, if you want to say something, you can say, “Even though this bad event happened,” name the event, “I’m okay right now.”
Then you tap on acupuncture meridians on the body and turn, tap at the top of your head. That’s your governing meridian. Tap over here where your eyebrow meets the bridge of your nose. That’s your bladder meridian. Tap on the side of your eye. You can tap on either one side or both sides, whatever feels best to you. Keep your eyes open like Ken and I are doing. Tap under the pupil of your eye. That’s your stomach meridian and really think now about the bad event. Think about the thing that triggered you emotionally.
Reflect on it. Focus on the details of it – like the supervisor example, “What was the color of his eyes? What was he wearing that day? What exact words did he use to cut you off?” Tap under your nose – that’s the endpoint of your governing meridian, really focusing on the details of the event. Tap under your lower lip. That’s your central meridian. Keep breathing. Keep focusing your mind on that event. You can even say it out loud if you want to, whatever the name of the event was.
Tap where your collarbone meets your breastbone, again, reflecting on the details of the event, immersing your mind in that unpleasant event, no more than two weeks old. Tap under your arms about level with your elbows, with both hands to one hand, and again, thinking about the event, then one more time on the side of your head. We’ll do a little routine with our eyes that generates delta and theta brainwaves. That takes another minute or two.
Actually, before we do that, just tune back into your event. Think about it again and get your new number. If you’re an eight before, what are you now? If you’re a four before or you may be 1 or 2, what number are you now? Write down your new number. Next, we’ll do a little routine that generates slow brainwaves called theta waves and delta waves in your brain. That really helps you counteract the effects of both big-T and little-T traumas. You tap on the back of your hand on the groove between the bones that anchor your little finger and your ring finger. You’ll feel a soft spot in there. You tap that area, and then close your eyes and open them. Look hard down to the left. If this were a giant clock, you’d be looking at the number 7.
Back to neutral, then eyes hard down to the right without moving your head. At this, with that same giant clock, you’d be looking at the numeral 5. Five is neutral. Again, keep your head steady. Look all the way up with the numeral 12. Now, look at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3. Pause there. Back to 2, back to 1, back to 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 12. Keep going, 11, 10, 9, back to 10, back to 11, back to 12, and then relax your eyes and stop tapping. Take a nice deep breath.
This is just a way of shifting your brain function mechanically using some visual cues plus the tapping, and write down your new number. Think about your boss cutting you off. Think about the argument with your partner. Think about the tension with your child or parent. Just find your event, the same event now. Tune into it again and write down your new number after you’ve done the eye movements. The chances are it’s gone way down.
In research, we find that people’s emotional responses dropped an average of 83% by doing this routine. What’s your new number? The chances are if you were a 9, you’re now a 1. That is what was modified statistically. We’ve done no psychotherapy. We’ve had no insight. We haven’t given you any kind of coaching intervention. All we’ve done is shift your energy balance in your acupuncture meridian system and then all of negative emotion just goes away.
There’s such a sense of psychophysical ease from doing that. It’s amazing.
I’m curious, Ken. Were you doing it on an event of your own?
I was, yes.
What were your numbers?
The number was 7 and then it went down to a 3.
The thing about the numbers is like all of those numbers can have a different quality. This was a 3 with this deep sense of physical ease in my being. It was a very particularly lovely, rich 3.
I’m glad to hear it. Picture that, transpose that to dating. Now, you’re going to have a first date with a person and you’re really nervous. You calm yourself and then you’re much more able to function. Maybe you’re uncertain about some part of your appearance. When I was dating, I used to be really worried about my skin, my hair and my clothes. Suddenly, all that goes away and then there’s this wonderful thing called presence. You’re present with them. You aren’t having your consciousness sucked away by anxiety. You’re able to bring emotional presence to the encounter with the other person, then you can make a choice. You may hear something about the other person. You may hear their words and you may notice something about them, that’s really a red flag.
I sent a female friend of mine, she was dating this guy. I sent her this cartoon. It’s this woman sitting at a restaurant having a date with a man, and this man is covered in red flags. There are red flags all over his head, red flags all over his body. She is saying to her girlfriend later on, “Do you think I might have missed a red flag somewhere?” You see the red flags if you aren’t all emotionally needy and caught up in your own reactivity. There are all kinds of ways, lowering the emotional temperature, calming the emotional midbrain is going to make you much better at making effective choices for yourself and for other people.
From Fear To Just Magic
It’s so true, so true. I’m so excited to have viewers and listeners try this experience, and get back to us and let us know what shifts you experienced, because like I said before, that shifting from a kind of very fear-based, small-T based or even just habitual-based space around your intimacy journey. Having that shift to a place where you feel wisdom or compassion, or opening or insight, I mean, that’s just magic. That’s the gold of life when that happens and the goal of life when that happens. We’d love to hear your stories about how this technique can help you with that because it really, really can.Trauma affects people at a level below the level of consciousness and drives so much of our actions. It also produces significant health effects later on in life. Click To Tweet
It really can. It will transform your experience when you’re in a relationship. My wife Christine and I have a rule that if we have any kind of emotional tension about a topic, we will talk about that topic as you need to if you’re a couple, but you start tapping, then you start talking. You absolutely never ever, ever, ever start talking before you start tapping. It’s a cast iron rule if you’re tapping and talking. Tapping comes first. You start tapping, then you start talking.
I’m just going to give you an example, Ken, investments. I’ve been trading stocks for twenty years. I love trading stocks. I make money. I lose money, big deal. I make money every year but I lose money sometimes. I’m just totally emotionally neutral about the whole process. My wife, when we first got together and began to have money jointly to invest, she was so scared. She had money in funds. She had never done individual stock picks before.
For years, we would just have this pattern where she was very hesitant about trading. We did tapping and talking. Now, if we have to talk about stocks or look at an investment. We start tapping first, then we talk and then it becomes easy. We can come to consensus on our investments now if we are using that technique. Anytime you have any tension in your relationship, tap first, then talk. Never in the opposite order.
That’s exciting. That’s fantastic. That’s a couple’s intervention I’ve never heard before and I love it, but it makes me think of so many things. Folks, the next time you’re going to do online dating, the next time you’re going to go online, the next time you’re going to be in swipe mode or non-swipe mode, how about tapping while you do that, while you look at pictures? How about tapping and noticing what comes up for you? Tapping before a date, but tapping like every time you’re going to go online.
Another possibility is, I’m just so excited about this. I’m thinking about this as we go and you bring up these ideas, Dawson, when you’re stuck in a dilemma around tapping, talking about it and tapping at the same time. That’s a kind of self-talk thing. That’s something I do all the time. I go on thinking walks when there’s something I got to figure out and I talk and I talk. I never thought of a thinking-tapping walk. I never thought of doing it but I love it. I bet my ideas would be richer and better. What an exciting idea when you’re thinking about your relationship life, just talking to yourself and tapping while you do it.
You can tap in that way and that’s also tapping in a way. That means you frame your relationship life in terms of low stress. For many people, their relationship life is high stress.
Including your dating life, right?
Yeah, absolutely, and so you don’t want to be approaching your life with high stress. If you tap, you frame your life with low stress. I wake up in the morning, Ken, and I begin tapping right away, I just tap a little bit of tapping. I also do other kinds of tapping. I use Qigong and yoga tapping because there are different styles of tapping for those other types of interventions. I tap first thing in the morning.
I would orient myself to the all it is, non-local mind. I meditate for maybe an hour or so and then I made a small tapping if I need to deal with anything. It frames your day and it predisposes you to have a stress-free day, as a way of framing dating, as a way of framing an encounter with another human being, as a way of even thinking about dating and your relationship.
There’s another thing. If you’re affirming what you want in a relationship, do some tapping first and then affirm what you want even when there is nobody in sight, in terms of low stress, high levels of functionality. Affirm that way. Otherwise, you’d be affirming what you want out of your neediness, out of your deficits, out of your co-dependence. Maybe you’re able to create that in a relationship, but it’s not going to be a really satisfying or nourishing relationship. All of these things are shifted by the framing of tapping.
It’s so beautiful. This is so exciting, folks. I just want to tell you that Dawson has a world, actually a universe of information about this. Dawson, I would love to have you come on again and teach us more techniques, and also teach us how we can apply this around issues of sexual and romantic trauma, other dating-related issues and intimacy issues. Can we ask you to come back on and teach even more at some point?
We definitely should – that issue of trauma. I had about a fifteen-year period where I was studying like doing clinical trials of PTSD. I can tell you, Ken, trauma affects people below the level of consciousness and then drives so much of our actions. It produces really significant effects in our health later on in life. Our new study showed that it actually produces Alzheimer’s plaques in the brain. As we accelerate the production of these Alzheimer’s plaques, the more our thinking is conditioned by trauma.
It has huge health effects long-term and it’s well worth digging into relationships. The Holy Grail is, “How do you have a trauma-free relationship?” Both a relationship not conditioned by your past trauma and certainly not creating new trouble for yourself and retraumatizing yourself as many people do in the relationship. I would enthusiastically love to share about that research.
More On Dr. Dawson Church
It’s so exciting and we will have you on again but first, tell everybody how they can learn more about you, learn more about tapping, and kind of like find the wealth of resources that you’ve spent a lifetime creating.
It’s funny. I have a sub-headed chapter. One of my newest books is called Bliss Brain and it’s called 50 years, 50 seconds because we did an EEG study recently with people at a retreat. We trained people to enter these elevated emotional states, and we trained how long it took them to get there. On the first day of the retreat, it took them, if they could get there at all, maybe it took them half an hour. By the 3rd or 4th day, they were there in about five minutes.
By the end of the retreat, we have people getting there in 50 seconds but it took me 50 years of research to figure out how to bring people there in 50 seconds. You can get there quickly if you just use the science, and the science is really wonderful. To learn EFT, you want to download my free EFT Mini-Manual. You get that free at the website, TappingGift.com.
You also get a free meditation on immunity because we’ve got two clinical trials that show, when you tap and meditate and bring your cortisol levels down, your immune levels rise. They’ll rise in about two days. In a week, they can rise dramatically. That’s an immunity meditation there based on two clinical trials. That’s all at TappingGift.com.
There’s a bunch of other things are there as well besides those two things. Mini manual’s there and that link for meditation on improving immunity is there. The other place to go is if you want the book itself, go to BlissBrain.com, where the book is free and you pay for shipping and handling. That’s where you can get the book. Also at BlissBrain.com, there are eight free meditations and I really recommend you use those. We’ve shown that they start to produce structural changes to the brain within 30 days. In 30 days, your brain starts to remodel itself using those BlissBrain.com free meditations. Powerful resources, TappingGift.com and BlissBrain.com.
I think it will take you to EFTUniverse.com.Love, accept yourself, and move to the place inside your head where you're looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, I love you. Click To Tweet
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. You can find Dawson on social media as well. There is a universe of his work out there. There really is. If you love his book, his new book, Bliss Brain, which is absolutely amazing, you get a sense of how powerful and transformational and science-based his work is, please feel free to pick that up. Also, we authors love to get good reviews. If you love the book, definitely give it a review, but there’s a world of information out there. I’m so excited at the thought of you taking this information, taking this technique, and using it in your own precious intimacy journey. Dawson, is there anything you want to share with this community in closing?
Relationships are important. For me, relationships are incredibly important. My kids, my grandchildren, my team members, my wife. Relationships, they can be heaven and they can be hell. It’s much better to learn the skills to make them heaven, but it all begins with self-love. The basic formula of EFT is, “This bad stuff happened in my life, I will love and accept myself.” Moving to that point of love and acceptance inside your own head about yourself, where you look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I love you,” that is the biggest gift you can give yourself.
Tapping away your trauma, moving those elevated states of non-local mind, gets you to that point where you just basically walk around in love with the universe every day, Ken. You’re basically living this ecstatic bliss brain experience. It’s normal for you. It’s just like every day, you enter a non-local mind and you live each day in awe and magic. That’s how we entered this world as babies as we all deserve. That’s why it’s so right for those with whom we’re sharing today.
It’s so wonderful. Dawson, what a delight to have you here and thank you so much. Thank you everybody for listening. You have the tools to be able to reach out and learn more about this work. We look forward to connecting with you on the next episode of the Deeper Dating Podcast. Thank you, Dawson.
Bless you. Thank you, Ken.
Watch the episode here:
- Dr. Dawson Church
- Deeper Dating
- The Genie In Your Genes
- Mind to Matter
- Bliss Brain
- National Institute for Integrative Healthcare
- Veterans Stress Project
- Graham Phillips
- John Gray
- Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
- Joseph LeDoux
- Harville Hendrix
- Gay and Katie Hendricks
- St. Theresa
- St. Catherine
- YouTube – EFTUniverse
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About Dawson Church
Dawson Church, PhD, is an award-winning author whose best-selling book The Genie in Your Genes (www.YourGeniusGene.com) has been hailed by reviewers as a breakthrough in our understanding of the link between emotions and genetics. His follow-up title Mind to Matter, (www.MindToMatter.club) reviews the science of peak mental states. He founded the National Institute for Integrative Healthcare (www.NIIH.org) to study and implement promising evidence-based psychological and medical techniques. His groundbreaking research has been published in prestigious scientific journals. He is the editor of Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment, a peer-reviewed professional journal (www.EnergyPsychologyJournal.org) and a blogger for the Huffington Post. He shares how to apply the breakthroughs of energy psychology to health and athletic performance through EFT Universe (www.EFTUniverse.com), one of the largest alternative medicine sites on the web. More at www.DawsonChurch.com