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Chapter 5 in Stop Eating Your Heart Out addresses the question, “Why does tapping work?”
“Meridian-based energy therapies often involve tapping on acupressure points. Why does tapping work? Dr. Dawson Church, author and researcher, discussed this question at a 2011 Tapping World Summit online event. When mental health professionals first used energy psychology techniques, many believed that the reason they worked is that they opened the body’s energy flow, similar to how and why acupuncture works. This is true, but advanced research tells us there is even more involved. New experiences, thoughts, and emotions change our nervous system and brain very rapidly. Since trauma gets laid down very fast, why, Dr. Church reasoned, can’t it be removed very quickly, too? We now know that the stress genes in our brains can get turned on within a second or two, and then our body produces adrenaline and cortisol. And cortisol can directly affect fat storage and weight gain, which means that stress helps make us fat. Stress sends us into a fight-or-flight response, which was quite appropriate for our ancestors when a tiger was about to pounce. Nowadays, however, we have all kinds of stress, and our instinctual fight-or-flight response is overkill since we are not in physical danger. Tapping on acupressure points, Dr. Church believes, sends a calming signal to our body, giving our body the message that we are safe. As we tap, we release the upsetting feelings, relieve the stress, and feel better.”