Monday, August 4, 2008

Have you heard of tapping?

I am an anxious person. I worry that I might say something inappropriate (which has, in fact, happened before) or that I might offend someone. When I say or do the wrong thing I replay it in my head and wonder what the other people involved were thinking.

Usually it isn't so bad, but it peaked for me in the weeks following Suzi's birth. Aside from the usual anxiety, I worried that something bad would happen while Jordan was at work and I was home alone with the baby. The worst time was when we went to our new house one night while it was still empty to start prepping Suzi's room for painting. I felt an inexplicable feeling of impending doom (which I talked about earlier in this post). When I went to my six-week appointment I told my OB-GYN and asked if he thought I should see a psychiatrist. He basically told me it was probably nothing a few pills wouldn't cure and jotted out a prescription.

I have a psych degree and an opinion to go with it, especially as someone who has suffered PPD. Pills don't always magically cure depression; frequently something else (or something more) should probably be done. To me, it's akin to someone with sky-high cholesterol downing three bowls of ice cream a day and taking Lipitor to fix it! If the anxiety has been a lifelong habit caused by environment, how is a pill going to cure that?

I should have gone to a therapist for my PPD but decided not to; instead, I began stopping mid-thought and telling myself something along these lines: "This is ridiculous! (Fill in blank with horrible situation) is not going to happen; just stop thinking about it." Then I would find an activity, such as crocheting, to take my mind off the thought. It may sound silly, but I am not an expert and it was all I knew how to do.

I wish I had known about tapping. It was mentioned on a blog or message board I read a couple of weeks ago and I looked it up out of curiosity. There are dozens of YouTube videos on it, and after watching a couple of them I tried it briefly tonight. I had a nagging thought which is hardly worth mentioning, and when it started to bother me I began tapping through the routine Magnus of demonstrates in this video. I only did it once (he has you run through it numerous times) but it seemed to help. Of course, it could have been because I was expecting it to work; also, the self-talk involved in the routine is helpful for many people by itself. It could just be that it's a distracting activity to perform with one's hands, similar to crocheting. Or it could be that tapping one's acupressure points truly is beneficial. When I was morning sick during pregnancy, I did find some relief with the use of Sea Bands, which are intended to press down on the Nei Kuan point on each wrist.

I do not believe that tapping is going to fix all my problems and make me a millionaire, as some fans of The Secret believe. I recognize that positive thinking has great value, but The Secret goes further than that and conflicts with my religious beliefs in several ways.

It does seem that tapping may be useful for reducing anxiety, anger and depression, among other things. Even if it doesn't work for everyone, it's free and seemingly harmless to try.

Have any of you tried this? What do you think?


Cheryl Lage said...

Free. Harmless. Why NOT try it?!?
(especially with your realistic perspectives on what may or may not be the result.)

Going to have to go check it out!

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