The technique first caught my attention about fifteen years ago, when I overheard a conversation a co-worker was having with one of her friends.  The subject of the conversation was The Emotional Freedom Technique, or tapping, which is based on the same premise as acupuncture.  That is, energy flows through meridians in the body, and sometimes that energy gets stuck, causing negative emotions to be intense, as well as a plethora of other physical and psychological symptoms. Instead of using needles on certain points of the body like acupuncture, EFT uses acupressure, or tapping, to bring relief.  Because I have a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling as well as a personal fascination with natural ways people can help themselves feel better, I was intrigued.

A few days later I asked that coworker to teach me the technique.  In a very short time, I was hooked.  Over the next few years, I researched and read probably hundreds of articles, as well as bought books and CD’s, and learned everything I could  about tapping.  My fascination increased every time I got more information.  People were reporting being cured of everything from phobias and PTSD to things like insomnia and pain issues, as well as all kinds of other emotional traumas.  It seemed like a miracle cure and I have to admit, there were a few moments of doubt when I wondered if it was too good to be true.  But I always came back to the same question.  What was the harm?  The technique involved tapping on certain parts of my head, face, and body while repeating particular phrases.  That’s it.  I knew it couldn’t hurt.  So I practiced.  And several months in, after tapping for a few rounds one night I broke the bad habit of biting my fingernails when I am stressed out.

I wanted to go deeper but was having trouble getting doing so by myself.  A Google search told me that there were no EFT practitioners  who lived in my area, and I thought I was out of options for a while. But something deep within me told me not to let it go.

Around that time, I watched a documentary about tapping called “The Tapping Solution” by Nick Ortner.  The documentary profiled ten people who each had various issues going on in their lives, everything from fibromyalgia to back pain to fear of public speaking to dealing with the trauma of losing a loved one suddenly.  The ten people came together for a four-day retreat  along with several EFT practitioners who helped them work through their issues.  Most had amazing results.  One of the men with back pain was able to sit on the floor for the first time in decades.  The woman with fibromyalgia was able to go for a walk in nature, something she loved to do, for the first time in years without experiencing pain in her knees.  Another woman who struggled with insomnia was able to sleep through the night for the first time in a long time.

As I watched, one of the people on the documentary stood out.  This EFT practitioner seemed to sincerely exude compassion and concern from the deepest part of himself.  It was obvious to me that Rick Wilkes had a huge heart, and the positive impression he left me with lingered for weeks.  A random afternoon search online revealed that he had a website.  After taking a look, I noticed a few lines at the bottom.  He said something like “My typical fee is…but don’t let finances be an issue.  If you need a tapping session, write me an email and we’ll see what we can do.”

I hesitated.  Since my primary source of income is Social Security Disability payments, I knew there was no way I could pay his typical fee, even though I understood he was worth every penny.  On a whim I decided to write him an email, telling him my story and that I was a fan of his work.  I thought I might get an email from a receptionist in response, inviting me to purchase a DVD or something.  I was wrong.

Rick responded to me personally, and after he knew a little more about me, he asked how much I could pay per session.  Long story short, I have been working with Rick through Skype calls for about six months now, and I pay him a fraction of what he typically charges for his expertise.

In that time we have talked through some of the caregiver struggles I have had that don’t have an easy solution.  We have also worked through some fears I have about the future and some of my negative memories from the past.  We have even worked on my intense abandonment issues that have been challenging for me as long as I can remember.  Those issues pop up for me in quirky ways for me sometimes. Rick has been one of the few people who helped me to realize those fears may be connected to my spending the first six weeks of my life in an incubator when nobody was allowed to touch me except medical personnel.  Every issue we have worked on has been a process, and there are still days when I feel infinitely far away from where I want to be. But Rick’s gentle, supportive guidance while we tap makes facing and dealing with the struggles in my life seem a whole lot more doable.  He is an absolutely amazing man who has helped me in amazing ways.

This blog contains several posts about how much my wheelchair ballroom dancing has meant in my life, and how dancing has challenged me to redefine what I thought I was capable of.  Life has gotten busy for both Brandon (my dance instructor) and I, which means that we don’t get to dance as much as we once did. But I will never forget the valuable lessons that were extracted, which ultimately changed my entire perception of myself as I practiced dances like the Waltz, Tango, and Foxtrot.

These days I Tap…