What Happens When We Tap?

It is not uncommon for patients to pause, with a quizzical look on their faces, in the middle of a round of tapping and ask, “How is this working?” or make a general comment about how strangely effective this is. Below are some research-based descriptions about what seems to be happening while we tap. There is new research coming out about energy psychology. For more, see the research section of the ACEP website.

Neurochemistry Changes

  • Increased endorphins: decreases pain, heart rate
  • Increased serotonin levels: regulates mood
  • Regulation of cortisol production: decreases fight or flight response
  • Increased gamma-amniobutyric acid (GABA): reduces anxiety

Brain Activity Changes:

  • Limbic system is calmed (amygdala, hippocampus)

Autonomic Nervous System Becomes More Balanced:

  • Decreased sympathetic nervous system activity: fight/flight response
  • Increase parasympathetic nervous system activity: relaxation response

Heart Rate Variability Patterns Become Optimal

Relaxation Response Is Activated

If you’re curious about the available research on energy psychology modalities, read David Feinstein’s review article in the Review of General Psychology.