Tapping: a great way to help kids deal with anxiety


The coronavirus pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives, and dealing with the stress and anxiety caused may have left you wondering about the best ways to put yourself and your children at ease. 

In addition to talking it out, you might also want to try the Tapping Solution. 

It’s the practice of tapping particular points on your body with your fingertips while talking through something that might be causing you to feel anxious.

This, according to The Tapping Solution Foundation, helps you to work through your emotions, restoring balance in your body and mind.

Dr. Dawson Church explains, “Acupoint tapping sends signals directly to the stress centres of the mid-brain” that physically and emotionally, you’re going to be just fine. 

But how exactly does it work?

Parent24 spoke to the Director of Program Development at The Tapping Solution Foundation, Alison Partridge.

She explains, “Tapping makes full use of the mind-body connection, acknowledging and integrating the concepts that physical pain, disease, and mental wellbeing are intricately connected to our emotional states.” 

She continues, “The body is equipped with an energy system that travels along pathways or channels known as meridians. Tapping on these meridian endpoints helps to stimulate this system, and when verbally or mentally addressing the root causes of distress, the areas of blocked energy are able to release and flow naturally. Because of this, many say it is a mix between acupuncture and modern psychology.”

Biologically speaking Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

Tapping revolves around the functions of the amygdala: the almond-shaped part of your brain is responsible for the negative emotions you might feel when you’re stressed. 

The amygdala triggers the body to release cortisol, i.e. the stress hormone.

Alison explains, “This process is highly useful when faced with a real survival situation or an actual threat, but can be detrimental when developed into an 'irrational fear' such as public speaking or a fear of rejection. Tapping has been shown to literally 'turn off' the amygdala, disrupting the stress response and allowing the brain synapses to be rewired for a more appropriate emotional response to a given situation.”

If you focus on what it is that’s making you feel anxious, and talk yourself through it, while at the same time using your fingertips to tap 5-7 times on the 9 meridian points, you can restore the balance in your body.

Instead of allowing negative thoughts to consume us, we end up taking control and conquering it, which Dr Church suggests, “gives you the best of both worlds, body and mind, like getting a massage during a psychotherapy session.”

Watch the video below (or on YouTube) for a look at how tapping works: 

An age-appropriate stress reliever

“One of the major benefits of tapping is that it can be learned by anyone, even children as young as 4,” explains Alison.

It’s a good idea to introduce to children since they are no more immune to feeling anxiety than adults are.

Alison explains that teaching tapping can help children self-manage any negative feelings that might arise, thereby empowering them with a technique they can use whenever they feel apprehensive and stressed.

Where parents learn how to tap?

Although there isn’t a specific location in South Africa where tapping is taught, the Tapping in Schools Quickstart guide is available for download.

There are also numerous other resources available on the Tapping Solution Foundation website. These include child-friendly tapping diagrams and Tapping Meditations for Teachers. You can also join the Tapping Solution Foundation Facebook group supporting educators and parents.

There also numerous books for parents and teachers to learn more about the technique.

Tapping could prove to be a very useful and inexpensive technique to help both adults and children deal with their fears and anxieties whether coronavirus related or otherwise.

Combining both mind and body, this could offer mental and physical relief for children.

Alison concludes, “As the scientific field of epigenetics is proving, when you change your internal environment – your emotions and beliefs – external changes in your mental and physical health will follow.”

Have you heard of tapping? Do you believe it could help ease stress and anxiety? Tell us or try it out for the first time and share your thoughts with us. 

Chat back:

Share your story with Parent24. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

WhatsApp: Send messages and voicenotes to 066 010 0325

Email: Share your story with us via email at chatback @ parent24.com

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 369 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
73% - 2085 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
14% - 408 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.