One of the most frequently asked questions at our workshops and by our
clients is - What happens if my problem occurs when I am out in public!
Obviously most people are going to feel nervous about tapping on points
on their face and body out in public as this looks rather strange. And
that can be an issue because many of our emotional problems actually
occur when we are in public places.
I remember way back in February 1998 after Gary's Ultimate
Therapist Workshop sitting in a San Francisco caf tapping away on the
EFT points after a 1-hour bus ride sitting next to a woman with strong
perfume had left me with a severe headache. Dr. David Lake sat next to
me, tapping along. A street beggar came along, took one look at us, and
gave us a wide berth! Although the headache went away, and the
petrochemical sensitivity has also almost totally dissipated since that
time, that incident reminded me how strange the tapping process can
appear to members of the general public.
Over the years we have come up with the following advice if you have a
problem that occurs in public places, or if you find yourself in a
public place needing to tap.
1. Tap before you go - Anticipate / Prepare / Prevent.
the best outcome is to not have to have your problem come up in the
public space at all. This means if you have a problem such as anxiety
that is likely to be provoked by being in a public situation, the best
thing to do is to think about all the situations where the anxiety
might occur ahead of time and tap whilst focusing on those
possibilities. At the very least this can often reduce the intensity of
the emotion if it does happen, to a more manageable level. If you are
able to get to the point where you can think about being in the
situation (i.e. speaking in public) and thinking about it doesn't
produce any emotion, there is a good chance that when you go out there
either the emotion won't occur or it will be at a lesser level.
2. Tap "as you go".
Let's say you have a fear of
public speaking and you have to give a speech at your friend's wedding.
During the days leading up to the event you will have tapped whilst
imagining yourself at the wedding reception giving the speech, you will
have tried to identify all the various aspects of speaking in public
that might provoke your fear and applied tapping to them, and you would
have applied tapping to emotionally intense past speaking events. As
you get ready to attend the event and on the way to the event you can
also tap. We encourage our clients to tap when they are in the car when
stopped at a red light or stop sign. As long as your focus is on the
road and at least one hand is on the steering wheel you can also tap on
some of the points as you drive along.
3. Excuse yourself...
If it's possible you can
excuse yourself from the situation and go off somewhere private to do
some tapping. This may mean for example dashing to the loo (toilet)
just before your speech and getting in a few rounds of tapping. Usually
this will be sufficient to reduce your anxiety to a more manageable
4. Touching or rubbing the points.
If you have
done steps 1-3 and you still have anxiety when you get into the
situation, or your anxiety arises "out of the blue" whilst out in
public, you can try just lightly touching or rubbing on some of the
points. Often this can be done quite unobtrusively and a few light rubs
on selected points can take the edge off the anxiety so that you can
function in the situation. If you have done a lot of EFT or SET at
home, often just rubbing on the first point in the sequence can
initiate a significant shift in intensity.
5. Your favourite point.
After you have been
tapping for a while it is common to identify a favourite point which
produces quite large shifts for you. For me it is the side of eye
point. Often, instead of needing to do a full sequence of tapping, I
can just tap a few times on this point and produce a major shift in
intensity. Once you have identified a point such as this it can be
quite handy if you have only a few seconds before you have to perform
in public to just tap a few times on that point before you go on stage,
or when out in public to just lightly rub the point in a non-obvious
6. The finger points.
The finger points can be
tapped under the table or behind your back, however the best way we
have found to do this is to use the thumb of the same hand to tap on
the finger points of that hand. This process, which was first
introduced by Dr. David Lake as "Continual Tapping" can be done quite
easily out in public and is very unobtrusive. It can also be done under
the table or behind the back without being noticed. Even when done
publicly most people don't pay much attention to it. Once on an
aeroplane I noticed the gentleman next to me absently tapping on these
points - and he didn't even know EFT! A golfer I worked with found she
could just tap on these points after a bad shot and reduce her tension
prior to the next shot.
7. Imagine the tapping.
It is also possible to get a significant reduction in intensity just
"imagining" that you are tapping on the points. In one of our workshops
a woman overcame her life-long spider phobia just imagining that she
was tapping on the points, with no physical tapping at all! It seems
strange to many people that this can work but our experience is that at
least 80% of people can get a result without needing any further
instruction than what I have told you right here! Try it and see. You
may be surprised. It is easy to believe that we can point a remote
control at a television to get it to turn on, why should it be
surprising that we can use our own intention to produce a result in our