Most of us have heard of the remarkable results professional athletes achieve when they incorporate visualization into their training schedule. Imagining oneself accomplishing a goal activates the same areas of the brain as the act; for example, seeing oneself sink a foul shot on the basketball court registers in the same way as actually sinking the shot. Research indicates improvements in performance when visualization is used along with regular practice. To explore this research, visit www.eftuniverse.com’s home page and click on the Scientific Research tab.
Most of us using EFT, however, are not performers in the strict sense of the word. We don’t train for long hours daily, and we usually don’t expect to have our EFT successes evaluated or clocked by judges. When we note our Subjective Units of Distress, our SUDs, we are dipping our toe into the evaluation realm. “Where is my number now?” we ask after a few rounds of tapping. In fact, this evaluation process tells us when we’ve accomplished what we set out to with a specific issue and gives us the green light to move on to tackle another issue in our challenge-rich lives.
Using EFT to refine our ability to see what we’d like to see, in the mirror, in our social relationships, in our professional lives, and in our feeling lives, is very much like an athlete using his or her visualization skills to reach optimum performance. One of the tapping habits I’ve developed over the last year is to use my fingertip points while I’m doing a hard walk or walk- run as I “say and see” what I want to accomplish . . . regarding my health, my relationships, my professional life, and my spiritual practice. I offer the following personal health concern as an example.
Two years ago, at my annual physical, I learned my blood pressure was high. At the time I was stressed over a family situation, I wasn’t sleeping well, and I was in denial about how seriously this personal situation could impact my health. When I saw my blood-pressure numbers, I heard my wake-up call clearly and asked my doctor to give me a couple of months before she prescribed medication for me. She agreed.
I went home and immediately meditated about what to do. The answers came swiftly: walk more frequently and vigorously, meditate daily, see your numbers where you want them to be, and tap on all the feelings that set up resistance to these actions. When I visited my physician three months later, my blood pressure had gone from 187 over 95 to 118 over 70.
My routine was very simple. As soon as I fed the cat, started the fire, and lit my candle, I sat in silence and tapped on my fear of developing chronic high blood pressure, my discouragement regarding my current numbers , and my doubt that tapping could help. Then, as I moved into my meditation state, I saw my numbers where I wanted them when Pam, the office nurse, used the sphygmomanometer to take a reading. I had no doubt when I went in three months later that my blood pressure numbers would be stellar. I experienced two bonus side effects of my routine: I slept soundly and my anxiety regarding the family situation disappeared.
Another way I use tapping on my walks is to see my heart and lungs performing optimally in order to increase my aerobic capacity. As I tap and visualize my perfect cardiopulmonary dance I take deeper breaths and notice the shallow breathing I associate with fear and anxiety disappear. As a former smoker, I find this practice vitally important. I chose to become a non-smoker thirty years ago, but every now and again that old habit manifests as shortness of breath when I do something vigorous. Since I’ve been tapping and seeing my heart and lungs working in concert to oxygenate my body, I find my endurance has increased and my general energy levels have risen.
Lately, I’ve been seeing myself as I was as a healthy twenty-eight-year-old while I tap and go through a spontaneous renewal script. I got this idea from Ellen Langer (see Dr. Langer’s 5 minute Youtube clip on mindfulness at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlRJo51JWME). I wrote a little about Langer’s Counterclockwise on September 5, 2013, under the title Aging, Beliefs, and EFT; if you haven’t yet explored her work, you’re in for an amazing ride. Her research has provided conclusive evidence proving epigenetic factors influencing aging, that is, factors beyond our genes, including our various beliefs about what happens to us when we age.
Discovering our power when we visualize ourselves as healthy and vigorous is a joyful experience, and this joy also contributes to our renewal. Happy visualizing . . . and happy tapping.
Until next week