Welcome to Commune, where each week we explore the ideas and practices that bring us together and help us live healthy, purpose-filled lives.
In addition to being a podcast, Commune is also an online course platform featuring some of the worlds greatest teachers, check it out at onecommune.com.
Tapping is a powerful healing modality that draws on various theories of traditional and alternative medicine including modern Psychology, acupuncture, neuro-linguistic programming, Chinese Medicine and Neuroscience.
While it has widely been characterized as pseudoscience, recent studies have resulted in the technique garnering more and more support in traditional clinical psychology settings, especially as it relates to PTSD. Through the process of tapping, we are actually rewiring the brain to have new beliefs, emotional patterns, physical habits and perceptions. It helps us discover what is living underneath our pain, and then to release it, and learn to love ourselves more.
So what exactly is tapping?
Enter our good friend and great teacher, Jennifer Partridge, a Tapping and EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique expert.
After years of struggling with anxiety attacks, drug abuse and PTSD, Jennifer discovered Tapping. It was the missing ingredient that allowed her to regain a new sense of health, clarity and peace. After witnessing this massive change within herself, Jennifer dedicated her life to helping others heal through Tapping as well.
She has seen clients recover from eating disorders, suicidal tendencies, relationship challenges, autoimmune disorders, money issues, communication breakdowns, childhood abuse, sexual and physical abuse and so much more.
In today’s episode we learn more about Tapping by talking with Jennifer, and even doing a little live-tapping session you can follow along with at home.
And we know you listen to your podcasts on the go, but please: don’t tap and drive!
I’m your host, Jeff Krasno, and welcome to Commune.
Jennifer: Currently my name is Jennifer Partridge, and I teach a method called Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as tapping. It's my love because it's transformed my life, it's healed a lot of trauma, and it's a blend of modern psychology and Chinese medicine, helps rewire trauma out of your system so you can live a more empowered life.
Jeff: So tell me a little bit about that. So it's based somewhat in Chinese acupuncture, right?
Jennifer: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Jeff: And you're working with some of these meridians, right?
Jennifer: Yes. So it blends modern psychology and Chinese medicine together, and so as you're saying, you've got these energy lines, meridians, that run up and down the body, and when there's an emotional trauma or a physical trauma, those energy lines get blocked. If you don't clear the block, it just gets more and more dense and then it creates a physical disease in the body.
In acupuncture, you place a needle in those points, clears out the stagnation, the prana and the life force runs more smoothly in the system. So in tapping, we're tapping those points, and while we're tapping them, we're actually bringing in modern psychology where we talk about our emotions, we talk about our fears, our memories, perceptions and all that brings all the substance, all the pain to the surface of the nervous system. Then you're tapping and breathing and clearing it out of your system. Then you're offering it a new perspective through love and compassion and empathy and forgiveness.
In that process, you start rewiring the brain and the perceptions that were being held inside your mind, which were based on fear, and when they get enough love, they get rewired into a perception based on love. So you're rewiring the brain as well.
Jeff: Do you apply this to mostly emotional trauma or what's it useful for?
Jennifer: Yeah, you can actually use it on absolutely anything. You can start anywhere. If there's a physical issue that you're having, you can work on the physical symptoms and how the physical symptoms make you feel because ultimately what happens is it starts in the emotional field, and then if the emotion isn't cleared out, it then turns into the physical field.
So you can start with like the physical symptoms, like I've got a pain in my knee, and it's hard to walk, and it really hurts, and then you tune into the hurt and the pain. Then you can start clearing it out of the physical because it's all energy ultimately, even the physical body's energy as well. So wherever you're at in your journey, and whatever pain you're having, you can start there.
Jeff: Yeah, and this technique, you can do it to yourself, right?
Jennifer: Yeah, exactly. That why I love it so much because you're not depending on anyone to do it for you. You can go to a practitioner and they can guide you, but even then you're doing it yourself. You're tapping on your body, you're tuning into your emotions, you're speaking out loud what you're feeling, and you're having your own inner process. You're doing the work for yourself, which is part of the reason why I think it really sticks because you did it. You didn't just go and someone waved their hands over you and you feel better. You actually dug in and you found what you needed to find, and there may have been someone there holding space or guiding you, but you got to do it yourself.
Jeff: You often teach this in groups, right?
Jennifer: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Jeff: What can you get out of doing it with a bunch of other people in the same room versus just doing it yourself?
Jennifer: Actually doing group sessions are my favorite thing because of the field that gets created with everyone together. Everyone, while they're going through deep intensity, they also come out of it, and there's massive celebration at the end as well. There's a sense of real community that gets created because we're no longer meeting someone on the surface or just talking about how's the weather, we're actually dropping in very deep together as a group, and that's super powerful.
Jeff: So people are listening to this and not watching it, but I'm wondering if you could give us a little guide, audio guide, on the technique.
Jennifer: Yeah, definitely. Since we're not on video, I can just guide you where the points are. There's circuits all over the body that you can tap on or press on as you breathe. So we can just do this together.
So to do this, usually I would tell you where the points are and then we would dive in, but for this purpose, I'm just going to tell you the points as we do it, so if you're at home, and you're watching, just massage underneath your collarbone, and I want you just to tune into something that's been irritating you, a little block or ... Jeff's nodding right now. He's like where should I start.
Jeff: Which thing? Do you have to pick one?
Jennifer: Just one. And you can rewind and do it on another thing later if you like.
Jeff: Fair enough.
Jennifer: So just massage underneath the collarbone, just tune into anything that is bothering you right now. The way that we clear it in tapping is we just feel it. So often in life, we're taught to hide from it, pretend it's not there or be ashamed of it, and that actually just pushed it further down. It doesn't heal it or clear it.
So we're just going to feel it. That's all we have to do. So just feel the resistance right there, and then as you're feeling it, repeating after me, "Even though I'm feeling resistance here." And then you would say that at home.
So just tune into the challenge right there, the pain that you're feeling, the resistance. Where is it in the body? And just let yourself feel it completely, and then just take a big deep breath and release a big sigh. Ah.
Jennifer: That feels better already, right? Tapping the center of the chest and then repeating after me, and Jeff you can say it in your mind, "Even though I'm struggling with ..." and just say what you're struggling with out loud, "I love and accept myself." And you repeat that as well. Then tapping between the brows, "Even though I'm struggling with ..." and say out loud what it is, "I'm open to loving and accepting myself."
And then you tap the temples. "I'm struggling with ..." and say it out loud again. Tapping the cheeks, "And it makes me feel ..." What does it make you feel when you struggle with this? Does it make you feel scared? Does it make you feel hurt? Does it make you feel ashamed or angry? What does it make you feel? Just say that out loud. "It makes me feel ..."
And then tapping underneath the nose, "I feel really ..." and then just name what you feel. Tapping underneath the lips, "When I struggle with ..." and just say what you're struggling with. And then take a big deep breath, release a big sigh. Ah.
Jennifer: Tapping the center of the chest. "Even though I feel ..." and just name it again, it's possible I can get through this. Tapping the front of the ribs ... we're just going to do one cycle, so I won't go on forever, but we'll get through this, "Even though I feel ..." and just name what it is, "I'm still a good human being."
Tapping the side of the ribs, "And I'm worthy of love, and I forgive myself for feeling this struggle." So just feel into the struggle right now, and just let's be real with it. Let's really bring it to the surface. Feel that struggle right there, just be with it, and then just come right in and just give it a big wave of empathy and forgiveness for struggling.
And as you do this, you may start yawning, burping, crying, hiccuping, or even farting. It happens.
Okay, so now we're going to tap the wrist. "I love and deeply accept myself and I forgive myself for how hard this has been." Tapping the side of the thumb where the nail juts out the most, and just tune into whatever's left there for you. "Part of me doesn't want to let this go." Tapping the next finger where the nail juts out the most, "Part of me doesn't want to let go of this struggle."
Just tune into this holding on, this protecting. Tapping the middle finger, "I don't have to let go of ..." and just name what you don't want to let go of. And then tapping the opposite side of the next finger, "I never have to let go of ..." and just name what you don't want to let go of. Tapping the inside of the little finger where the nail juts out, "I never have to let go of ..." and just name out loud what you never have to let go of.
And just imagine for a moment that you held onto this for the rest of your life. Tapping the side of the hand, I want you just to do this exercise, just is you know what you're signing up for, imagine for your whole life that you would hold onto this. You never let it go, always resist. Feel what that would feel like in your body if you held on for the rest of your life. And then intensify that feeling by 50%, really let it feel uncomfortable, just so you know what you're signing up for. Intensify it by 75%, really let it be uncomfortable.
This is your moment right now. Intensify it by 100%, so uncomfortable, you're holding it until the day you die, you're protecting it, you're proving it, you're resisting. Feel it in your body, feel the texture, and then take a big, deep breath and release a big sigh. Ha.
Awesome. Tapping the top of the head, "Part of me doesn't want to hold onto this for the rest of my life. Part of me is ready to let go of ..." and just name what it is. "I can be free of this. I'm ready to be free of this. My life is worthy of more freedom here." And then just give yourself permission to let go of anything else that you've been holding onto around this area, just so you can be free, so your life can feel happy and open again.
Take a big deep breath and release a big sigh. Ha. Beautiful. So then just tap all over your body, and I just want you to say out loud 10 affirmations around what you're creating for yourself and what you're worth of, and what you're ready now for in your life. Just say them out loud. "I'm ready for ... I'm worth of ... I can create ..." and just see that. See your life now with this new way of being. And then just rest for a moment, and just see your life unfolding in this new light, this new way, and how easy this can be, and how natural, and how ready you are, and how exciting and fun it can be. Yay. How you feeling, Jeff?
Jeff: I feel great. I mean, you've never done that before, right? That was really good.
Jennifer: You look very blissful.
Jeff: I am.
Jennifer: He's floating actually.
Jeff: So this must be really useful for forgiveness.
Jennifer: Oh my god, it's so powerful for forgiveness.
Jennifer: Yeah, it really is. And for me, in my own life, working with sexual abuse as child and what happened to me early on, I had to do a lot of forgiveness work as well. It really is powerful because it puts you in the perspective of the person that you don't want to forgive and it allows you to look at their perspective and perhaps their pain or why they did what they did.
Jeff: You said that this is a very personal practice for you. How did it come to you? How'd you find it?
Jennifer: I think there was a time in my early 20s when I just started to discover that I had insecurities around my sexuality and there were fears that were coming up. That led into a lot of drug addiction and abuse and escapism and wild parties, which were fun at the time, but later on caused a lot of destruction in my system and also my psychology. I started to learn lots of different practices to help myself heal, and I became a yoga teacher and Reiki master and all sorts of stuff.
Then probably about 10 or so years ago, I discovered tapping at Burning Man actually with my teacher, Sonya Sophia, at the time. It was one of those things that just shot my life off in such an amazing speed where I was able to clear things that I didn't even know were there from my subconscious, and my life just changed really quickly. The level of healing to the trauma that was stored in my system, that I didn't even know was there, was so profound that I just knew that this is what I'm meant to teach.
Jeff: PTSD, for example. Obviously with our vets, but with people that have suffered all sorts of trauma and abuse. Who is this technique for?
Jennifer: Yeah, well PTSD, it's powerful and I think we all have some level of PTSD in our systems, some people more severe than others. But we are all basically logging trauma in our systems from a very young age, and we're born into a culture where we weren't taught how to deal with pain or trauma. We were taught that it was wrong to feel angry or sad, and that we should always be happy. As a result of that belief in the culture, we've been pushing things down and that creates PTSD because it's not being healed right there and then when it happens.
If we actually had the tools when trauma happens to heal it right there and then, we wouldn't have PTSD, but so much of our society hasn't been taught how to work with pain and trauma from an early age. So I think it's for anyone and they've done a lot of scientific tests on tapping with PTSD for Army vets, and it's really amazing what they're discovering. I've worked with a lot of people, some really severe situations and it's profound to watch it shake out of their systems and to see their system realign and to feel them open up again to life and to access new levels of happiness again because all of the PTSD, it's sucking out energy in the background.
But when we clear out the subconscious, we have more space inside of ourselves, so we can access those happier emotions because it's not being sucked from somewhere else.
Jeff: Yeah, and is there anything that you think keeps people from trying it?
Jennifer: So I think a lot of people may be afraid of trying it because emotions can be scary, especially if you haven't been taught how to deal with your emotions and you've been taught that emotions are wrong. At the start, it could be very scary because you might say, "Well, what about if I access all of these emotions, and then it just like ruins my life. I've been trying to put a cap on it, and now you're telling me to open it all up." And that can be scary for people initially, but once you start using the technique, you actually start to see very quickly, even in one session, that the love that you're bringing into the trauma and the pain is actually healing the emotions.
Jeff: So, what questions would you love people to ask you about tapping?
Jennifer: I would flip it around, and I would say to them, "What questions haven't you been asking yourself?" Because so often in the self-help world, we are always wanting the answer outside of our self, but if we just take a moment to reflect and ask ourselves like, "Wow, how am I doing and what do I need?" and really bringing the question back to our self is really important. I think for me, it's all about inspiring other people to ask the question for themselves.
It's like Tony Robbins, who's one of my teachers as well, his movie, I Am Not Your Guru, is really about recognizing we are the guru inside, so they may ask me, "How do I ask questions for myself then?" I would say to get really quiet and to listen to your body and to listen to your emotions and to ask them what they're trying to tell you.
What do you need, what you are trying to tell me, what is your message. Because the pain that's screaming out is actually asking for your attention because it wants to talk to you.
Actually just listening and like what does my body want to say right now. It's screaming very loud. Obviously it's got something. If I can just quiet and listen, I'll get the answers. So asking yourself the questions.
Jeff: If there's anyone in the world that you could get to tap, who would that be?
Jennifer: Someone like Donald Trump would probably benefit from a nice tapping session.I would offer that to someone like him, is that no one is ever wrong in tapping. It's not like that person really needs it because they're fucked up and they need help. It's like wow, that person really needs love right now, and to be able to create a space for them to be really vulnerable with their fears and then the healing happens. Rather than going in and like, "Oh, you've got issues," it's like let's just be real with what's going on inside. But Donald Trump would be awesome.
I would love to work with him because he ... there's a childlike energy still inside of him, maybe not matured, but I feel like, given the right space...
Jeff: Yeah, I mean a lot of thought leaders talked about rediscovering the kind of imagination that you have when you're a child, and the good news is he doesn't have far to go. No, we're just teasing. This is not a political show. This is just about helping people. And I think it's clear that that's what you're doing.
Jennifer: And we can all benefit from it. It's not like anyone misses out on this type of technique. It's like we all need help.
Jeff: And it's amazing how popular you're making it. It's incredible we ... you teach across the street here in Hollywood, and it's just jam packed all the time.
Jennifer: Yeah, it's so deeply satisfying. Just to be with people and to be in community and to have so many people show up that really want to do work and want to grow and want to evolve, it's really inspiring to think about the future that we're creating for humanity when so many people are doing that and what could be possible with even more people doing it. Because as we clean up our own stuff, it just ripples out into the whole planet.
Like we can suppress, we can medicate, but the issues are still there and we all know that. It's just really nice to know that these types of methods are becoming more popular and it's no longer a woo-woo thing, it's just self-care now.
Jeff: Well obviously it's been something that been incredibly personal and useful for you, and God bless you for then sharing that with the rest of us.
Jennifer: Thank you.
Jeff: The path to healing is fraught with challenges, but being open to discovering new techniques that might work for you can make all the difference.
The body and the mind are deeply connected - some might even say they are one in the same!
Techniques like tapping offer us a way to connect the two during the healing process. And while this journey can be done together or alone, either way, doing the work to heal ourselves will ultimately ripple out into the world; the more we heal ourselves, the more we can help others to do the same.
Thanks for listening to the Commune podcast. If you enjoyed this, or any of our other episodes, share us with a friend! And be sure to subscribe now for new episodes every week.
I’m Jeff Krasno, and I’ll see ya next time.