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Tapping for Kids: Why and How

child tapping

All children have unique needs when it comes to experiencing something stressful, uncomfortable, or painful. By helping your child develop healthy coping skills (tools to help them manage their feelings and reduce stress), you’re supporting their development of resiliency and their ability to better handle life’s ups and downs. You may already be familiar with tools such as yoga, breathwork, meditation, guided imagery, etc. However, one form of somatic work that is not as commonly known or understood is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or “tapping”. Tapping is a mind-body method that combines gentle tapping on acupressure points while becoming mindful and vocal of thoughts and feelings stored in the psyche. Mind-body methods mean we can use our mind, body, and thoughts as we tap to connect to our body to create that felt sense of safety with our nervous system!

Anytime our body or mind is unable to process or release something, it gets stored in the body and if we don’t have the ability to move through it, our body can hold onto it as trauma. Tapping works with the energy meridians in the body and channels that have been used in acupuncture for thousands of years. When energy can flow smoothly through the body, a person can feel peaceful and safe in their body. And when a body feels safe it is better able to heal itself. The body is negatively affected when the energy system becomes bogged down with blocks and disruptions. This can create disease in the body and a system that is constantly on alert and looking for danger. The amygdala (a region of the brain involved in processing emotions, especially fear) is then overworked. Tapping helps to “turn off” the amygdala and therefore helps the body and mind deactivate emotions like fear, anger, and anxiety.

Children are not always able to express their feelings and thoughts, therefore tapping can help create a sense of safety and lessens the sense of threat a child faces when trying to communicate or process their emotions. When the nervous system is calmed through tapping, a person can review an issue that is causing the stress or anxiety without the body becoming activated by the uncomfortable or difficult emotion(s). It allows the brain and body to:

1. release stress and negative emotions

2. calm and regulate the central nervous system

3. decrease cortisol levels

4. process difficult situations

5. release attachment to old thought patterns

For educational purposes and awareness, we are including basic information below regarding the meridian points used in tapping. However, it is not imperative for children to know or understand these to receive the benefits of tapping or complete the somatic process effectively. Children are also not expected to tap on the exact points or follow the exact sequence of points. They will still experience the benefits of tapping.

tapping points

EFT – Meridian Points

  • KC – Karate Chop or Side of Hand – Small Intestines Meridian

    • Release: Sadness, grief, feeling of emptiness

    • Allows: Joy, peace, ability to play, presence

  • EB – Eyebrow – Bladder Meridian

    • Release: Trauma, hurt, sadness, impatience