What is Fight, Flight or Freeze?
You may have heard of the Fight, Flight or Freeze response and you might also be wondering what exactly that is. First it’s important to recognise that “stress” is an umbrella term for anything that causes disruption to the optimal functioning of the body. Stress can be physical (such as pain), mental (feelings of being out of control, overwhelmed and unable to think clearly) or emotional stress (which is the inability to cope with and manage your emotions).
Is Stress a Natural Response?
Fight, Flight or Freeze is a physical response to any stress and it occurs in stages. First comes alarm, then resistance and finally exhaustion. It is a natural, healthy physical response to any life -threatening situation. Well, it would be if we were escaping a house fire or running away from a bear for example.
It’s a natural response to danger that helps us react quickly to perceived threats. The response instantly causes hormonal and physiological changes that allow us to act quickly so we can protect ourselves. It’s a primal survival instinct that has evolved over thousands of years. The amydala (our brains fear sensor) registers a threat to our safety, sends the message through the bodies neural network and the body responds accordingly. This is a natural, healthy safety response… or it would be if that was the end of it.
When Stress becomes a health problem
A fight, flight or freeze response is meant to be a short term “get me the heck out of here” gig. Problems arise in modern society because this place is a non-stop party town for stressful, dangerous triggers. Or at least that is what our minds would have us believe. Everything makes everyone stressed, all the time.
Instead of having a short-term physical response to escape that charging rhino coming at you full tilt. Most people are on the “stress train” from the moment they get up to the moment they power off for the night. Or in some cases, not because they are too wired to sleep. It’s exhausting and detrimental to health outcomes. Stress; physical, mental and emotional has been determined as the leading cause for most diseases, including cancer and heart disease in our modern society. This is where stress relief modalities, like EFT Tapping can really have major benefits to all aspects of your health.
How does EFT Tapping Work?
In the most basic terms EFT tapping releases stress by sending calming signals to your brain and body that turn off your physical stress response. It is a quick, effective technique that is simple to learn and easy to use anywhere, at any time.
Light, rhythmically tapping on specific acupressure, chakra and meridian points send messages to the brain that we are safe. It works immediately to deactivate the Triple F response and restore balance. With repetition, studies have also shown that the hippocampus (an area in the brain that is a major centre for learning and memory) receives the message that the “dangerous/stressful” response is not a threat. EFT tapping is a useful tool to bring about long-term relief and healing.
How to do EFT Tapping?
EFT Tapping is just exactly what it says of the tin. Using two fingers (I prefer the index and middle finger) from one or both hands you gently tap on the skin at a regular tempo. Try not to tap too fast or hard, after all you are sending a calming, loving signal to your body.
- To begin we tap on the outside of the hand, the fleshy part between the finger and the wrist. We call this the karate chop point. In Chinese medicine this is the 3rd point on the small Intestine meridian (controls emotions including sadness, worry, anger and anxiety)
- Inside edge of the eyebrow – stomach, liver, gallbladder and bladder meridians
- Outside of the eye – gall bladder and triple warmer meridians
- Under the eye – bladder and stomach meridian
- Under the nose – end point of the governing meridian
- Centre of chin – end point of the central meridian
- Collarbone – kidney (point 27) meridian
- Under the arm – spleen meridian
- Top of the head – known as the hundred meeting point in Chinese medicine
Before you start tapping take a moment to rate the intensity of the feelings you have in this moment. It is helpful for the conscious mind to track progress. Use a simple scale from zero – ten. Zero being no intensity to Ten being the most intense feelings you can imagine.
A trained tapping facilitator can help you to approach a tapping sequence for any topic but creating a Set-Up statement related to the most pressing issue. For our purposes right now we will use a set up statement but we are going to focus purely on the stress or pain without adding further statements.
1.Start tapping on the Karate Chop Point and think about the stress. Say , out loud or silently to yourself;
- “I recognise this stress and I choose to deeply and complete love, honor and accept myself” while tapping gently of the side of your hand.
- “Although I have this stress in my mind and my body, I choose to love, appreciate and honor myself”, keep tapping gently.
- “I have this stress and I want to find more peace & balance, and I still choose to deeply and completely love and respect all aspects of my journey.
2. Move to throught the points gently tapping with love and gratitude on each point whilst thinking about the stress. Be a casual observer of your thoughts but focus on the act of gently tapping. Allow your thoughts to flow with self love and compassion. Spend 15-20 seconds tapping on each point (if you choose to stay longer that is also good).
3 Tap through each of the points 3 times. Calmly breathing and observing how you are feeling on each round.
4. When you have reached the top of your head for the third time place your hands on your heart and spend a moment breathing slowly. Take a moment to acknowledge how you feel and rate your issue again on the scale of 1-10. Recognise if it has improved. Casually observe if something new is showing up for you.
5. You may want to continue tapping for a few more rounds to reduce the feelings of stress even more. You are in the drivers seat for your own healing.
Here at My Innate Vitality I offer more in depth facilitation for Tapping techniques. With Modern EFT you can explore the deeper layers and root causes of your stress and pain. Creating tapping scripts that will allow you to increase alignment and rediscover peace, vitality and happiness where there has only been stress and pain.