Dear Friend and No IBS Program User,
In this letter, we’re going to look at how to make up your own tapping scripts. A big problem for many people is not knowing how to word their scripts. What are the “right” words to use? We’ll give you some techniques to deal with that.
How to create your own tapping scripts:
There are two main steps to the process:
Step 1 – The Set Up Statement
Tapping begins with a Set Up Statement. The set up is always in two parts. The first part is a statement of the problem or issue and the second part is an affirmation. You always begin with the words, “Even though…”
The classic set up statement is:
Even though ________ (state problem or issue), I deeply and completely accept myself. <- (this part after the comma is the affirmation)
Even though I feel so tired after eating, I deeply and completely accept myself.
If you don’t want to say, “I deeply and completely accept myself,” you can choose any affirmation that feels right to you.
By the way, you don’t have to believe the affirmation when you say it. Tapping does not operate at the level of the conscious brain. You are getting past that and into the limbic system or survival brain while you work with your body’s energy system.
For example, your affirmation could be:
…I choose to stay calm and peaceful.
You say your Set Up Statement three times while you tap on your Karate Chop (KC) point.
To find that point, imagine giving someone a karate chop. The KC point is on the fleshy area on the side of your hand right where you would deliver the “chop.”
But I don’t know what to say in my Set Up!
This can stop you cold before you get started. Don’t worry about using the “right” words. The whole idea behind the Set Up Statement and the Reminder Phrase is to keep you focussed on your issue or symptom. When you’re really focussed, you don’t even have to say the words out loud; you can just think them.
Here are some guidelines for creating your set up:
1. What is bothering you most?
Say you had a day like this: you’re getting ready for work or school when you find out the cat chewed a hole in the shirt you were going to wear, you can’t find your keys, you have an important presentation or a test, now your stomach is starting to hurt and you’re worried your symptoms are going to get out of control and you’ll be late or even have to stay home and then people will be angry and blame you for being absent. On top of that, you’re scared of the pain if your symptoms do start to act up.
Sounds pretty stressful, doesn’t it?
So, do you tap on all of that at once? No.
Pick the thing that’s bothering you the most and start with that. It might be that you’re scared that people will blame you and be angry if you’re late. Or that you’ll lose your job if you don’t get to work. Or fail your test if you don’t get to school. Or you might feel upset because you just bought the shirt that the cat chewed and now it’s only fit for the rag bag. Or you’re afraid of the pain your symptoms will inflict on you.
When you create your set up, forget about the “right” words. Just use your own words. Imagine that you are telling a close friend what’s bothering you. If you would tell your friend, “I’m scared that people at work will be mad at me for being late,” then use those words for your set up statement and add an affirmation:
“Even though I’m scared that people at work will be mad at me for being late, I choose to be calm and confident.”
Once you have tapped on the thing that is bothering you most, then tap on the next most intense issue. (See the section on Aspects below for help with this.)
If you’re completely overloaded and can’t sort out what is bothering you most, just tap on, “Even though I’m completely overloaded [or “freaking out” or “anxious”], I choose to be calm and confident.”
2. Physical or emotional?
Are you in physical pain or emotional distress? Whichever it is, start with that. If you’re having physical symptoms, review Module Two for examples of scripts.
For emotional distress, identify your emotion – angry? sad? hurt? disappointed? grief-stricken? unhappy? – and tap on that.
“Even though I feel ________, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
If you can’t decide exactly how you’re feeling, just pick a general term that you would typically use, like “bad” or “awful” or “upset” or “stressed” or a similar word. So you would say “Even though I feel bad / awful / upset / stressed…” and add your affirmation to complete the statement.
3. Be specific!
Being specific about the issue you are tapping on will make your tapping very directed so you get results faster.
I know I just said that if you can’t figure out how you’re feeling, you can use a general term. That’s a good starting place. It’s better to tap on SOMETHING than not to tap because you can’t figure out where to start!
Then, once you’ve started, see if you can tap on the specifics of what is bothering you.
For example, if you are in pain, you can focus your attention on the part of your body that’s in pain, or touch that area, and use a general set up statement such as, “Even though I’m in pain, I accept myself and I choose to release it.” [or whatever affirmation you prefer to complete the set up statement]
Then you can be even more specific by saying, “Even though I have stabbing pain in the right side of my abdomen, I accept myself and I choose to relax and heal quickly.”
Or, “Even though I have this throbbing pain in the front of my head and in my temples, I’m ready to heal from it now.”
If you are feeling anxious and stressed, you can say, “Even though I feel anxious and stressed, I choose to feel calm and confident.”
Or, you can be more specific by saying, “Even though I’m anxious and stressed because I was invited to the party on Friday and I’m afraid my symptoms might act up, I choose to relax and feel calm.”
Or, if you’re angry and embarrassed: “Even though I feel angry and embarrassed because my boss was so critical of me in front of the others yesterday, I accept myself anyway.”
Or, if you’re hurt: “Even though I’m hurt because John laughed at me, the truth is, I deserve respect and kindness.”
4. You don’t have to believe the affirmation!
Why not? Because the purpose of the affirmation is NOT to say something your logical forebrain agrees with.
The purpose is to engage your limbic system – the part of your brain that deals with emotions and survival – and to introduce a whole new thought pathway into your brain.
So, even if you can’t believe that you could relax from the pain, introduce that idea to your brain anyway. Even if you think you could never accept yourself or feel calm and confident, imagine that you are retraining your brain to help you move on from past events.
Why do we use the words “accept myself” so often?
“I deeply and completely accept myself” is the classic affirmation in EFT. Since very few of us grow up with the feeling that we are unconditionally accepted, it’s extremely important to affirm this as often as possible. Total self-acceptance is the most powerful state you can live from.
Does this mean that when you totally accept yourself you will become obnoxious to others? Not at all. In fact, when you accept yourself completely you become comfortable with yourself and you tend to be calmer. Others sense this and it gives them unspoken permission to accept themselves, too.
Step 2 – The Reminder Phrase
After you have completed the Set Up, you’ll move on to saying your Reminder Phrase as you tap through the sequence of points on your face and body.
How do I word my Reminder Phrase?
The Reminder Phrase is usually a shortened version of the issue you stated in the Set Up Statement.
For example, if your set up is:
You’ll notice in the Program tapping scripts that we vary the Reminder Phrase. It’s fine to do that. Just make sure your Reminder Phrases relate to the issue you named in the Set Up Statement.
In the example above, you could alternate your reminder phrase at each tapping point between: “stabbing pain” and “right side of my abdomen.”
Then you could tap a third round based on your affirmation:
You could alternate this phrase at each point with, “I accept myself.”
The third round is not strictly necessary but we add it because it allows you to introduce a new idea to your brain and end the tapping on a positive note.
What if you are tapping on an emotional issue?
In this example, you could alternate your reminder phrases like this:
You can then tap a third round on “I accept myself no matter what anyone says.”
How do I know whether the tapping is working?
When your tapping is effective, here are some possible signs that confirm that it is working:
When I tap, usually I feel the effects immediately. But sometimes I don’t! Yet I notice that after a few minutes or hours, or occasionally the next day, I will suddenly realize that things have shifted and the issue has cleared. When this happens, I think it is because it can take time for your system to process the changes.
If your tapping doesn’t seem to be working, make sure you are being specific about your issue. And, if being specific doesn’t seem to be enough, or if you feel more uncomfortable after tapping than you did before, it’s important to realize that there could be more than one aspect to the issue.
We humans are complex beings. Physical problems are entwined with emotions, memories, beliefs, and values, in other words, programs in the subconscious mind. All the parts of you act together to create your experience. This is why there can be several aspects to tap on when something is bothering you.
Tapping on Aspects
Sometimes when you tap for an issue, it brings up other aspects of the problem. The new aspect disrupts your energy, so your feeling of intensity will go up instead of down. This happens because the words of your original Set Up Statement and Reminder Phrase do not apply to the new aspect. In short, a new stress or belief has come into play.
Let’s go back to one of the examples from above. Let’s say you have just tapped on, “Even though I have stabbing pain in the right side of my abdomen, I accept myself and I choose to relax and heal quickly,”
Then you remember, “I just found out today that my daughter is in the school play and I’m afraid I won’t be able to go because my symptoms might act up.”
So tap on that. Why? Because all parts of us act together. An emotional stress may be triggering your physical pain. According to Dr. John Sarno, it’s hard for the brain to accept certain emotions so, to distract you from feeling them, it creates a physical problem. This happens on the unconscious level without your permission or knowledge.
So you need to put a stop sign in front of your brain by taking notice of what’s going on and tapping on it. Like this: “Even though I’m afraid I won’t be able to go my daughter’s play because of my symptoms [or exhaustion or depression or anxiety], I accept myself and choose to relax.”
After tapping on that, perhaps you realize that you feel angry or guilty because IBS is keeping you from being the kind of parent you want to be. Since anger and guilt are quite different emotions, I would tap on them separately.
“Even though I’m angry that IBS is keeping me from parenting the way I want to, I accept myself and I’m doing the best I can under the circumstances.”
“Even though I feel guilty that I can’t spend the kind of time with my daughter that she deserves, I accept and forgive myself.”
At this point, you may have resolved the issue and your abdominal pain. Or yet another aspect could surface, an aspect from memory. It could be that YOUR mother or father didn’t come to the school play that you were in when you were young and you’re still feeling angry or hurt about it. Remember, when trauma has not been discharged, your unconscious mind believes it is still happening.
Sometimes clients tell me, “Oh, that happened so long ago, I should be over it by now.” Well, guess what? Being over something and telling yourself you should be over it are two very different things. Saying “I should be over it” is a way of dismissing your own reality and your feelings. If you really want to be over it, tap on it!
“Even though I’m still angry / disappointed / hurt because my mother / father didn’t come to see me in my school play, I’ll consider letting it go and I choose peace.”
Why should I bother with all these aspects?
With all these aspects, does it seem like you could be tapping forever?
Well, initially, you may have to put some time into your tapping as you neutralize issues and “reprogram” your brain. What I found was that I did a lot of tapping in the beginning but as issues resolved and my health and life changed for the better, it was no longer necessary to do so much tapping.
In fact, now when a temporary issue comes up, I sometimes have to make myself remember to tap! Or Kathy and I remind each other to tap. (This is where a trusted “tapping buddy” comes in handy.)
I was ready to pay any price to resolve issues that had been troubling me and ruining my life for years. I thought that spending a few hours with an effective technique to get results was a pretty good deal, especially after trying so many things that didn’t work. But that’s me. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether spending some time on this is worth it to you.
Keeping it simple
Your tapping scripts do not have to be complicated. When you are first creating your own scripts, it’s a good idea to keep them simple. Here are some examples of tapping scripts for a symptom, a feeling and an issue/event:
Set-up Statement: Even though I feel so exhausted, I accept myself anyway.
Eyebrow: I feel so exhausted
Set-up Statement: Even though I’m so angry right now, I choose peace.
Eyebrow: I’m so angry
Set-up Statement: Even though my sister lied to me, I’m open to healing this issue.
Eyebrow: My sister lied to me
The purpose of the set-up statement and the reminder phrase is to keep you focussed on the ‘target’ or issue. But if something’s really bothering you then you are already very focussed on it.
So just tap while you think about it or talk your way through it without any kind of scripting. This will take the edge off of the problem. Later you can come back to it and create a more formal statement and work on it again, if necessary.
The most important part about the tapping is to DO the tapping. It’s a very forgiving process, meaning that it usually works even if you don’t do everything perfectly.
Please email us with your questions, comments and feedback.
Good health to you always!
Karen & Kathy
Karen Alison and Kathy Raymond