Have you heard of the Tapas Acupressure Technique?
Don Milton is an Emotional Freedom Coach based in Birmingham, Alabama, who has had incredible results using this therapy that unites principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine with western psychotherapy. Don spoke to me about how he uses TAT to help clients find a way through their emotional pain and even physical illnesses.
Tapas Acupressure Technique TAT
The Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT) was developed in the early 1990’s by Tapas Fleming, an acupuncture practitioner who developed breast cancer. Searching for a way to treat her cancer and finding no solution in mainstream or holistic medicine, she developed TAT and credited the therapy with helping her to overcome her illness.
Like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), TAT is grounded in millennia-old principles from Traditional Chinese Medicine: the technique works by influencing energy meridians that flow through the human body. However TAT and EFT differ in how they influence this energy flow. TAT works by having the client adopt certain positions or postures rather than the tapping techniques used in EFT.
Don explained that TAT focuses on the client’s general level of distress thinking about the trauma. “At each step I’ll say a different phrase. The client holds the posture while I say these phrases. They act as an observer rather than trying to make something particular happen. Each step takes a couple of minutes. When each step is done I’ll invite the client to release the position if they feel like they are done. As time goes on the client gets better at judging when they are done.”
Don often uses TAT as the first step in dealing with a trauma which has multiple aspects. “You would usually use TAT to do initial clearing and to shed light on other issues which can then be treated using EFT.”
By beginning with TAT some feelings can be released and cleared but often other feelings will manifest from the subconscious that may not be directly related to the event. “This is something the client might not have realized by just talking about the particular trauma.” Frequently we repress certain feelings around a traumatic event or fail to make the connection between that event and others in our life. Often it is the case that an event that does not seem like it should be traumatic takes on greater significance because of the other traumas it is related to. “TAT allows these other feelings to be accessed so that I can move on to treat these emotional issues.” Don describes these as ‘global issues’ – traumas which have several emotional components and may be related to other traumatic events in our lives.
During a session the practitioner can ask the client what happened during the event and what feelings came up during the therapy. The practitioner will often make a few quick notes, and then move on to the next posture. For practitioners like Don, TAT can also be used as a diagnostic tool. “During TAT I’m always measuring or testing – sometimes I may intentionally try to trigger something in order to get results. The client might start with feelings up at about at an 8 or 9 and gradually move down. The drops in the reaction often come more slowly than with EFT because we’re dealing with a global issue.”
The power of these therapies can be astonishing, offering results far more quickly than conventional therapies by using both western psychotherapy and holistic medicine techniques. “The energy psychology techniques are, even at their slowest, still function much faster than drug or cognitive therapies. Even if I am slowing down the sessions in order to teach the client how to practice it themselves they are often surprised at how quickly they can see results.”
Like EFT, TAT is based on balancing energy and ‘changing your thinking’.
Don explained one of the important principles of TAT is the concept of ‘psychological reversal’ identified by Roger Callahan. Our bodies are ‘polarized’ – there is a certain way energy is supposed to flow through us and if this flow is reversed it can hinder any treatment from being effective. This can be compared to the way electricity flows through a machine “if you have a recording device that needs batteries you have to put them in the right way round. Even if both are functioning, if they are not aligned then the machine won’t work. Our bodies are the same”. If the client was angry or embarrassed by an event, then thinking about these events in a certain way can cause your energy flow to switch. “It has been discovered that around 40% of people are psychologically reversed on at least one issue. If you don’t correct that then the treatment will not work. Some people are psychologically reversed on every issue – these are often heavy drinkers or smokers, drug users”. It is possible to test for whether or not someone has become psychologically reversed but since the correction is so simple and harmless, it is worth just doing it to be certain. This is often what practitioners will do at the start of the session by tapping the left side of the hand. “I experimented with not going through this process before beginning treatment – if this reversal wasn’t done results were much weaker.”
TAT has been a powerful tool for Don in treating clients and helping them recover from trauma. The results he has seen have left him convinced that these holistic therapies are able to restore the mind and spirit and that this in turn can have an incredible effect on the physical health of the person.