What Happens When we Tap?
To answer that question we spent a weekend with neuro-monitoring experts Donna Bach and Gary Groesbeck and the MindMirror EEG technology. We saw how our brainwaves calm and stabilise when we do EFT.
Gwyneth Moss talks about EFT and Brainwaves interviewed by George Duisman
Back in September 2007 in Boston, USA, Gary Craig demonstrated how emotional change can be made visible by biofeedback technology. Gary Craig says: “I have personally witnessed this equipment used with EFT on several occasions and the results have been impressive. We can also use this to experiment with surrogate EFT and other possibilities.”
Gwyneth Moss says: “Discovering the brainwaves work was an amazing insight for me and I not only learned what we mean by conscious and subconscious mind, I learned how we can better and more skillfully use EFT and what is happening when we tap. For me this has been my single biggest AhHa! and has advanced my work with EFT “
In April 2008 Gwyneth invited Donna Bach and Gary Groesbeck to the UK and the Exploring Consciousmess with EFT conference gave us the opportunity to see brainwave monitoring make emotional change visible and helped us all to understand what is happening in conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind when we tap. We saw, when using EFT, significant changes in states of mind displayed through changes in brain waves and heart coherence, changes that reflect a shift towards the awakened mind state of higher performance, deeper personal insight, and increased creativity.
Have you ever wondered what is going on when we tap? As we use EFT with others we see them visibly soften and hear their words as they gain a new perpectitive on that which moments ago had been so troubling. Using EFT for ourselves we relax, gripping emotions dissolve, elusive insights and long lost memories pop into mind and pain loses its intensity. EFT has been growing and spreading for well over a decade and there are now hundreds of thousands worldwide experiencing surprising personal and therapeutic change. However we have little scope in the English language to describe what is going on and often resort to expressions such as “energy shifts”.
During the Exploring Consciousness with EFT conference we demonstrated advanced EFT techniques whilst the Mind Mirror EEG and Heart Math technology made visible the resulting brain and heart changes. We gained a better understanding of the effects of EFT on brain and heart and that learning guides us to improving our practical use of EFT. We investigated the effect on the states of consciousness of both the therapist and the client during EFT work, and also surrogate work and tapping on bears.
Brain Waves and Consciousness
The original research into the frequencies and patterns of brain waves was conducted by the brilliant British biophysicist, and zen master C. Maxwell Cade . Cade measured the brain wave patterns of many healers, spiritual teachers and advanced meditators as well as 300 of his own students. He found a pattern that he identified as a step beyond meditation that exhibits the “lucid awareness” of meditation “coexistent with thought processes”. Cade presented his remarkable discovery in his book “The Awakened Mind: Biofeedback and the Development of Higher States of Awareness”, which he co-authored with Nona Coxhead (Dell, 1979).
For almost three decades since then Anna Wise, Max Cade’s protege, has measured the brainwave patterns of people whose states of consciousness one would wish emulate – spiritual masters, meditation teachers, and people of optimum creativity in all walks of life. The brainwave pattern that she found, named the Awakened Mind, is a combination of all four categories of brain waves – beta, alpha, theta, and delta – in the right relationship and proportion.
BETA brain waves are the fastest frequencies ranging from 14 cycles per second up to 38 cycles per second. Beta is your normal thinking state, your active external awareness and thought process. Without beta you would not be able to function in the outside world.
ALPHA brain waves are the brain waves of relaxed detached awareness, visualization, sensory imagery and light reverie. Ranging between about 9 cycles per second and 14 cycles per second, alpha is the gateway to meditation and provides a bridge between the conscious and the subconscious mind.
THETA brain waves are the subconscious mind. Ranging from about 4 cycles per second up to 8 cycles per second, theta is present in dreaming sleep and provides the experience of deep meditation when you meditate.Theta also contains the storehouse of creative inspiration and is where you often have your spiritual connection.Theta provides the peak in the peak experience.
DELTA brain waves are your unconscious mind, the sleep state, ranging from about 4 cycles per second down to 0.5 cycles per second. When present in combination with other waves in a waking state, Delta acts as a form of radar – seeking out information – reaching out to understand on the deepest unconscious level things that we can’t understand through thought process. Delta provides intuition, empathetic attunement, and instinctual insight. It is also the brain wave most associated with energy healing.
The MEDITATION brainwave pattern is a combination of alpha and theta where theta provides the depth and profundity of the meditation experience – the subconscious inner space from which creativity, insight, and healing spring – and alpha provides the bridge, or the link, to the conscious thinking mind so that you can actually remember the contents of your meditation.
“The AWAKENED MIND brainwave pattern combines the intuitive, empathetic radar of the delta waves, the creative inspiration, personal insight, and spiritual awareness of the theta waves, the bridgingcapacity and relaxed, detached, awareness of the alpha waves, and the external attention and ability to consciously process thought of beta waves, all at the same time. It is a brainwave pattern shared by people in higher states of consciousness regardless of their philosophy, theology or meditation technique. This brainwave(EEG) pattern can be found during “peak experience” and in all forms of creativity and high performance. The awakened mind is also the “ah-ha,” appearing at the exact instant of solving the problem, or getting the insight.” Anna Wise
“In the Integral Awakened Mind state the mind is clearer, sharper, quicker and more flexible than ordinary states:
- Thinking feels fluid rather than rigid.
- Emotions become more available and understandable, easier to work with and transform.
- Information flows more easily between the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious levels.
- Intuition, insight, and empathy increase and become more integrated into normal consciousness.“
– Anna Wise
Brain Waves and EFT
Gary Groesbeck writes: We are seeing some very rapid and significant changes in the overall brain wave patterns that mirror the release of emotional issues during the sessions. The heart monitoring has also shown instant, healthier responses to the resolution of emotions.
There are some important shifts that suggest an accelerated movement towards improved brain function using EFT. Initially, during the course of a session as personal issues are being resolved, we see a decrease in overall brain wave energy. This reduction in energy occurs more rapidly than in just a simple relaxation period, often within a single round of tapping. There are many in the field who feel that as the brain works more efficiently, the amount of energy in the cortex, or surface of the brain, decreases. This is exactly what we observe.
Along with this was an increase in brain symmetry, that is both sides of the brain, the hemispheres, begin to work together in a more balanced manner. People often have the mistaken assumption that they are either right brained or left brained, in truth we are both, and the two sides of the brain need to work together for optimal health and performance. This is what we see happening over the course of an EFT session, people have increased hemispheric integration or balance.
Next we observed a general decrease of energy in the highest frequencies, sometimes called beta one and two. This band of energy is often associated with emotional intensity, anxiety, stress, negative ruminating and possible history of addictions. This energy band shows a decrease as emotional issues of the moment are released during tapping. As another layer of the story unfolds, beta can flare again as the new issue emerges, followed by more tapping, until it again is reduced to a new healthy level. This makes it possible to determine whether or not the person has another layer of issues to access for further tapping.
As people tune into their issues we also see an increase of energy flares in the slower frequencies called alpha and theta. These frequencies show an internal focus and the emergence of memories often associated with the symptoms at hand. Without an alpha bridge emotional memories in the theta range are often lost, or remain unconscious. So it is important that we can see an increase of this alpha bridging occurring with the EFT. This allows people to more readily connect with the issues that need to be resolved. We can visibly see the theta brain wave spikes, even when the person may not be conscious of the emotional connection to what they are saying.
Finally as core issues begin to be resolved we are able to see, in some people, the development of the pattern we call the high performance mind, also called the “Awakened Mind” pattern. This pattern occurs in moments of emotional, personal, creative, and spiritual insight. It is the pattern we see in long time meditators. It is the pattern of a brain that is humming along at optimal performance, like a well tuned engine. It would appear that as EFT quickly aids in resolving long term emotional issues it also can tune the brain to its highest levels of performance. Other measurements of the stress response, such as heart rate coherence, show reductions of stress, and an increase of healthy functioning on all levels.
Gary Groesbeck BCIAC Fellow
Donna Bach ND
What did people say about the Exploring Consciousness workshop in 2008?
“I learnt so much, not only about EFT, the Brain consciousness and Awakening Mind but so much about myself. I feel I have grown and developed so much over the 5 days. I feel like a different person. Amazing”
“Watching the screens and seeing firsthand the effects of the treatments, both on the clients and the therapists – especially for the bear/surrogate tapping. We knew it worked, but to see measurable changes was amazing”
“Just seeing EFT at work with so many people and for so many difficulties. I was also fascinated to see the correlation between the EFT process and the brain waves as shown on the screens”
“Seeing how the experts handled a client, and being a part of the experience. And feeling that the tapping we were doing, was helping the process”
“Gary and Donna had a wonderful way of giving a scientific explanation for a therapy that can seem whacky to the uninitiated. I thoroughly enjoyed the two days and hope to see more of their work linked with EFT”
“Watching how the Brainwaves show up with the EEG display, and especially when using it with EFT tapping. Actually being able to see the calming and balancing effects on the screen as the person is tapping. Also that it still worked even when we did surrogate tapping for her while she didn’t tap herself. It was incredible and exciting to witness, and surely will give EFT more credibility, also encourage the medical profession & others to take EFT seriously, and understand that it can be a very effective, drugless therapy for so many people”
“Donna & Gary both very good indeed – their experience certainly shows plus their empathetic understanding at very deep levels of human nature”
“Gwyneth, your presenting just gets better and better. Rue makes things seem so easy and is soo approachable. Donna and Gary, I loved the way that you were interested in every body Paul I have never seen anyone work so fast, amazing. Linda Your bears are really cute and very effective”
“The simplified explanation of the brain by Gwyneth was fantastic and will help me a great deal with my change management training and coaching work. Thank you”
“All so different in their presentation yet having that common thread of skill, compassion, breadth and depth of knowledge and a genuine heartful humanity-it shows with each and every one of you”
“Gwyneth – Thanks for having the vision to organise this and push the frontiers of EFT. I also appreciate seeing your way of simplifying complex information and making it user friendly. Donna and Gary, Thanks for coming over and generously sharing your expertise with us”