Tapping feels like one of those things that shouldn’t work, but do.
Of course, a lot of the things that are covered on this podcast fall in that category. But I remember first learning about it and not being quite sure how or why this would work. But it does, and it can be an invaluable tool when you’re healing.
If you’re a long-time listener, you’ve hear Brad on Episode 6 as well. The fact is, I really enjoy talking to him, and his creative and often humorous use of EFT, which is also known as tapping.
In this episode with Brad, you’ll discover:
- How the Emotional Freedom Technique works and why it is so effective.
- Learn about the dos and don’ts when it comes to EFT so that you make sure you’re doing it right.
- What kind of role emotions play in your healing journey and what to do when things become overwhelming.
- Hands-on work: tapping session for letting go of frustration.
Tune in + Share ❤
Show notes & links
The show notes are written in chronological order.
- Brad Yates’ website: https://www.tapwithbrad.com
- Brad Yates’ books:
- The Tapping Solution
- Episode 6: Brad Yates – Overcoming Emotional Distress with EFT When Healing an Injury
- Bob Doyle is known to most as a Law Of Attraction teacher, who has been featured in the movie The Secret.
- Dr. Joe Vitale is a world-renowned personal development expert and star of the blockbuster hit movie on the law of attraction, The Secret.
- Gary Craig – the developer of EFT
- Dr. Roger Callahan was a research psychologist who developed Thought Field Therapy, which claims to draw upon the body’s energy field to alleviate negative emotions through a series of tapping movements.
- Church, D., Yount, G., & Brooks, A. J. (2012). The effect of emotional freedom techniques on stress biochemistry: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 200(10), 891–896. [read it here]
- Research on EFT Tapping [discover more here]
00:00 – excerpt from the episode
01:02 – intro (listen to discover a little more about your host. Martin will tell you a new lesser-known fact about Dr. Maya)
Dr. Maya Novak:
Tapping feels like one of those things that shouldn’t work, but do. Of course, a lot of the things that are covered on this podcast fall in that category. But I remember first learning about it and not being quite sure how or why this would work, but the fact is, it does. And it can be an invaluable tool when you’re healing.
I first got connected with Brad Yates in 2019 when he agreed to be one of the speakers on my summit. What you’ll be listening now is the first interview we did and, of course, if you want more, then after finishing this one, go back to Episode 6. Enjoy!
Dr. Maya Novak:
In this interview, I’m joined by Brad Yates:, who is an emotional freedom technique expert and is known internationally for his creative and often humorous use of emotional freedom technique or EFT, which is also known as tapping. Brad is the author of the best-selling children’s book The Wizard’s Wish, the co-author of the best-seller Freedom at Your Fingertips and a featured expert in the film The Tapping Solution. He has also been a presenter at a number of events, including Jack Canfield’s Breakthrough to success, has done teleseminars where the secret stars are Bob Doyle and Dr. Joe Vitale, and has been heard internationally on a number of internet radio talk shows. Brad also has well over 800 videos on YouTube that have been viewed over 23 million times. Brad, you’re super busy and thank you for being here.
Oh, my pleasure Maya, thank you for having me on. I appreciate the opportunity to share this work with others.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Thank you. Well, I’m super excited about this interview because we had some laughs before we started. I know that this interview is going to be humorous because of your story as well, but just so packed with things that are going to so help injured people around the world. Now, before we really go into details about your expertise, can you share your story? Why and when did you become interested in EFT and tapping?
Yeah, so basically, how does a grown mind find himself tapping on his face a living? Well, I actually started out as an actor and I toured the world doing children’s theater and went to Hollywood to become a movie star, and while I was there I met a woman, fell in love, got married and when she was pregnant with our first child I thought maybe I should have a backup career. So I started – I trained as a hypnotherapist because I’ve always been fascinated with the power of the mind and started doing that as a side business. After a couple of years, when our second child was on the way, I was thinking about it and I thought, you know, as much as I loved acting, I really felt that doing this personal development work that I was now doing was really my true calling. This is what really felt the most satisfying for me and the best use of my own personal gifts and talents. So we decided to leave Los Angeles and moved up Northern California to be closer to our families, and through some other hypnotherapists, I heard about this tapping thing. I went to this energy psychology conference and took a training with Gary Craig, the founder of EFT, and just found it fascinating. For those of who are watching this, and you’re not familiar with EFT and you just saw me go like this and you’re oh, what? That looked weird! Now, as part of my time in Hollywood as an actor, I also attended Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey’s clown college. So when I first learned EFT this was not the strangest thing that I’ve ever been asked to do, so it was much easier for me to take it on. It was such an amazing process that little by little I started introducing it into my hypnosis sessions with clients until little by little it became my main modality. So they were tapping sessions with a little bit of hypnosis at the end of them. I just found it was a simple technique to show people and it really put their recovery at their own fingertips for so many different issues. Then I started putting things on the internet. YouTube was created and I thought hey, this would be a cool thing, I should create a video that people can use to help them have a great day and I called it Tap of the Morning, and that was all I ever intended to do, was that one tapping video. Then about six months later, I thought you know, I really ought to have a video for people to end their day, so I called Tap of the Evening, and then I’m done. Then I had another idea, and then another idea, and here we are some years later and there’s over 850 of them now!
Dr. Maya Novak:
It started just like that. Let’s just put me out there, just this video or maybe 10 or 20 and that’s it.
And that’s it.
Dr. Maya Novak:
And that’s it.
Maybe a 100, maybe 200, and 300 – that’s it!
Dr. Maya Novak:
Well honestly, I’m super grateful that you did not finish your work in just those few videos because I’ve been sending my clients to your YouTube channel, to anxiety tapping and other things and they find your work extremely, extremely beneficial. So thank you for not ending this and that you’re still here and still tapping on your face!
Well thank you for sharing the work. I really appreciate that, it’s an honor.
Dr. Maya Novak:
For those viewers or listeners who are not – who don’t really know what this is, can you share what EFT is, how you do it, what is happening?
Yeah, why do we tap with our fingertips on our face? So it was originally discovered based on acupuncture. A psychologist named Roger Callahan was working with a woman with a water phobia and in trying to help her overcome the emotional issues he was looking at what physical symptoms were coming up. She mentioned a knot in her stomach and he had been taking a class in acupressure. So acupressure and acupuncture, for thousands of years in Chinese medicine, they’ve said there’s a flow of energy through the body along these pathways called meridians. I know many athletes who have suffered sports injuries have used acupuncture. So when the doctor sticks needles in key points around the body it stimulates that healthy flow of energy. It clears out the blockages that result in discomfort – physical and emotional. So rather than sticking needs in this client he actually just had her tapping on this endpoint for the stomach meridian. Not only did the knot in her stomach go away, but her fear of water also went away. He thought well, that’s very interesting and started experimenting with different clients and found that by tapping these different points he was able to relieve all kinds of emotional issues. Now over time, we’ve found that it’s beneficial for emotional issues as well as physical issues. We have modern research now showing that it’s an incredible stress reliever. When we experience stress, we go into fight or flight. For instance, one of the things that happens is the hormone cortisol gets released into the body – very useful if we’re an actual life-threatening situation – not so useful in everyday life and it has all kinds of negative effects to have that cortisol build up in our bodies. So in one study, the group that was doing the tapping, their cortisol levels dropped by an average of 24%, which was so remarkable that the technicians actually threw out the first batch saying that something must have gone wrong. They recalibrated the machines, ran it again, and found that no; in fact, it was that effective in lowering stress. So when you consider that most, if not all of the issues that we face, physical and emotional, are either caused or at least worsened by stress, then you can see that having a simple tool for relieving stress can be beneficial in so many areas. The anxiety that we feel about our injuries and the things that block our healing because so often stress gets in the way of our healing. So to have this technique to allow ourselves to relax and heal more quickly, but also to help us clear those uncomfortable feelings that we have during the process of recovery just can have so many benefits.
Dr. Maya Novak:
You know, that’s the reason why I have you here -because it’s so extremely important for people who are recovering and healing. And recovery – it is a stressful thing. It’s not just unicorns and rainbows. It doesn’t work that way. One day you feel completely okay, and then the next day you’re feeling completely down. Now, is it important that a person is familiar with tapping before they start doing it? What I mean is, I learned about tapping years ago. Probably it was just after my fracture. Six years, six and a half years ago, and I think that I had some sort of allergic reaction to some sort of food that I ate and my body was just in so much distress. My husband, Jerry, he said well, have you ever heard about tapping? Maybe you can try that and calm your body. I was like what’s that? What’s tapping, you know?
Dr. Maya Novak:
Oh Jerry! He said go Google it, and I Googled it but because I was in so much stress I think that I also was like, well what should I look for? Where should I look? And it wasn’t completely working for me, but thinking back I think that it was also because I was doubting a bit if this was really going to help. So how is this? Is it good that we first try tapping before something major happens? Or is it like - I’m having a panic attack, I’m going to tap right now?
So when – I mean, I think the best time to tap is when – to first try it is the first time you’re introduced to it. So I’m encouraging everyone who is watching this, if you’re new it, do it with us when we do it. How much relief we notice is dependent upon how much distress we feel. So, for instance, you took a drink of water. If you were absolutely not thirsty at all and you took a drink of water, you might not notice. Now, if you haven’t had a drink of water in days, you’re dying of thirst, and you take a drink of water, that sip of water is going to be profound. So, when there’s a before and after – or a profound difference between before and after – then we notice it. So there are a lot of people who tap – and I often tap just to clear my system whether I’m noticing anything bothering me or not. It’s not going to be as noticeable as if I’m really upset and then I start tapping and then I calm down and go okay, a huge difference between before and after. Tapping is always beneficial because we almost always have some kind of low level of stress going on because it’s a stressful world. There’s something that we’re bothered by. We’re thinking about things in the future. We’re thinking about things from the past. If we have an injury, even if we’re not experiencing pain in the moment, part of us is going I know the pain is coming. So we’re experiencing some anxiety about the possible future pain. We might not be consciously aware of it, but it’s going on in our body. So we can be tapping and not even be aware of what we’re clearing, but there’s going to be a benefit to us at a physical level. So I recommend people to tap every day, whether there is something coming up or not, because to me it’s energetic hygiene. So just like we have physical hygiene – I’m hoping most folks watching this brush your teeth on a daily basis whether or not there’s stuff growing out from between your teeth. It’s not like you wait until there’s things coming out and you go oh, maybe now I should brush my teeth. You do it as maintenance. You take a shower as maintenance. You don’t go hmm, no one’s holding their nose around me, and I can probably go a few more days. We just do that maintenance to clear whatever might be there because it builds up. Filth on our bodies builds up over time even long before we can see it and are aware of it. It’s the same with the stress. So rather than waiting until it’s absolutely necessary to take action, then we want to be alleviating it on a regular basis.
Dr. Maya Novak:
I love this. Can you share what the tapping areas are, and how do we do it?
Yeah. So the very basic version of EFT is you take two fingers of either hand – so we generally start with our dominant hand and you tap on what we call the karate chop points of your opposite hand. What we’re tapping there – it’s just a gentle tapping moment – will state what the issue is. So, for instance, let’s say I’m frustrated about how slowly I’m recovering from an injury. So I’d say okay, on a scale of zero to 10 how frustrated am I? Oh, it’s about an eight. I am really ready to feel better. So even though I’m frustrated, I choose to love and accept myself. We’d say that three times and then we would start tapping the eyebrow point. And each of these points we’d tap, generally, between five and 10 times. But if we’re going through a round, as we go through later, some of the phrases might be a little bit longer so we might be tapping a point 20 times. It’s okay. It’s not like oh, five to 10 times or it doesn’t work. It’s a very forgiving process. So we would tap the eyebrow point right here at the beginning. The eyebrows say all of this frustration. Right here at the corner of your eye, all this frustration. Right under the middle of your eye, still just on the edge of the eye socket, all this frustration. Under the nose, all of this frustration. Right under the mouth just above your chin, all of this frustration. And right here where your collar bone is, they just about come together, there’s a little bit of a U-shape right there. You can tap with your fingers and you can make a fist and tap right where the collarbones come together, all of this frustration. The next point is about four inches below your armpit. It’s right about bra strap level, and I’m sure even the guys can figure out where that one is, all of this frustration. And finally the top of the head. So using all of your fingers and just tapping around the crown of your head, all of this frustration. Take a deep breath. Then you check in again and say okay, how frustrated am I? For some folks, it’s going to go from an eight to a zero like that. Sometimes it happens that way. Sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s like it’s about 7.77. Hey, great – at least it’s some movement. It’s like okay, you know, it’s been at an eight for a while. If I can get from eight to a 7.75, chances are I can get it down. What also happens is that when we’re tapping it’s like peeling the layers of an onion. So we become aware of the stuff that might be going on underneath. So it’s not just that I’m feeling frustrated, I’m also feeling guilty about the things that I’m not able to do. Some people are dependent on me and I’m not able to help them, so I’m frustrated about how I’m not able to help them, so I feel some guilt too. As we keep getting that awareness and we keep peeling those layers of the onion, we can get down to a place of recognizing okay, none of that stuff is helping me. I just need to get as peaceful as possible so that my body has the resources to heal. Our bodies have amazing healing capabilities but if all of our resources are busy being frustrated and feeling guilty and being angry, then it’s like okay, we have very little bandwidth to do the healing process.
Dr. Maya Novak:
I wanted to ask you, is it important how fast we are tapping?
You know, I heard someone once with the theory there is a percussive rate that is ideal. I have tapped at different speeds, and I’ve watched other tap at different speeds and everyone’s getting benefits. So I don’t know. There may be a particular rate you can find that has optimal healing capabilities. I also believe that since everybody’s different, I find it hard to believe that there would be a rate that would be right for everyone. I’m open to that possibility, but I would tell people don’t worry about it. Because if you’re sitting there going is it fast enough, or oh, I need to slow, or no, no, I’ve got to go faster – then you’re just adding anxiety.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Like I said, it’s a very forgiving process. If you’re not exactly on the right point, if you’re not exactly the right speed, if you tap one time too many – if there were such a thing – don’t worry about it. You’re going to be getting benefits no matter what. As you go along, you’re going to find what works best for you. You may find you know what; a little bit faster rate seems to feel better for me. Or, going a little bit more slowly, that feels more relaxing. Or maybe just holding the point and just rubbing it feels ideal - experiment.
Dr. Maya Novak:
I love what you just mentioned. It’s not like a cookie cutter thing that you have to do it just like the person is showing it, and that’s it. If you feel it differently – and this is really listening to the intuition and how your body responds – do that. Don’t copy someone else.
Dr. Maya Novak:
So are these results lasting or is this something that you have to do multiple times throughout the year, or 10 years, or how does this go on?
Well, you know, it’s like what I say about doing that on a daily basis as maintenance, as energy hygiene. You can take a really good shower, but how long is that going to last? Hey, you know, I took such a great shower this morning, I can probably for a week, two weeks, you know, and not take another one. Maybe a year, it was a really good shower, you know. I really got the shampoo in there, it was awesome. We might be working in the yard and get some mud on us and we wash it off and go, okay, we’ll I’ve cleaned that mud off. Then we’re working in the yard again, and it’s like oh man, there’s mud on me again. I thought I cleared all that mud. Well, it’s new mud. So it’s the same if we’re feeling anxious about something and we tap it and we go oh, I don’t feel anxious any more, and the next day we’re feeling some anxiety it’s like oh well, the tapping didn’t work. Just like that shower didn’t work, the mud still happens because there are other things that come up. So sometimes it’s a matter of okay, there were some different aspects. It’s like oh, we might take a shower and find oh, there’s some mud under my arm that I didn’t see and we didn’t clean it all, or it’s new mud. Maybe I’m anxious about something new. Maybe I’m anxious about something that just happened or something that I hadn’t been thinking about that I’m now remembering, that I can now remember because of the clearing that I did the day before. It’s like peeling those layers of the onion. I might be frustrated about this particular injury that I’m trying to recover from, but I may clear the frustration of the feeling now but it may remind me of something that happened 10 years ago, and now I’m upset about that and I’m thinking oh, I just did some tapping but I’m still upset. It’s not the same thing. I may just be experiencing it the same way. So when we clear something it tends to be cleared, but there may be other aspects to clear up.
Dr. Maya Novak:
This is so true because it’s not just about this injury that happened. There are some other triggers that can be coming up from years or decades ago, so I love that you mentioned this. People are listening and those who have never done tapping may be thinking – this sounds like a really, really simple thing, but how can this really help me? It’s not like a pill that you take, but it’s something that is really simple. So how can something so simple be so efficient?
Yeah. Well, because it’s kind of how our bodies were designed. When our bodies were originally evolving and whether it’s evolution or creation, whether it’s our bodies developing over time or whether it’s God’s plan to create it – whatever it was – it was not designed with the plan of okay, someday some pharmaceutical companies going to come up with a pill that’ll fix what nature didn’t come up with. We have it within us to take care of those things. That's not saying that there’s aren’t some times where drugs can be beneficial to speed up a process or to help us out while our body is doing what it can naturally do. But we have ways of doing it and so this process is stimulating those natural processes. It’s also calming down the natural stress response. So we have this stress response when part of the brain – the part called the amygdala – senses a threat and puts us into this stress response. So there are biochemical and electrical responses in the body that are happening that cause us to feel uncomfortable feelings to help us deal with it. So that’s what we call the sympathetic nervous system. Then we have the parasympathetic nervous system where we get the sense of okay, everything’s okay. We can calm down and we start thinking again from our prefrontal cortex, that’s where our clear thinking, our creative thinking comes from and that’s the part that goes offline when we’re feeling stressed. So when you look at how so many of these issues are stress related, again either caused by or worsened by stress, you can see why a simple technique that’s just causing us to relax can be so beneficial in so many ways and trigger those biochemical responses that we might otherwise go and look for from a drug but we are able to do it in ourselves.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Mm-mm, and it’s not that we need something super complicated to be very effective. Usually, going back to the basics is what it takes and if we are talking about the really, really, simple things, it’s just deep breaths. Take a deep breath, and then do some tapping afterward, but it’s simple – it’s going back to the basics. So if we’re talking about especially serious injuries, usually the doctors are not extremely optimistic and when people get that diagnosis and then prognosis about what could happen in the future, those stories can soon become our beliefs. So we believe that we are not capable or that our bodies are not capable of healing in the best possible way. Can tapping help with these belief systems? And if so, how is this happening? Do we have to know how this is happening? Or does it just happen?
Yeah, and that varies from person to person. Some people want to know. There’s a lot of people who say well, this tapping looks ridiculous, where’s the research? And then I’ll say well, here’s a link. You can go see. There’s been a lot of research. There have been double-blind studies, hundred peer review articles. There is the research and some people, for that, it’s never going to be enough because, for some of us, we don’t want to recover. That’s the interesting thing is there’s a part of us that’s like you know what, I’m really sick of being in pain but I get out of a lot of obligations by being injured. There are a lot of people who their recovery is prolonged because of a resistance to healing. So we will have reasons why we should heal. Like one, it’s I have a note from the doctor excusing me from obligations. It may be, as you said, from a doctor’s concern. So people talk about the placebo effect, well there’s also a thing called nocebo where we aren’t recovering because there’s just a negative belief. And some doctors just have very negative beliefs. There’s countless stories of people who have had recoveries where their doctor goes I can’t believe it. It would have really been helpful to me if you had been more willing to believe it earlier because I had to go against all that belief because most of us have a lot of programming about oh, the doctors are the smartest people in the world, and they’re always right. So if they say it’s going to be really difficult, or you’re never going to fully recover, then it’s going to be that way. I know when I was what – 15 I think – I broke my arm. I broke both bones in my wrist and this doctor said well; chances are I’ll never fully recover. What a thing to say to a 15-year-old! So for years afterward like I’d be exercising and I’d be doing weightlifting and curls be oh, ow, my wrist really hurts. I think a lot of that was nocebo because I don’t experience that now when I’m doing curls. But there was a time when I would feel that years after the injury had recovered. That doctor was also not – he was an intern who was still not quite where he should have been – so I had to go back and see another doctor later who had to re-break my arm and re-set it. So his healing skills, as well as his bedside manner, were both a little – he was still learning. He was doing the best he could. But there’s still that part of us that says oh, well if the doctor says it’s going to take a long time, then it’s going to have to. Our brains are programed to resist change. Once we take something on as a belief, we want to know that it’s true. We don’t want to – if we decide that we like orange juice more than apple juice – I don’t want have to go to the refrigerator each time and go hmm, I wonder which one I’m going to like better today. Our brains like to have things set in place. So if we start to consider something different, we have that stress response. Our amygdala says there’s a threat, there’s a threat to the system. It may not be a saber tooth tiger, but I’m going to have the same kind of fight or flight reaction. Oh, he’s trying to change his mind about what kind of juice to have, he’s going to try to change his mind about whether doctors are always right, or never right, or whatever. So when we’re trying to say I want to recover more quickly than my doctor suggests that I could, I’m going to have a stress response and I’m going to go no, that’s not possible, and I’m going to resist that. And it might happen at an unconscious level that I’m not even aware of. Part of me, at a totally unconscious level, might say what if I could recover – no, don’t even consider it. Okay! So as we’re doing the tapping we calm down that stress response. We can look at it and say you know what, it’s okay for me to challenge that belief because there are plenty of times when doctors have been wrong. They’re often right. I choose to take my doctors recommendations, but as far as how long I have to take to recover, yeah I’m open to the possibility that it’s going to be quicker than that. And I’m also going to allow myself – likewise, if the doctor says it’s going to take two weeks to heal and I’m in my third week of still healing, to not feel and oh my gosh, I’m doing it totally wrong because the doctor said I should be better by now and allowing myself to calm that down. And go okay, the doctor’s just going off of statistically, this is what should happen, but – or not even what should happen – statistically this is what we often see, but some people take much longer to recover and just allowing myself to go okay, I’m taking however long it’s taking me. I’m going to allow myself to feel as good as I can emotionally so that I can heal faster, but it’s not that I’m doing it wrong.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes. This is so important because otherwise it’s like if we are taking like two weeks or three weeks and if a person feels in three weeks’ time that it is taking them too long, they may think, oh, it’s never going to happen. They give up in regards to healing. It’s like, the doctor was right and this is not very beneficial to the healing process. So at the beginning, when you were explaining the tapping areas, you mentioned that under the eye is for the stomach. Can you explain the areas, how are they connected to emotions? Is it every area for a specific emotion? Or how does this work?
Traditionally in acupuncture, it is said that each of these points is along different meridians - there are a number of meridians that run up and down the body. Many of these points that we’re tapping are actually the endpoint for the meridian. The meridians are traditionally associated with organs of the body and those organs are often associated with different emotions. So this point right here is associated with the bladder, which is often associated with sadness or trauma. The gallbladder is often associated with anger. Under the eye is the stomach and associated with fear. This is embarrassment, guilt, and shame. Fear, again. Under the arm is often associated with low self-esteem. The point where we’re tapping the top of the head is where several meridians cross over. It’s sometimes called the meeting of several roads, and so we’re just tapping a lot of different meridians associated with different organs, associated with different emotions. There are times where I’m taking folks through a tapping round, and I will mention different emotions and sometimes you may feel like just tapping one point and you may choose, well, I’m feeling anger right now; I’ll tap the side of the eye. The great thing about EFT is that we’re tapping all of these points, so we’re covering all of the bases. So yeah, the predominant feeling I have might be fear but there might be some guilt, so why not tap here too? Hey, it only takes a few moments why not tap all the points? So that’s why we’re tapping all of these different points, and sometimes it may be – so there was a time once where I was experiencing a lot of panic and I started tapping and I felt compelled to tap the side of the eye. I wasn’t aware of any anger whatsoever, so I’m not sure that it’s always this emotion and always this point, and it may not always be obvious. So that’s why we tend to tap through all the points. However, at the same time, I always encourage folks if you feel drawn to stop at a certain point, like that time where I just stopped at the side of the eye, go with it. Trust your gut, okay, there’s something there that wants to be released, then when it feels right, move on to the next point.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Do we have to have a script to tap? Or is it just more like a gentle conversation with ourselves?
You know, there’s all kinds of ways of doing it. So I show folks the basic version, what we call EFT in a nutshell to begin with, where you just say whatever – you put a name to whatever the issue is. So this frustration, this anger, this pain if it’s a physical issue because we find the tapping to be very beneficial for relieving physical pain. So we might just call it this pain. We might be even more specific than that – this pain in my shoulder. Then we just repeat that. We call it the reminder phrase. We just repeat that on each point. This pain in my shoulder. This pain in my shoulder. This pain in my shoulder. So don’t worry about wording. We’re going to go through a round of tapping in a moment, and we’ll do it the way that I do it where it’s sort of free-flowing thoughts. If I show that to folks first, then they sometimes say oh, there’s all that wording and there’s so many things you have say, I don’t know how to do this process. Don’t worry about it. That’s not necessary. You can tap without saying anything because the wording is generally designed to get us in tune with what might be going on, with where the distress is that we want to clear out. If we’re already in pain, physical or emotional, we’re already there. We don’t need any words to take us there. If we’re not aware of anything that’s going on but we just want to be doing it as maintenance - just like if your hands are dirty, you know where to wash. But if you’re just washing your hands in general, you just wash them. You don’t worry about oh, this area of the palm of my hand but you still wash your hands on a regular basis. It’s good for hygiene, every, please, you know! Wash your hands; it’s healthy for other people too, please do that – especially if you’re a restaurant worker! So I will tell folks you can tap without saying anything. You can tap while saying affirmations. Sometimes I’ll say like the Serenity Prayer, I’ll tap while saying the Serenity Prayer. Praying with the serenity to accept the things I can’t change. I may say I’m grateful for the blessings I have, I’m grateful for the blessings that are coming and whatever you might want to say or not say, the tapping is always helping us to clear out stress and allowing our body to function in a more positive way, so don’t get caught up on the wording. But, if you’re aware of things – and I’ll tell people – that’s why I first created the tapping videos and the tapping audios was because people would say I don’t know what to say. It was like all right, I’ll say some things for you. You just follow along and if at any point you feel like saying something different, say something different. It’s not look, oh I have to say exactly what Brad says. If I so oh, I’m feeling anxiety and you go, you know, it actually feels more like sadness, say sadness. Say whatever the words are that are coming up. At the same time, as we go through this tapping, don’t worry about saying the same thing that I’m saying if it feels like something that you’re not experiencing because we have a lot of beliefs about I’m only supposed to focus on the positive and if I focus on the negative, I’m going to create it. Well, you have to be aware of what’s going on. If your dog poops on your carpet, you cannot walk around your living room pretending that it’s not there and I’m just going to focus on what’s positive – if you do that, chances are you’re going to step in it and you’re going to spread it around. So you focus on it, you clean it up, and then it’s gone. That’s what we’re doing, this is a cleaning process, and in the cleaning process – so likewise you can be – if I’m saying certain words and you’re saying I’m not experiencing that right now, it’s not going to create it. Like if you’re vacuuming your carpet in your living room and you go, dog poop, dog poop, it’s not like suddenly dog poop’s going to appear. Your rug is going to get cleaner and cleaner because you’re cleaning it, no matter what you are saying. Likewise, you can be – if I’m saying certain words and you’re saying I’m not experiencing that right now, it’s not going to create it. Like if you’re vacuuming your carpet in your living room and you go, dog poop, dog poop, it’s not like suddenly dog poop’s going to appear. Your rug is going to get cleaner and cleaner because you’re cleaning it, no matter what you are saying. So don’t worry about saying the negative while we’re tapping. At the same time, if you don’t want to say the words that’s okay, but don’t be afraid of it. I hope that’s clear.
Dr. Maya Novak:
What a great explanation. I’m sure that that takes a lot of weight off someone’s shoulders because as a recovery perfectionist, for me, in the past I thought that if I don’t know how to say it perfectly, it’s not going to work. Being caught up in that thinking can create, of course, more stress, so it’s then not successful. It might be six and a half years ago when I first heard about tapping; it might be that as well, I don’t know what to say.
You’re not going to get it wrong!
Dr. Maya Novak:
Jack Canfield said – when we were working together – he said there’s no bad tapping. As you’re going through, whatever you’re saying, you can be giving your shopping lists – spaghetti, lettuce, applesauce – you’re still going to be calming down the stress response in your body.
Dr. Maya Novak:
And don’t worry about oh, I think I only tapped that point three times and it’s supposed to be five to 10 times - don’t worry about it. If you miss a spot, don’t worry about. It’s the intention that may be the most important aspect of it. That, you know, you’re saying hey, I’m worthy of self-care and I’m going to allow myself to feel better, even it’s just a little bit, even if I’m just taking the edge off, even if I’m not aware of it. I’m going to trust that something beneficial is happening even if I’m not aware of it in the moment. I truly do believe that any tapping that we’re doing, even if the effects are so subtle that we’re not consciously aware of them, that it is always having a positive benefit.
Dr. Maya Novak:
So, can we do some tapping?
Dr. Maya Novak:
What I would love to do is to – and of course, if you think that this is beneficial as well – to work on frustration, because with healing, with long recovery there is a lot of frustration. Shall we do it?
Dr. Maya Novak:
We'll continue in just a moment. I wanted to quickly jump in for two things. First, thank you for tuning in. And second, I’m sure you have at least one friend, colleague, or family member who would very much appreciate this episode. So share it with them and help us spread the word. Now let’s continue…
So what I’ll ask everyone to do is go ahead and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and let it go. And just go ahead and go inside and just sort of follow your breath through your body and allow yourself to be aware of what’s going on inside noticing what you’re feeling physically, noticing what you’re feeling emotionally, notice where you might be experiencing some physical discomfort, and notice any frustration you feel about that. For anyone who’s watching this who may not be in recovery from an injury right now, you can allow yourself to be aware of any frustration you might feel about anything else. There’s usually something that’s going on that we can feel frustrated about – politics, economics, whatever. Surely there’s something you can find some frustration about. If not, just allow yourself to be aware of any emotional or physical discomfort that might be going on, even if you wouldn’t call it frustration. So just allowing yourself to be aware of something that’s there that you’d like to let go of. But for those of you, particularly if you have a sense of frustration about how long your recovery is taking, just allow yourself to be aware of that. Say I’m really frustrated. Just allow yourself to let that rattle around inside and notice on a scale of zero to 10 how much frustration is there. Notice where in your body you might be feeling that frustration. Allow yourself to be aware of any thoughts, beliefs, or memories that might contribute to that frustration, any thoughts about how you should be feeling better already, or why it’s supposed to take so long. Or any thoughts about what benefits you might be getting out of it taking longer and what you’re getting out of, and why part of you might be afraid of recovering. Just allow yourself to be aware of what different thoughts and feelings might show up. Take another deep breath. Open your eyes. And so, Maya, if you’ll be my echo voice and repeat back what I say. Everyone else, just tap where I tap, repeat back what I say along with Maya, and let’s go. Even though I feel so frustrated...
… I choose to love and accept myself anyway.
Even though I am so frustrated …
… I choose to love and honor myself anyway.
Even though I am so frustrated …
… am I so sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I am so tired of being uncomfortable.
There are things that I want to do.
And I’m tired of not being able to do them.
I am so frustrated …
… and even though I feel all this frustration …
… I choose to deeply and completely …
… love, honor, and accept myself...
… and maybe anyone else who might be involved...
… because I choose to feel that free.
All this frustration …
… all this frustration I’m feeling.
I am so tired of being frustrated.
I am so frustrated with being tired.
I am frustrated about a lot of things...
… and the funny thing is …
… I can’t seem to get frustrated enough...
… to recover more quickly.
My body has never said …
… oh, you’re feeling frustrated?
Okay, we’ll heal more quickly now.
I was just waiting for you to feel frustrated.
And I’m pretty sure …
… that my doctor never said to me …
… do these exercises …
… get this much rest …
… and feel frustrated.
That’s what your body needs to heal.
But someone must have told me this.
Someone told me that I should feel upset...
… if it doesn’t happen as quickly as I want to.
Maybe they said that…
… or I just saw them doing it.
Chances are …
… I saw people getting frustrated about their recovery...
… and I decided that’s the way to do it.
Even if I’m recovering quickly …
… part of me might say …
… I should still feel frustrated that it’s not done already.
All this need to be frustrated …
… because I’m supposed to be frustrated.
I should feel frustrated.
Even though it’s not helping.
In fact …
… all of this frustration takes time and energy.
My body could use that energy to heal more quickly.
So the more frustration I let go of …
… the more likely I am to heal more quickly.
And I don’t know how long it’s going to take.
Who can really say that it’s taking too long?
Is there a universal law …
… about long this should take?
It’s never the same for everyone.
So I’m letting go of this belief...
That I’m doing it wrong.
That I’m not healing correctly...
… and that I need to be upset about that.
It’s bad enough that I have to recover …
I don’t need to make it worse …
… with all of these uncomfortable feelings.
So I’m giving myself permission …
… to heal whatever I can heal.
Emotionally as well as physically.
I choose to give myself permission …
… to experience as much peace of mind as possible...
… even while my body is still recovering.
So I choose to release any sadness going on.
I’m releasing any anger that I might be experiencing.
I choose to release any fear that might be going on.
I’m releasing any embarrassment I might be feeling.
I’m releasing any shame or guilt that I might be feeling.
I’m clearing any fear that I’m not healing quickly enough.
I’m clearing any fear that I’m doing it wrong...
… or that it’s never going to happen.
I choose to move through these fears.
I have a right to feel these emotions.
I honor my emotions.
I love and appreciate myself...
… for feeling what I think I’m supposed to feel.
And at the same time …
… I’m giving myself permission to feel better.
To feel as good as possible.
I am open to the possibility …
… that even if my body is in pain …
… I can still feel good emotions.
I choose to feel as good as possible...
… because I deserve that, darn it!
I’m allowing myself to feel much more peace...
… as I set myself free...
… in body, mind, and spirit.
And take a deep breath. Now go ahead and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and say I feel frustrated. Again, let that rattle around inside and just notice, particularly if there’s a place in your body where you felt the frustration, just notice on a scale of zero to 10 where that might feel right now. And again, if you weren’t experiencing any frustration before, it might be hard to get a reading, but just notice you might feel more relaxed, more at peace. You might be aware of certain things that you weren’t aware of before. So that’s one way to do this process, and there’s always the possibility that someone went through that and may feel – they may say well, I didn’t get much – you may feel the same, or it’s sometimes possible that someone may feel a little more frustrated because you may have been blocking all kinds of feelings. So it’s not that the tapping made you more frustrated, it’s that the tapping is peeling layers of the onion and you’re more aware of what’s going on. So, for instance, you may look at your living room and say oh, my living room’s clean but I’ve got company coming over and I want to make sure it’s as clean as possible. So on a scale of zero to 10, it’s about an eight in terms of being – 10 is really clean, it’s about an eight. You go to clean, and you move the coffee table and you find that your cat has pooped under the coffee table. Your living room is no longer an eight in terms of how clean it is, but you’re not going say to yourself oh, I should never have cleaned it. If I hadn’t moved the coffee table it would have stayed clean. So during the cleaning process, we just become aware of some things. So that’s why sometimes it might – we might be more aware of more frustration. It was stuff that was already there, we’re just aware of it and now we can clean it up. So now we can go back through and go okay, what is it that I’m feeling now, and then we can go through the tapping process again and start to work on what’s really there, I can clean up that cat poop and now it’s really clean. So even though it might be uncomfortable and if some of that stuff came up and you’re thinking oh man, why did I do this stupid tapping thing, it’s like because now you can actually go and really clean the stuff up and recover at a higher rate than you would allow yourself before.
Dr. Maya Novak:
It’s really about awareness, what you’re being aware of, right? It’s not just trying this and pushing everything down. It’s just being aware of what is actually happening inside of your body. While we were doing this, I was noticing changes in myself as well. I went from I’m completely fine to being slightly teary. It was like, whoa, what’s happening? And then to being, hmm, am I really frustrated towards the end and feeling lighter.
Yeah, yeah because as I said earlier, there’s always low levels of stress that we’re not consciously aware of. There’s always stuff that - for the most part, I won’t say as an absolute – but for the most part, most of us are carrying some stuff that bothers us but we’re not consciously aware of it. It’s like oh, I’ll just stick that in my pocket for later and after a while, it’s pulling our pants down because there’s so much weight in our pockets. So to go through on a regular basis just clearing that stuff out and go oh, there is some stuff in there that I wasn’t aware of.
Dr. Maya Novak:
The awareness – sometimes we get very clear about what it is, and sometimes we don’t really know. It’s like we don’t have to always know exactly what’s bothering us. It helps because we can then target the tapping specifically on that. But sometimes it’s like we put – we throw stuff in the trash can in our kitchen and then at the end of the week we tie up the bag and we take it and we throw I in the garbage outside and it’s gone. We don’t have to go out and then re-open the bag and then go through an analyze each thing. Okay, in order to make sure that it’s really gone I have to go okay, there’s the milk carton from yesterday, there’s the egg carton from three days ago. Okay now I’ve remembered what everything was and now it’s gone. We just tie it up and it’s gone and we may not remember what was in there. We just know that the kitchen is now clean.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah. So with recovery, usually it’s not just one thing, it’s a combination of everything. How do we decide? Should we go more into the emotional stuff or physical? I think that you already answered that. But is it - if we are healing from this physical injury – is it better to talk and go through tapping more on the physical symptoms, or just tap and that’s it?
If you’re not sure about what to tap on, my take is just start tapping. You don’t need to wait until – I’m feeling upset but I need to know exactly what it is so that I get the words exactly right and so that I need to say the even though statement perfectly. Just start tapping and you’ll either get the relief and go oh, I just feel better now, I don’t even know what it was, or you’ll get clear on oh, I know exactly what it is I need to focus on. Just generally, whatever you’re most aware of. The frustration may be the thing you’re most aware of. I feel a lot of things but I mostly feel frustrated. Or, I feel a lot of emotions but the thing I feel the most is my shoulder really hurts, even though my shoulder hurts. There have been so many times where we can be working with somebody who is experiencing pain in their shoulder and after a tapping, it’s like yeah that feels so much better. And you know what, I was really bugged about something my sister said, and I feel totally okay about that now – and we didn’t even talk about that. Or, we might be talking about I’m so upset at my sister for this thing that she said, all this upset with my sister, and all of a sudden it’s oh, I feel much better about that. And you know what, my shoulder was bothering me earlier, and now it feels fine. So even though we don’t directly address those things, we still get relief because so often these physical and emotional things are connected.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, absolutely. It’s not just that something is wrong with that shoulder, or knee or hip or whatever, a lot of the times it’s coming from the inside with the emotions and everything. So is it necessary for tapping to be – I don’t want to say as long as we did it with frustration – but is this something that can be just like one round and that’s it? Or is it better to have a longer session – so to take five minutes or 10 minutes and tap really thoroughly?
So how long does it take to wash your hands?
Dr. Maya Novak:
It depends how dirty they are?
Thank you! Sometimes we’ll tap and we’ll go that’s good enough. We can tap one round and it’s like – because sometimes, you know, I don’t need to get to a zero in terms of the frustration, I just need to get to a place where I can get up and do what I need to do. So I may just tap one point for a moment, and go all right, that’ll be okay for now. I’ll go back and do more later, but that may be enough for right now. There may be times where it’s like I just feel immobilized and I may need to tap for several minutes. I may even need to tap for 20-30 minutes before I have cleared enough stuff to be able to get myself into action again. So I say do at least a little bit of tapping, even if it’s just one round a day. Just every little bit helps. So how much? If you can do more, great. Sometimes, as I said, it doesn’t take very much.
Dr. Maya Novak:
I know that women and men around the world are getting so much from this conversation, but I also know that there might be some people who are not so optimistic about their healing. So what would you say to someone who is losing hope about their recovery?
I would take whatever that feeling might be. It may be despair. Rate it on a scale of zero to 10. I’m a 10, it’s never going to get better. Even though I feel this despair and tap through, and shifts will happen. I can’t say that in a couple of minutes you’re going to go, I’m going to heal tomorrow, I just know it, I feel that confidence. It may be but, to me, any relief we can allow ourselves – and sometimes there are some things that we might not recover from. It’s allowing ourselves to then make as much peace with that as possible. So I might even have someone say even though I may never recover, I choose to love and accept myself. All this fear that I’ll never recover, all this acceptance that I’ll never fully recover. So if I break my arm and it may be that for some reason, it’s not going to completely heal, it’s allowing myself to make as much peace with that as possible. Because we can go out there and we can see people with physical disabilities, physical challenges that are not going to be cured, and yet these people are happy and productive and living full lives. So we may say okay, I’m going to make peace with it – and that’s not to say that – you know part of us – and I’ll encourage people, go ahead and tap while we’re talking here because as I say this I can imagine people going don’t even say that! There’s this fear of if I accept where I’m at right now, then I’m just resigning myself to it. I’m giving up and I just won’t heal. My body will say oh, well if you’re not upset about it, I’m not going to bother to heal. No. Your body is going to heal as well as it can as you give it the freedom to do so. All of these uncomfortable feelings and the anxiety and the frustration tend to limit our ability to heal. That does not speed up healing. It does not promote healing. It gets in the way. So as we clear those things, our body will heal as much as it can. There may be some things that we just might not recover from and for us to go okay, well if my body isn’t going to completely heal, then I’m just not going to heal completely emotionally either. I’m going to be injured, or disabled, and upset about it. And hey, if that’s where you’re at, that’s not to place any judgment about it. I just want to put it out there as an invitation and opportunity that there are people who are on their deathbeds and have great peace of mind and are receiving and giving love to the people around them. Not that that’s the right way and that you should do that – but if you’re open to it, allowing yourself to go okay, even if I never recover I am going to clear whatever I can emotionally so that I can be in as much acceptance as I can. That might just create the opening for a miraculous healing that no one else expected and I’m going to be okay if it’s not. But it is not a matter of resigning ourselves. It’s not a matter of I’m going to give up. It’s not a matter of oh well, I’ll just stop taking the medication, and I’m going to stop exercise and I’m going to stop doing … no. But you’re doing it from a place of love. It’s like hey, I love my body. I’m going to take as good care of it as I can and I’m going to feel as good as possible.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, and there is definitely a difference between acceptance and giving up. They are two completely different things. If you accept something you are not actually giving up. It’s just that you are making it so much easier for you to go through this with more grace and with flow than just trying to push it through.
Absolutely and thank you for saying that. Yeah, absolutely, there is a huge difference between acceptance because what we resist persists. That’s why so often people don’t want to say the negative. Just like the dog poop on the carpet. Pretending it’s not there, you cannot clean it up. Recognizing it’s there and saying there’s dog poop there, that’s acceptance but that’s not saying oh, I accept that there’s dog poop and now I’m just going to leave it there and it’s going to be forever. No, by accepting that it’s there, I can now do something about it and I’m going to do whatever I can and it may be that there are certain things that I can’t do anything about. That’s why the Serenity Prayer is so profound. I accept the things that I cannot change, I choose to have the courage to have the things that I can change because I’m not giving up, but I’m not going to be in despair over things that I have no control over.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Mm-mm. Yes, and I usually explain this with a ball under water. We all have been to the beach or the pool with a ball in the water and if we are trying to push it down – it can be fun if we are floating on it – but sooner or later it’s going to explode out of the water. So if we are just trying to push the emotions down and not talk about them, not think about them, sooner or later they’re going to explode.
Yeah, and that’s – to be clear – so when we’re tapping we’re not trying to avoid feelings like oh, I’m trying to make the anger go away and pretend it’s not there or mask it. This is not a band-aid, this is a matter of exploring what’s going on underneath. What am I afraid of underneath so that I can actually get to the root of the issue and really heal as opposed to just trying to avoid it. It’s not even a matter of trying to get rid of something that’s bad. Even though the frustration is uncomfortable, as I said in that tapping round, I choose to honor my feelings. There’s a reason why we have our emotions. But allowing our self to look at it and go okay, it’s an uncomfortable feeling and I’d like to move through it as quickly as possible. I love and appreciate all of me, even when I feel sadness and anger and guilt. I don’t want to hang out there any longer than I have to, so I want to find out what might be there and move through that.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Beautiful. To slowly wrap up, I do have two more questions for you. One of them is what is your number one advice that you would give someone who is injured right now trying to heal beautifully from this physical injury?
So the thing I always want to try to impart to people is learning to love yourself, and part of self-love is self-compassion. So having compassion for yourself in this process. Not beating yourself up for how long it’s taking you to recover. Not beating yourself up for having gotten injured in the first place – especially when it seems like a stupid thing. So many injuries come from I can’t believe I’m so stupid, because that might then – the recovery period might be longer because part of us might be trying to punish ourselves. Oh, I should take a long time recovering because I was such a moron. So having compassion for ourselves and going you know what, I’m doing the best I can. I’ve been doing the best I can. I’m always doing the best I can. I’m along myself to do better because I can always learn to do better. So having that compassion for ourselves and that love for ourselves will really help to stimulate more healing, physically and emotionally.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Beautiful. So the last question is more of a fun question, and that is if you were stuck on a desert island with, of course, an injury and you could bring only one thing that would help you heal perfectly, what would that be?
Man, it might depend on the injury. If it was a broken leg I’d want a splint, but I might want codeine – because I know that I’d have my – unless the injury was having my hands cut off – but this I would already have. So maybe it would be something to entertain me during the process of recovery - a good book, or a friend, or a loved one. Something’s that’s like okay, I don’t know it’s going to take me to heal but as long as I can have some pleasant distraction during that time.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, and keeping yourself calm so that the body can do what it knows best to heal.
Exactly, get out of the way of the healing.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, that’s so true. Brad, thank you so much. For those who are really interested to explore more about your work and to find out more about you, can you share please where people can find more about your work?
Certainly, thank you. So the easiest way is to go to my website, which is simply tapwithbrad.com. I went through so many web addresses and everyone kept saying, oh I tell my friends tap with Brad, tap with Brad and it was like hmm. So just tapwithbrad.com and you’ll find all of my resources there. You’ll find links to my YouTube channel and you can just go onto YouTube and put in Brad Yates:, or put in EFT or tapping and chances are some of my videos are going to come up. I have a lot of colleagues who have wonderful videos as well on all kinds of subjects. So it’s a great way to just follow along and use this process to clear out those things that get in the way of feeling good, physically and/or emotionally.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Oh beautiful. Brad, I so enjoyed our conversation. Thank you so much for being here and for sharing your knowledge.
My pleasure. Thank you; it’s been a lot of fun for me. I hope that folks watching have enjoyed it and thank you for being open to this tapping process because as you allow yourself to heal it’s going to benefit you and all kinds of others. And thank you so much, Maya, for creating this program and for this opportunity to share this work.
Dr. Maya Novak:
Thank you for tuning into today’s episode with Brad Yates. If you haven’t done it yet, subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you’re using to tune in. Of course, also remember to share this episode with your loved ones and help them out. To access show notes, links, and transcript of today’s talk go to mayanovak.com/podcast. To learn more about The Mindful Injury Recovery Method visit my website mayanovak.com and find my book Heal Beyond Expectations on Amazon. Until next time – keep evolving, blooming, and healing.