Ep. 6: Brad Yates – Overcoming Emotional Distress with EFT When Healing an Injury

Did you know there’s a form of self-acupuncture that you can do at home? In fact, you can try it as you’re listening to this episode.

There’s a life force flowing throughout your body and it’s known to many cultures and religious traditions. In Chinese medicine it is called ‘qi’ (chi), in Japan ‘ki,’ and in India, ‘prana’.

This life energy is transported in your body through meridians which are energy channels.

Modern science and Western medicine denied the existence of these BUT in recent years, science finally caught up. Meridians do exist in the body and have now been “discovered” through CT imaging, X-rays, and the study of human anatomy

Of course, traditional medicine has been using this knowledge for thousands of years, and one of the best known methods of manipulating the energy flowing through meridians is acupuncture. But there’s a similar form that’s also getting more and more recognized, although not so many people understand the similarites – emotional freedom technique, or tapping.

Brad Yates is an emotional freedom techniques expert and he helps people release any blocked energy with tapping or emotional freedom technique. He has over 1000 videos on his YouTube channel and is well-known in the field of EFT.

In today’s episode, we talk about the emotional distress that comes along with injuries, how this affects recovery, and how you can simply help yourself when healing any physical trauma.

Tune in… 

Show notes & links

The show notes are written in chronological order.

  • Brad Yates’ website: https://www.tapwithbrad.com
  • Brad Yates’ books:
  • The Tapping Solution
  • Dr. Roger Callahan – the founder of Thought Field Therapy (TFT) [discover more here and here] – TFT was discovered and developed by California clinical psychologist, Dr. Roger Callahan. It works with nature’s healing system combining the acupressure meridian system and modern psychology. TFT uses nature’s healing system to balance the body’s energy system.

0:00 – excerpt from the episode
1:25 – 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:
I'm very excited about today's episode because I have a feeling that besides this being a very helpful episode for you listeners, we are also going to have some fun. Today I'm joined by Brad Yates who is an emotional freedom techniques expert and is known internationally for his creative and often humorous use of emotional freedom techniques. Brad is the author of the bestselling children's book The Wizard Wish, and the co-author of the bestseller 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 tele seminars with The Secret stars Bob Dough and Dr. Joe Vitale, and has been heard internationally on a number of internet radio talk shows. Brad is also a very busy-bee and has well over one thousand videos on YouTube that have been viewed over gazillion times... probably over 30 million, but I don't know - Brad will tell you. So, Brad, thank you for joining me!

Brad Yates:
Thank you, Maya. It's always great to talk to you.

Dr. Maya Novak:
So how many million views? I think a gazillion is kind of a good description.

Brad Yates:
Not quite gazillion. No, it just recently went over 40 million.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Ok. Well, there you have it.

Brad Yates:
It's a start. [chuckles]

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah. [chuckles] So we've done a couple of interviews before and I've always loved how simply but so effectively you explain EFT. But before we go into EFT and everything, I want to start by asking you something, and I don't think that I ever asked you this: why did you go and actually how did you decide to go to Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Clown College? Because I’d say that this is a bit unusual decision. But maybe I'm wrong.

Brad Yates:
[chuckles] Doesn't everybody go to clown college?

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, exactly! [chuckles]

Brad Yates:
You know, I was in LA, l was trying to make it as an actor and I heard about the auditions for Clown College and I thought, “That sounds fun, why not?” And I actually got in. So it was great. You know I've always enjoyed doing comedic acting and so I thought this would be beneficial and it was really amazing. It was a two month process, spending every day in makeup, throwing pies, juggling, doing slapstick and all kinds of fun things.

Dr. Maya Novak:
So I'm hearing that you are definitely not regretting your decision. No.

Brad Yates:
Not in the least.

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
Yeah, no. It was awesome. Now to be fair, the idea of clown college was that you would sign a contract, because the whole purpose of clown college was designed to develop new clowns for the show for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. So you sign a contract at the beginning saying “You're going to go through this training and if you were selected to go on the road you go on the road.” Which means a year-long contract of living in a 3 by 6 foot train compartment. So at the end, of the two months and we're about to do the big show under the big top for Kenneth Feld the owner of Ringling Brothers and Disney on Ice, and all kinds of other entertainment things. I was one of the two MCs of the show and a featured performer, so I was out there more than a lot of folks. And the morning of the show, I said to the director of clown college: “So here's the deal...” [laughs] I know I was a little bit older than some of the other people. I wasn't the oldest in the group but I may have been 30 at that time and a lot of these kids were like 18 to 24. And I was living with my girlfriend at the time who’s now my wife and so I'm like, “I know I may not be the most outstanding clown but I know that I stand out in this show. And I don't want to go on the road.” [chuckles] And he said, “Well you signed the contract.” So I was apparently not quite what they were looking for in terms of the road show. So I was not offered a contract, I was rejected... [starts tapping]

Dr. Maya Novak:
[chuckles and taps as well] So let’s tap on this.

Brad Yates:
… which was fine. Yes. Because it's exactly what I wanted, because I didn't want the contract. I had realized at that point I really didn't want the contract. So I manifested not being selected to go on the road with the circus. That's my story. [laughs]

Dr. Maya Novak:
Well, that's your story. [laughs] So would you say that this experience and these studies are now helping you in your work in what you do?

Brad Yates:
Absolutely. And I couldn't necessarily point out specifics because as we were saying earlier, I don't have a great memory for specifics. But I know that it has influenced me in in a lot of different ways. Probably more ways than I am aware of. And even before I had gone to clown college, I had done a certain amount of comedy as an actor and so there's always been a draw to that and finding the lighter side of things.

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
So to me, it's like when we're doing the tapping we're often dealing with things that are very upsetting and things we don't want to address. So the humor is the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Mhm. Oh, definitely and since we are here focusing on injured people and also medical professionals - I mean in physical trauma there is a lot of turmoil happening. A lot of emotions going on so it's not just rainbows and unicorns and you can be the most positive person, but after a week or two, a month, two months, three months... sooner or later something comes up for an average person, right? So I do agree with you that it's so important to be able to bring a bit of lightness into dark matters, into dark topics.

Brad Yates:
Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Maya Novak:
So talking about these emotions. On average, when we are talking about emotions they are usually put in 2 different categories - one is positive emotions and the other one is negative emotions. Now I know that you don't like to use the word negative. So can you explain why this is and what do you use instead?

Brad Yates:
Yeah, so I prefer to use the term uncomfortable emotions. But to say that there are good emotions and bad emotions, to put that kind of judgment on it dismisses the purpose of those emotions because we are designed to have the full spectrum. They're there for a reason. They're there to let us know that there's something that needs to be addressed. So I'll look at a so-called negative emotion like anger and say it's like a smoke detector. And that's there to let us know if there is a fire in the house. So if the smoke detector is going off, either there's a fire that needs to be put out or the batteries need to be changed. There's something that needs to be addressed and we don't want to ignore it. And we wouldn't say about a smoke detector, “Oh, that's a negative device. We shouldn't have that.” Yeah, it's a really good idea to have those in our houses.

Dr. Maya Novak:
It is a helpful thing... [chuckles]

Brad Yates:
It's a very helpful thing that can protect us. Now, what happens is a lot of times when that alarm is going off, when we get into that place of anger, it's not that there's a fire it's that the batteries need to be changed. But we're so used to responding in an upset way that we don't notice that and we're aware of the damage that can happen. But that's like if your smoke alarm went off and you said, “Oh, it's so loud. I need to drown out that noise.” And I grab pots and pans and I start banging on them to try to drown out the noise of the alarm and I'm not dealing with the issue I'm just trying to overcome it. Or I'm sticking cotton in my ears or something like that, trying to avoid it and not looking for what's going on there. So rather than just going and saying, “Oh yes that noise is just an awful noise. That's why it's such a negative device,” No, it's very helpful device. So all of these emotions are helpful for letting us know “Hey, there's something either that needs to be addressed - a fire that you should put out, a problem that needs to be solved - or there's a misunderstanding going on.” But we get into that emotional state and we can't… and the more emotional we get the less clearly we think. The prefrontal cortex where our rational thinking is goes offline and we're just responding, going to fight or flight. So the tapping helps us calm down that emotion so that we can look at it and say, “All right, what's going on?” The fire alarm’s going off, so I'm going to walk through the house and I'm going to smell for smoke. I'm going to look for flames. I'm going to see if there's really a problem and then I'm going to check the batteries and see if that's what's going on, but there's something that needs to be addressed and I'm allowing myself to think clearly so that I can really find what's going on there.”

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, I completely agree because very often when we say that something is positive and something is negative, it's either good or it's bad. So we want to be on the good side and we want to avoid the bad side as much as possible. Which can lead to people actually pushing aside uncomfortable emotions and not wanting to deal with them because “I don't want to be on the bad side”, right? “I don't want to be in the negativity. So I'm just going to play as everything is perfect. And I'm going to pretend that everything is perfect and then everything is going to be perfect.” If only it worked that way.

Brad Yates:
Yes, I'm going to break my leg and I'll go to the doctor and I'm going to say, “Let's talk about my arm. My arm feels so good, feel that muscle right there. Man, that arm feels good.” “What about your leg?” “No, no, no, we're not going there.” Because what you resist persists.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, this is really a great comparison because it's exactly like that. So when we are dealing with something we do have to go there and sit with that and deal with it. And then it's going to be better. Otherwise, it's going to come back and kick us or bite us or whatever it’s going to happen, right?

Brad Yates:
Yeah. I mean especially if we’re talking about injuries. You know if you break your leg, you don't want to just ignore it and just hope it’ll solve itself.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, yes. [chuckles]

Brad Yates:
“Walking is going to be very difficult from this point forward.” [laughs]

Dr. Maya Novak:
Well, since we're talking about emotions. What is the connection between emotions and healing and why is it so important that we do deal with uncomfortable emotions?

Brad Yates:
Well, our body has a natural healing capacity. I know you know this and everyone else knows it on some level, but we do have this natural ability to heal. And the more we get out of our way, the more effectively and efficiently the body can heal itself or do whatever healing is necessary. There may be other things that need to be done - we may need a doctor to reset a bone that's been broken. So it's not just the body doing everything. But for the body to do what it needs to do in terms of repairing and recovering, the less energy that is going into uncomfortable feelings and ruminating about upsetting things where there's no benefit, and just taking on that stuff, that can slow down the healing process. You know when we're in a state of stress our immune system is lowered. So there's all kinds of ways that stress, and all of the uncomfortable emotions have a stress element to them. That's how we know that we're feeling some this. There's some level of stress. We call it different things depending on the circumstances. But it's some level of stress and so a certain amount of energy is going into self-protection and we only have so much energy, so much of a workforce. And it's like, “Okay, am I going to spend it on recovery or protecting myself from something that may not be a threat?” And whatever forces are going towards protection are being taken away from healing.

Dr. Maya Novak:
And I think it's very important to also talk about that when and where we are feeling threatened, it doesn't mean that there is actually a physical threat happening. We can be in a very positive environment, however, what is happening internally with us can be a huge threat. Would you agree?

Brad Yates:
Oh yeah, 99% of the time. [chuckles] Most of the times that we are in a stress experience and feeling threatened there probably isn't an actual physical threat. So there's this little part of the brain called the amygdala that responds to threat that looks for threats and when a threat is perceived puts us into fight or flight. It says “Warning, we're in danger. We need to either run faster, fight harder, or freeze and play dead.” All of this thinking about different options and strategies “Yeah, we don't have time for that.” We need all of the resources going into self-protection mode. And that was a really useful development in the brain hundreds of thousands of years ago when we were in life-threatening situations on a daily basis. Most of us don't live in life-threatening situations on a daily basis now and so the things that are putting us into fight or flight… because the amygdala can't tell the difference. So we're responding to somebody you know says something that we misunderstand. And we take offense and so there’s not a fire, it's just batteries that need to be changed. But the alarm is still going off.

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
So I would say that most of the time for most of us the stress that we experience, the fear that we feel is based on a misunderstanding, and it's all going on inside as opposed to something outside being threatening.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes. So these uncomfortable emotions - you often say that they are not only manifested in the body but also in the mind. Is this what you're talking about or can you go a bit deeper into this topic?

Brad Yates:
Yeah, so it's the idea that it's not what happens, it's our thoughts about what happens.

Dr. Maya Novak:
So it’s our perception.

Brad Yates:
Our perception. And it's not that we're bad or stupid. It's the programming we have. We have been taught to think certain things about everything you know. [chuckles] And a lot of what we've been taught ain’t necessarily so. What we've been taught to think, you know “This is good. This is bad.” As Hamlet said “Nothing's good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
“So what is it about this that I think is bad?” And based on that perception, based on that old programming about what's good or what's bad, what's threatening and what's not, I then experience what I call an emotion. It's that feeling, because emotions aren't something that we just think, we feel them in the body. But they are totally connected with our thoughts. We don't have an emotion about something if we're not having a thought at some level about it. You know all of the uncomfortable emotions have fear underneath them - anger, sadness, all of these uncomfortable feelings - there's a level of fear underneath. And so something in our brains is saying “I am in danger and that's why I should feel this way and have this experience.”

Dr. Maya Novak:
So would you say that the thought is there first and then the feeling or emotion comes, or are emotions and feelings happening first and then thoughts? What are your thoughts on that? [chuckles]

Brad Yates:
Yeah, and I've seen people argue one way or the other. It seems to me that the emotion is a response to a particular thought. But we are not aware of the thought, so we are more likely to be aware of the emotion before that. If we're walking along the street and we see a dog and we have a panic attack – it’s like “Oh, I have this feeling!” And I may not be consciously aware of it but it's because I have a program it in my mind saying that dogs are threatening to me. Maybe because I was attacked by a dog as a child or whatever.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Or your mom was afraid of a dog and then you accepted that dogs are dangerous.

Brad Yates:
Absolutely. It's either our experience or what we have picked up from other people. But dogs don't cause that emotion because someone else can be walking along, going “Oh, look at the dog,” and they feel this wonderful sense of joy seeing that dog. So dogs don't create fear - it's our thoughts about dogs that create fear. But we aren't likely to go, “Oh, there's a dog. That's right - mom was afraid of dogs. Oh, okay, now I feel afraid.” [chuckles] It’s so quick that… is it happening simultaneously? Is there an emotion first and then the thought happens, or is there a thought first? To me it’s like “I'm not sure that really matters.” You know it's a chicken and egg situation. I don’t know. All I'm aware of is I have this feeling and I'm unlikely to change the thought because part of me says, “My thoughts have gotten me this far. What I believe about dogs, and injuries, and money, and people, and all of this - my operating manual has gotten me this far and it may not be perfect, my life might be crap, but hey, it's mine. I'm familiar with it. I know how it works and so I am not likely to try to change that.” So if I try to change my mind I have a stress response. The idea of being comfortable around dogs might really upset me because now it’s like “That changes everything in my life! I've spent my whole life being afraid of dogs and believing that they're not safe. And I can't imagine what life would be like other than that. I might start dating somebody who has a dog and I'd have a dog in the house all the time. Yeah, I can't have that.” All kinds of thoughts might be going on. So it's allowing ourselves to deal with that stress. So that's why we do the tapping - to calm down the stress response and that automatic fear response. And then we can look at them and go, “Okay, let's look at this fear of dogs. Why do I think that it's necessary? Why did mom think it was necessary? What happened to her?” Maybe 1 dog out of the millions of dogs that she ever saw bit her, or barked at her, or whatever it might have been. And so allowing yourself to then look at that and go, “Okay, I'm responding out of proportion to the threat,” and then we can start to change our response.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, and one thing that you said, and the thing that was popping into my mind was that then we have to deal with identity and the change of identity.

Brad Yates:

Dr. Maya Novak:
And very often that is uncomfortable for people, because “Who am I without this fear? Who am I without this thought? Who am I without this anxiety?” So a lot of the times and especially when it comes to, for example, healing physical trauma, if it is chronic or if it has been happening for months or for years it is very difficult for people to actually realize who they are without this.

Brad Yates:
“Who am I without this injury? Who am I without this physical limitation?” Yeah, it again - it's that thing that's comfortable and even if it feels crappy, it's familiar.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, even if it feels crappy, it's familiar. Exactly.

Brad Yates:
Yeah. “I've got this bum knee and everybody knows me as this guy who's got the bum knee and if I don't have that bum knee then who am I? It's been something to talk about. It's been something that's gotten me out of certain things I might not want to do. It…” You know there's all kinds of… you know, “I've used this as an excuse for not achieving certain levels of success” or whatever it might be. Take that away and I’d have to rethink so many different things. There are expectations of me and so that feels very threatening. Even just talking about it. If everyone took their pulse right now - even just my talking about it like that, people are having response “Oh, yeah” [chuckles]

Dr. Maya Novak:
[laughs] I know they are because it's true. I mean, all of these things that you said - it's exactly what people are going through. Because it's comfortable even if it sucks. Sorry to use this word.

Brad Yates:
Absolutely. We call it our comfort zone even though it's like there's nothing comfortable about it. It's like broken glass. There's no comfort here. “Yes, but it's my broken glass. I've got all these little indentations around my body where the broken shards fit so that I can manage it.” So it's acknowledging that and saying, “All right, there's a part of me that feels very uncomfortable.” And I may experience that in different ways. I may feel sadness about the past. I may feel anger about being asked to make changes. All kinds of different fears going on about how things will be different if I'm not the person that I think I am. I'm going to get up in the morning look in the bathroom mirror and I'm going to be calling 9 1 1 saying, “There's a stranger in my house. I don't know how to deal with that, so I will find ways to hang on to things. I will find ways to hang on to limitations and it may be even in terms of recovering from an injury.” “I don't want to heal too fast” because there may be secondary gain. There may be a certain level of sympathy that I'm getting, people taking care of me… There's all kinds of different reasons why we might slow down the healing process.

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
Because we're getting some kind of benefit that consciously we would say, “Oh that's nonsense! Why on Earth would I want that? I would never… Me? No! I want to heal right away.” But based on our programming, I like to say that if we could look at any decision that we're making or any decision that we've made in the past, and if we could open the brain and look at all the neural pathways and all of the experiences leading up to that moment. You would look at it and even if you think it's the worst thing you've ever done, if you could analyze all of the things leading up to it, you’d go, “Oh yeah, I see why I did that. I see why I made that choice.”

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
In that moment, based on everything I have experienced - all of my personal experiences, all the things I've picked up from other people, all the information and misinformation - that seemed like the only viable option.

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
“And now I can change my mind about things and I can make different choices moving forward. But I did the best I could at that time.” Even in terms of healing, it's like, “Oh, I should have healed faster. I should have done better with my physical therapy. I should have been more careful with my nutrition. I should have stayed away from certain things.” But again if you went back and looked at everything leading up to that, you would see why either you were just acting out of habit or there may even be a part of you that was saying, “Yes, this will slow down my healing and that feels important to me at this point.”

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes. So more than 2 decades ago my first yoga teacher said something I remember and this stayed with me till this day. He said it so beautifully in regards to… “Well, if you fall out of the Asana or whatever happens, you just got another opportunity to change and to try again.” So it doesn't matter what was happening in the past and the things you should or shouldn't have done. Right now, this moment matters. Here is where we can create this change.

Brad Yates:

Dr. Maya Novak:
So let's talk about EFT. Emotional Freedom Technique is already well known and if we had a conversation like this ten years ago, I would ask you to explain what is EFT and if you can talk about it, but I want to go in from a different perspective. How about if we try with meridians? With energy meridians and how they are connected to EFT?

Brad Yates:
So for thousands of years in Chinese medicine they've said there's a flow of energy through the body. This life force called Chi and it's flowing through these pathways that are called meridians. Just like our veins and arteries are the pathways for blood, so meridians are these channels of energy through our body, and when we have this natural flow of energy, we experience our natural state of health and well-being, physically and emotionally. And when this energy gets damaged or blocked in some way, that's when we experience discomfort. So in traditional Chinese medicine they would stick needles in these key points to stimulate that healthy flow of energy and in EFT were just tapping with our fingertips to likewise stimulate that healthy flow of energy to clear out those blockages.

Dr. Maya Novak:
So it's actually needles-less acupuncture.

Brad Yates:
Yeah, emotional acupuncture without the needles. [chuckles] And I lot of people are like “Oh, yes, sign me up!” [laughs]

Dr. Maya Novak:
[laughs] Well I’ve had a few sessions of acupuncture in my life and it really depends on the issue that you're experiencing. They are putting needles in different parts of the body. Now with EFT, we are usually tapping on the upper body, so head and chest. But would EFT work as well if we tapped on lower legs and just talk the feelings through? You know what I mean?

Brad Yates:
Yeah, absolutely. There are meridian points all over the body. If you ever looked at a map, you know they have little models or pictures that show all the points and have the meridian lines drawn. And yeah, they're all over the body and there are different tapping modalities that use more points. I've seen a lot of people use the insides of the knees, the insides of the ankles, there are points all over the place. It's a little less convenient to be tapping on the lower legs than it is to be tapping around the face. So when Dr. Roger Callahan who first developed Thought Field Therapy, which was the precursor to Emotional Freedom Techniques, was experimenting with different meridian points on these different major meridians. And he found that these were points that were very beneficial. Are they the most beneficial? Are there other points that could be as beneficial? Yeah, probably but it's simple enough that it's not necessary to go and look… “Well, I really should tap somewhere else on the body.” And some people may feel drawn to that and that's fine.

Dr. Maya Novak:
So EFT is clearing these emotional blockages if you will. Does it also work in regard to reprocessing or reprogramming the brain, the mind? Or is it just clearing the energy?

Brad Yates:
Well, there may be different people who have different philosophies about this. To my mind it creates the opening to change our mind. Most of us have changed our minds about something at some point. Whether we decided that coffee was bad for us and then we read a report that said “Actually drinking some coffee, or a cup of coffee in the morning might have certain health benefits.” And so we may change our mind about that and it used to be “I was this totally anti-caffeine person, and now I'm okay with it.” Or people who've changed their minds about dogs “I used to be afraid of dogs and now I like dogs.” So there are things we changed our mind about. So we have that capacity to do that. The question is “What might I benefit from in terms of shifting my thought process that I'm resisting.” And when I have that resistance that's that stress response, that fear response. For example “I didn't have a huge investment in coffee - no coffee. So the idea of changing my mind about it wasn't a big deal. I might have other things I have more of an investment in, and it feels more threatening to change. So I'm not as likely to change even if I have facts in front of me. I might question those facts.” We see this all the time in society. [chuckles]

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
And so it's not that people are bad or stupid. It's that we have a connection or an investment in believing a certain thing even if there is plenty of evidence to say that it's false. Or in not believing something even though there's plenty of evidence to say that it's true. So the question is why is that resistance there. What is the fear? What is the threat? So the tapping helps us calm ourselves down and clear that feeling of threat so that we can look at it and go, “Oh, this does make more sense. This is a much more sensible way of looking at this. This is much more likely to get me the benefit that I want.” So we're creating the safety to change our minds.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Good. So how about if we do some hands-on work? What about if we tap on something - what do you suggest? What do you think would be the most beneficial? I think that the best would be like the whole rainbow, right? Because injured people struggle with so many things, with so many emotions. Should we choose the rainbow or should we focus on one thing.

Brad Yates:
Well, let's continue on with this idea about changing our mind. Let's do something around changing our mind, and we'll set it up and we'll leave it open for whatever color of the rainbow people are working on. They can just decide for themselves. So everyone go ahead and close your eyes…

Dr. Maya Novak:
Can we just…? Just for those listeners who don't know on which parts of the body we're going to be tapping; can you quickly just tell us where we're going to be tapping and what we're going to be doing?

Brad Yates:
Yes, because sadly EFT is not quite as well known as it and it should be. [chuckles] I hate to ‘should’ on anyone but it's so beneficial and it's so simple it ought to be more widely used. But for those of you who have not had the benefit of learning about it yet: what we're going to be doing is tapping with the fingertips of our index and middle finger. And the meridians run up and down both sides of the body. You could tap with both hands or you could switch back and forth. Whatever feels comfortable. Just for the sake of demonstration I'm going to go ahead and use my right hand. And we're going to start by tapping on the side of the opposite hand and this is where we do the setup. So we look at whatever might be blocking us, whatever discomfort we might be feeling, whether it's a physical discomfort or an emotional discomfort. So let's just say we're experiencing stress. And that's all I can label it as. I'm feeling stress rated on scale of 0 to 10. Let’s say it's 8. What is the physical experience of it? Let’s say I get this tension in my shoulders. Okay, now we know what we've identified what's bothering us, what's blocking our sense of peace and well-being. So we'd say: “Even though I feel this stress I choose to love and accept myself.” We'd say that 3 times and then we'd go through each of these points and we're going to tap each of these points between 5 and 10 times, depending on the wording that we might be using. It might be longer than that. So if I say “This stress,” I can easily tap between 5 and 10 times. If I say, “All this stress about this event that's coming up next week and I'm not sure I'm going to be ready for it,” we might be tapping 20 times. And it's okay, it's not like the body says “You went over this 10 times - no more healing.” [chuckles] It's just a general guideline.

So we'll mention whatever the issue is “This stress…” and tap right there the beginning of the eyebrow...
The next point is right here at the corner of the eye... “All this stress.“
Right under the middle of your eye... “All this stress.”
Under your nose... “All this stress.”
Right under your lower lip, just above the chin... “All this stress.”
Now right here where your collar bones just about come together. There's a little bit of a u shape at the base of your throat you can use all of your fingertips or even make a fist and tap that area... “All this stress.”
About four inches below your armpit just right about bra strap level, and I'm sure even the guys can figure out where that is. Act with all of your fingertips... “All this stress.”
And finally the top of your head. A lot of the meridians cross over right there. So you’re using all of your fingers, just tapping around the crown of your head... “All this stress.”

And you take a deep breath and then you check in again on a scale of 1 to 10 how stressed you are. How do I feel now? How tighter are my shoulders now, and if it was an 8 before, there are times where it'll go from an 8 to a zero just like that. [snaps his fingers] More often, it takes longer and so it may go from an 8 to a 4, or it may go to a 7.75. If we've been holding this tension in our shoulders, even a drop from 8 to 7.75 is some welcome relief. It's all good. And also what often happens is, as we're tapping, it's like peeling the layers of the onion, and we might get some insights into it. So I might be saying “All this stress, all this stress... Oh, I know what this is about. It’s that thing that happened 15 years ago and I never got over that. And now I can start clearing something I've been holding in my body for decades and something that might contribute to that bum knee,” you know [chuckles] “Oh yeah, I first got a bum knee when I was 15 and my friend did this thing and I got hurt and I decided that I can't trust my friends and my bum knee reminds me about being careful around other people.” All kinds of start of awareness can start to happen, so just allow yourself to be aware of that. But that's the process. So, in the basic version of EFT we just identify the issue: this stress, this anger. “This anger at Bob for that stupid thing he did yesterday,” whatever it might be, and then we repeat that issue on each of the points. Now we're going to play around with it a little bit more.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, so… Sorry I have a follow up question…. [chuckles]

Brad Yates:
No, absolutely!

Dr. Maya Novak:
So if someone is right now thinking about what you just shared. Maybe they're saying to themselves, “Oh, okay so I don't have to know exactly what I'm going to be tapping on because I just have to start somewhere and then through the process I might actually uncover what is beneath.” Am I understanding this correctly?

Brad Yates:
Right. Tapping is most effective when we're very specific about what's bothering us, but very often we're not aware of the specifics because part of this is trying to block us from knowing the specifics. So as we tap and we calm down the stress response, we're more likely to give ourselves permission to have insight into what's really going on and then it's like the fire alarm is going off. And we're just running around in a panic and as we allow ourselves to calm down, it's like, “Oh it's the fire alarm in the second bedroom. Okay now I can go and check that there's nothing in here. Now I can go and check if the battery is dead.” So it just gives us that permission to have greater awareness of what might be going on. But we don’t… you know, if the fire alarms are going off, we don't just sit there and go, “Okay I can't do anything until I know exactly where that’s happening.” It’s more like, “Okay I'm just going to start from where I'm at with whatever information I might have.”

Dr. Maya Novak:
This is a really good point because a lot of times we get overwhelmed by everything that is happening so instead of doing something we don't do anything because we are so overwhelmed.

Brad Yates:
Yep, and the great thing is you don't even need to come up with words if you're in a state of stress. If you're in some sort of emotional distress just tapping silently will help to calm down the nervous system so that we'll get more awareness. And even if we're don't get clarity, it’s like “I’m still not sure what's bothering me, but I feel more calm.” So don't worry about the words - it's not like, “Well, until I know the exact setup phrase I can't tap.” No. You can just start tapping through the points. You can just tap one particular point. There are times that I'll just feel drawn to tapping one particular point and just go from there.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Why I'm laughing right now is because many years ago that was exactly me. It was like, “I cannot do it because I don't know the exact words. And how many times do I have to then say…? And is there a particular special template that I need to use? Okay I don't know any of this. Okay, I'm not going to use it.” That's exactly how I was.

Brad Yates:
And it's brilliant because there is a part of us that resists moving forward and so we tell ourselves, “Oh well, until I know exactly how it works and why it works and how to do it perfectly I'm not going to do it,” because then I get to stay safely in my comfort zone. It’s brilliant. But let's knock that off.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Okay! Now we are ready.

Brad Yates:
So can I move ahead now, Maya? [laughs]

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, please do. [laughs]

Brad Yates:
[laughs] No, I'm kidding because these are great questions. I totally appreciate them because I go through it sometimes and I sometimes forget to bring up certain points and these are all great questions. Huge value.

But now, go ahead and close your eyes, take a deep breath in and hold it and let it go.
Now just allowing yourself to be present, allowing yourself to breathe comfortably, and just see what's going on and ask yourself where you might be feeling some discomfort. And as much as possible identify what you might be uncomfortable about. It may be an emotional discomfort... It may be a physical discomfort from some injury. And even with any physical discomfort that you have, allow yourself to be aware of any emotional discomfort you might have about that. You may be angry that you have this injury. You may be sad about what you think it's costing you. You may be beating yourself up about how you got the injury. Just allow yourself to be aware of any discomfort that is coming up around that. And now as much as possible, allow yourself to be aware of the thought behind that. What beliefs are telling you that you should feel this discomfort? Beyond actual physical discomfort. There are plenty of doctors that will say that a large percentage of the physical discomfort that we experience is actually caused by stress and other emotional discomfort. So allow yourself to be aware of what thoughts might be there behind that. And give yourself permission to consider changing your mind about that. “I feel this discomfort because I think this, but if I changed my mind about that ...” and notice where there might be resistance around that. Notice what discomfort you might feel about the idea of changing your mind.
What would be a more empowering thought? Allow yourself to be aware of what's going on in there, take a deep breath, open your eyes and just tap where I tap and repeat back what I say:
Even though I'm resisting changing my mind.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Should I repeat after you or should I just keep quiet so that people can repeat right now?

Brad Yates:
Either way.

Dr. Maya Novak:
I'm going to keep quiet...

Brad Yates:
Ok and that’s fine. And that’s often how it’s done in the interviews. But for everyone else watching at home, go ahead and say it out loud because when we say it out loud, we tend to be more emotionally engaged and it tends to make the process more effective. Not that it's not effective silently, but it just tends to be more effective when we're more emotionally engaged. So…

Even though I'm resisting changing my mind I choose to love and accept myself.
Even though I'm resisting change in my mind, I choose to love and honor myself.
Even though I'm resisting changing my mind, part of me might say “Resistance has nothing to do with it.” I cannot change my mind. What I believe is correct and factual and I need to stay stuck.
And even though I might be resisting change in my mind, I choose to deeply and completely love, honor and accept myself. And maybe anyone else who has convinced me about how things are.

[Eyebrow] All this resistance to changing my mind
[Side eye] All of this resistance to changing my mind
[Under eye] Because there are situations in my life
[Under nose] And things that I'm feeling
[Above chin] Physically and emotionally
[Between collarbones] That are either caused by or worsened by what I'm thinking.
[Under armpit] And part of me says,
[Top of the head] “Well, that's too bad because I have to think this
[Eyebrow] Especially if I've been thinking it for all my life.”
[Side eye] These beliefs are part of my identity.
[Under eye] So I might have some circumstance
[Under nose] That part of me would like to change
[Above chin] But it would require me changing my mind about things.
[Between collarbones] And so I keep myself stuck.
[Under armpit] To defend or justify the past
[Top of the head] For all kinds of different reasons
[Eyebrow] And it may just be part of my identity
[Side eye] And I'm too old to change
[Under eye] Or if I allow myself to change my mind
[Under nose] That means I used to be stupid.
[Above chin] If I think something new now
[Between collarbones] Doesn't that mean my thoughts were wrong in the past?
[Under armpit] And that's a blow to my ego.
[Top of the head] Part of me says that's an injury I couldn't recover from.
[Eyebrow] I'd rather experience a physical injury than an injury to my ego.
[Side eye] And I choose to change my mind about that.
[Under eye] I have been doing the best I could
[Under nose] Based on my old programming.
[Above chin] Based on old misunderstandings.
[Between collarbones] Mine or someone else's.
[Under armpit] And I'm allowing myself the benefits of changing my mind.
[Top of the head] Clearing this fear of change.
[Eyebrow] Even if change means healing.
[Side eye] Even if that positive change means feeling better in body mind and spirit.
[Under eye] Part of me says it's still change
[Under nose] And change sucks
[Above chin] Even an objectively positive change.
[Between collarbones] Still feels threatening to a part of me
[Under armpit] So I love and appreciate those parts of me
[Top of the head] That have refused to change my mind about certain things.
[Eyebrow] Even when that keeps me in either physical or emotional discomfort.
[Side eye] Even when that keeps me in discomfort in other areas of my life.
[Under eye] My thoughts and beliefs might be keeping me in financial discomfort
[Under nose] Or relationship discomfort.
[Above chin] Part of me believes that's keeping me safe.
[Between collarbones] So I choose to love and appreciate those parts of me.
[Under armpit] And I'm creating the opening
[Top of the head] To potentially see things differently.
[Eyebrow] Because there are other people out there
[Side eye] Thinking different thoughts
[Under eye] And enjoying faster recoveries
[Under nose] And all kinds of good things that I'm not experiencing
[Above chin] I don't need to defend the past
[Between collarbones] I'm just allowing myself to change my mind
[Under armpit] Wherever it might be beneficial to me
[Top of the head] Giving myself the freedom to make things better and better. In body, mind and spirit.
Take a deep breath.
Close your eyes, go inside and see what's going on in there. It's allowing yourself to see where you might have some more freedom to think in slightly different ways. And just notice how your body feels as well. Hopefully your body feels more relaxed and much more open to things being better and better. Take a deep breath and open your eyes.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Beautiful, Brad. I do feel really, really calm right now. I want to just say that for those listeners who are using only audio - every time you paused you changed the tapping point.

Brad Yates:

Dr. Maya Novak:
So they can go back...

Brad Yates:
Yes, I went through those same sequence points. But yes, starting with the eyebrow, right after the side of the hand. Yeah, starting with the eyebrow. And if you are listening to the audio, don't worry if you're not on the same point. Don't be snared thinking, “Oh, I hope I'm tapping the same point that they're tapping right now.” It's okay. It's not so exact that you won't get the benefit if you're not on the same point.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, and it's exactly what you said before we started - even if you are tapping potentially just on one point, you are doing more than if you are not tapping on any point.

Brad Yates:

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes. So are these results what we just experienced right now permanent or do we have to deal with the same thing over and over and over again?

Brad Yates:
Yeah, if you do a really good workout and strengthen your body, is that permanent? [laughs]

Dr. Maya Novak:
Of course. [laughs] You don't do this kind of workout? I mean, just one time and that's it.

Brad Yates:
To me tapping is energy hygiene. We want to do it ideally on a daily basis, just like physical hygiene. Like brushing your teeth or bathing. You don't wait until your teeth are full of green gunk, and then think, “Oh yeah, now I should brush my teeth.” We do it on a daily basis whether we can see it's necessary or not. The same with energy hygiene. And in that case as we do so, we lower our natural set point of stress. Because most of us are walking around with ambient levels of stress, and most of us are walking around with a device that constantly tells us “Here's something to be worried about.” So we're carrying a certain amount of stress. Tapping on a regular basis allows us to lower that that level and we respond much better to situations. Even physically, we're much less likely to get injured because our body is more relaxed.

Dr. Maya Novak:
So let me ask you this: should we – well, you know how it is with should [chuckles] - but is it a good idea then to tap first thing in the morning or do we tap any time during the day, or when something comes up? What is your suggestion in regard to that?

Brad Yates:
It's like when is the best time to take a shower or when is the best time to brush your teeth? There are different times… so most of us brush our teeth in the morning. But then if we're eating something and we're about to go and meet up with somebody, we might brush our teeth again. So, I start my day first thing with some tapping and that's just to have my energy be as clear as possible. It's not just when something's upsetting. It's not like, “Oh I wake up grumpy every morning and that's why I tap first thing in the morning.” There's not some issue “Even though I woke up with an issue…” [taps the side of the palm] I just tap to be as clear as possible, to feel as good as possible. Just like brushing my teeth or taking a shower, I may not be aware of what I'm cleaning, I just want to be as clean as possible, and I want to be in energetically clean as possible. So you might find yourself doing it a couple of times throughout the day. I like to start the day with that, but a lot of people will end their day with it. Sometimes I'll end the day with some tapping… and then throughout the day if something comes up I might tap as well. You know, whether there's something upsetting, it's like, “Oh, that feels uncomfortable, I should do some tapping.” And maybe there’s times when it's just like going to get even more clear. “I'm just going to… there's nothing bothering me, but I want to see what's possible if I really let myself be even more free.”

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yeah, this is really good advice. So it's not about waiting until there is a huge fire happening and then “Quickly! Let’s tap so that there is no fire anymore,” right?

Brad Yates:
Right. Using that analogy of the smoke detector, it's like “Do I only make sure that I minimize fire hazards when the smoke detector goes off?” It's like, “Oh, the fire alarms not going off, so I'm just going to leave some paper sitting here by the stove while I'm boiling water.” [chuckles]

Dr. Maya Novak:
[laughs] “Because I have to create a problem for myself.”

Brad Yates:
Yeah. [chuckles]

Dr. Maya Novak:
“I’m a resourceful human being.”

Brad Yates:
We make good choices even before the fear response.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes! So, Brad, what is your number 1 advice that you would give someone who is recovering from any kind of physical trauma?

Brad Yates:
Hmmmm… what is the thing that I would recommend to people? [chuckles] Maya, it’s the same thing I recommend to anybody for anything. “Do some tapping.” Just to allow yourself to… you know, down regulating stress creates a greater environment for the body to heal. But it also helps us to process whatever emotions might be getting in the way of the healing process.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Yes, there are so many things that we can tap on. I mean we went into changing the mind, but there are so many emotions and feelings that we can tap on, so we can choose. There is a lot.

Brad Yates:
Yeah, yeah, no shortage of things to process.

Dr. Maya Novak:
No, that's human life exactly, every day something new. [chuckles]

Brad Yates:

Dr. Maya Novak:
So the last question that I have for you is a fun question for you as well as for me, and for listeners who are listening to this. So, let me ask you, if you were on a desert island with an injury and you could bring only 1 thing to help you heal amazingly well what would that be and why?

Brad Yates:
[laughs] Spoiler alert – we talked about this earlier and I'm actually going to give the same answer that I gave before, because I half-jokingly said to you “Painkillers.” [chuckles] It would sort of depend on what the injury was. With certain injuries there may be certain things that I would need to deal with. I might need crutches to help me walk around with a broken leg or something like that. Obviously there are a lot of people who use tapping to mitigate pain because as we clear stress, we lower pain. Depending on the injury I might like to have some chemical intervention, because the body already has what it needs to heal. So I might like to have some painkillers just to make me more comfortable in the process of healing, depending on how long that healing takes place.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Would you agree that this is definitely more beneficial in the acute state? But if you are talking about something chronical… I mean we have a really huge crisis with this.

Brad Yates:
Absolutely! Oh, absolutely. This is not me writing a prescription for you all to get on Oxycontin, you know by any means.

Dr. Maya Novak:

Brad Yates:
This is dealing with acute pain. If I have an injury where there's acute pain, I would like to be more comfortable in the process of healing. When it's a more chronic thing and it's like, “Okay now there're definitely some lifestyle changes I may need to make,” but in the moment of an injury there's intense pain the lifestyle change isn't going to do something about that in in the moment. So yes, I'm talking about dealing with that acute pain in that moment. But everything else to bring with me is already there.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Mhm. You have your fingers.

Brad Yates:
It's right there at your fingertips. [chuckles] And inside your body and so I have with me what it takes to change my mind in whatever ways I might need to in order to change certain behavior, or to allow certain types of healing to take place, giving myself permission to change my identity from somebody who's got a bum knee or whatever the issue might be. It could be all kinds of beliefs about ourselves. I have a bum knee. I'm no good at money. I'm not good at relationships. Whatever it might be in our lives. It's like, “Okay, I have within me what it takes to change that.”

Dr. Maya Novak:
Beautiful. Brad, where can people find more about you?

Brad Yates:
Ah, thank you! They can find me at tapwithbrad.com and also, it's @tapwithbrad on social media as well.

Dr. Maya Novak:
And YouTube with more than 1000 videos, so there is a lot a lot of tapping happening on that site as well.

Brad Yates:
And whatever's coming up for you there's a tap for that.

Dr. Maya Novak:
Brad, I so enjoyed our conversation and I know that listeners were enjoying this as well and that they're going to go back and re-listen to the tapping session over and over again. So thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and guiding us through.

Brad Yates:
My pleasure. Thank you for having me on. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to share this work and thank you for all the great work you do. It's been great seeing you again.

Dr. Maya Novak:
So this was Brad Yates – if you enjoyed this episode, make sure you leave a review so we can reach even more people who should be hearing these conversations. Also, hit that subscribe button on whatever platform you’re using to tune in.
That being said, if you or someone close to you is currently injured or recovering from an injury, make sure you check out my book Heal Beyond Expectations – it’s really the most complete step-by-step manual on how to apply my Mindful Injury Recovery Method. It is also a memoir of my own experience, both with my own injuries and trauma and helping other people overcome theirs. You can find out more about it on healbeyondexpectations.com, or directly on Amazon if you search for Heal Beyond Expectations. Of course, if you want to go even deeper, you can also find out more about the various self-paced programs on my main website mayanovak.com, as well as coaching options if you prefer a more personalized approach and would like to work with me 1-on-1.

Love and gratitude xx
Dr. Maya

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