How to Use EFT Tapping for Breast Cancer Treatment-Related Anxiety
When I started learning about integrative tools and strategies that I could teach my breast cancer clients to calm their treatment-related anxiety, EFT Tapping was one of the first things I came across.
As an Integrative Cancer Coach, I was drawn to it because not only was it simple to learn and to teach, but it was also very effective as an evidence-based integrative tool!
Many breast cancer patients voice that they feel lighter and more at peace after a tapping session... although, they know that their cancer is still there, often they are no longer afraid.
To me, this is so important to hear, because I know that calming the anxiety will lead to lowering stress and cortisol, giving the body the best chance to heal. Often, sleep is improved too!
What is EFT Tapping and How is it Practiced?
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping is a form of energy medicine used to remove negative emotions such as anxiety and depression from the body. It's based on the belief that there are energy fields that flow through and around your body. When these energy fields are disrupted, they can create negative emotions.
Gently tapping on specific acupressure points on our face and upper body with our fingers can release these toxic emotions. While tapping on these acupressure points, we’re repeating statements that help us focus on the issue for which we need help. This allows breast cancer patients to clear their head leading to improved sense of control and confidence.
Feelings of calmness can also boost the immune system to produce specific white blood cells known as natural killer cells which can fight cancer.
EFT Tapping can be practiced on your own or with the help of an EFT practitioner. It can easily be done at home or during cancer treatments, whenever you feel the need to release blockages caused by our internal emotions, such as anxiety. When these blockages are opened up, negative feelings can be released and move out of the body.
It’s important to note that EFT itself doesn’t cure any disease, including cancer. It’s the emotional work of letting go of negative stored emotions that helps the body heal.
If you would like to try EFT for breast cancer treatment-related anxiety, download a copy of my FREE Tapping Script here.
EFT Tapping for Breast Cancer Treatment-Related Anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most common psychological issues associated with a cancer diagnosis. It is the body’s natural response to stress... basically, it's a feeling of fear, nervousness or apprehension about something coming up.
In the case of breast cancer patients, anxiety can occur at many different stages of the cancer journey. It can be related to waiting for cancer biopsy results; the shock of receiving the initial diagnosis; undergoing treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation; and the fear of your cancer spreading.
Anxiety may also be due to worry about how the cancer may affect your relationship with your spouse and how your children may react.
Treatment-related anxiety usually occurs before chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. It's often triggered by worry or uncertainty about how the treatment is going to affect you.
Tapping works to clear out these unwanted feelings and emotions. Once these negative stored emotions are released, new and positive beliefs can take their place. Essentially, tapping allows you to take charge of your emotions.
What does the Research on EFT Tapping show?
There are over 100 studies on EFT published in peer-reviewed journals. EFT has been shown to be effective for both physiological and psychological symptoms in systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
Based on the standards of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Empirically Validated Treatments, EFT is found to be an “evidence-based” practice for anxiety, depression, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
There is a lot of research on EFT related to the treatment of anxiety. A 2016 review of 14 studies on EFT reports that people who used tapping experienced a significant decrease in anxiety.
A 2014 study evaluated EFT for improving mood in women with breast cancer receiving hormonal therapies. Forty-one participants received a three-week course of EFT, consisting of one session of 3 hours per week, followed by use of the self-tool over the next 9 weeks as required. The results indicated a statistically significant improvement in anxiety, depression and fatigue at both 6 and 12 weeks.
Try EFT Tapping for anxiety related to breast cancer treatment using my Tapping Script - download a copy of my FREE Tapping Script here.
EFT Tapping Sequence
There are the eight main tapping points on your upper body, and one point on your hand known as the karate chop spot on the heel of your hand. The other 8 points are, your eyebrow, side of your eye, under your eye, under your nose, your chin, your collarbone, under your arm, and the top of your head.
Most people tap with their dominant hand, on one side of the body, but you can tap with either hand, on either side of the body.
You want to tap lightly, but firmly. It is common to use both the index finger and the middle finger together. This will cover a good amount of area on the tapping point. You have completed a “round” of tapping when you’ve tapped on each of the points.
The first part of the tapping protocol is to close your eyes and focus on the emotion (such as fear or anxiety), pain or belief that you wish to release. You can use a scale between 1 and 10 (10 being the highest) to determine how intense the feeling or belief is.
Start by tapping on the “karate chop” spot, which is the area on the heel of your hand 10 times. You should tap firmly enough to feel it, but not hard enough to bruise your hand. As you tap your hand, repeat aloud the belief or physical pain you are dealing with while tuning in to the emotion it brings forth. Do this three times.
Follow your statement of the belief or physical pain with the affirmation, “I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
“Even though I may be holding on to resentment, I deeply and completely love and accept myself”
Once you’ve tapped the “karate chop” spot while you repeat that phrase 3 times, begin the rest of the tapping sequence while continuing to focus on the past hurt, emotion, pain or source of stress.
Tap 5 to 7 times firmly at each point. Accompany each tapping point with a statement that keeps you focused on the emotion.
Should You Try EFT for Breast Cancer Treatment-Related Anxiety?
EFT Tapping is an empowering way to cope with the anxiety from breast cancer. Tapping helps to release built up emotions surrounding the issues related to cancer, allowing for peace and clarity. It gives you the opportunity to learn to listen to your body and intuition and create a state of healing.
Tapping is a self-help tool in your toolbox which you can use to support yourself through your cancer journey.
If you would like to try EFT for anxiety related to breast cancer treatment, download a copy of my FREE Tapping Script here.
If you would like more information on how I can help you use EFT Tapping as an integrative strategy in your breast cancer toolbox, go ahead and CLICK THIS LINK to set up a call to speak with me!
Also, if you want to join a free community of people with breast cancer looking for nutrition and lifestyle strategies to encourage breast cancer recovery CLICK THIS LINK to join the Breast Cancer Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies for Prevention and Recovery to help support your journey and connect you with like-minded people.
Baqutayan, Shadiya Mohamed Saleh. The Effect of Anxiety of Breast Cancer Patients. Indian J Psychol Med. 2012 Apr-Jun; 34(2): 119-123. à https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3498772/ accessed 20-Sept-2021
Baker BS, Hoffman CJ. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) to reduce the side effects associated with tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitor use in women with breast cancer: a service evaluation. Eur J Integr Med. 2015;7:136-142.
Donna Bach, Gary Groesbeck, Peta Stapleton, Rebecca Sims, Katharina Blickheuser, Dawson Church. Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Improves Multiple Physiological Markers of Health. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine. Volume 24: 1-12.
Clond, Morgan. Emotional Freedom Techniques for Anxiety A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. Volume 204(5); May 2016 à https://evidencebasedeft.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Meta-analysis-EFT-Anxiety.pdf