I liked this book. There was a lot to recognise and a lot to reflect on. It doesn’t get a full score from me for a couple of reasons, so let me just address those quickly first:
- I don’t feel this is a very thorough introduction to the practice of energy tapping, as it doesn’t really explain what it is/what it’s based on properly. I mean, there are studies referenced on why it’s beneficial, but it never really goes into what tapping is, as such. And it doesn’t explain what the points Ortner uses correspond to. As I happen to be studying energy/meridian tapping I happen to know a little bit about this already, but if I hadn’t I would have missed some more (thorough) background.
- It’s a little… American. By which I mean it’s slightly sensationalist, in my opinion. It’s like it’s an anti-diet book that makes you lose weight by… magic. I’m exaggerating of course, but it kind of makes it seem like by tapping, I will begin to crave carrots rather than chocolate. Let’s just say that hasn’t happened so far. I do think there’s a lot of merit to tapping to clear limiting beliefs and old patterns, and cement new beliefs and patterns, and I definitely think it can be a valuable tool in the process of loving yourself and respecting your body – I just think you need more than tapping.
Short intro on energy tapping
So, energy tapping is based on traditional Chinese medicine, and the concept of Qi. If you’re familiar with acupuncture/acupressure, energy tapping uses these same meridian points, but only stimulate them with a gentle tap. The meridians are the paths that life energy (Qi) flows through our bodies. The idea is that we have an energy body that exists around the space of our physical body, and by interacting with the energy body and stimulating the meridian points we can get our energy moving. We can loosen up things (thoughts, feelings, physical sensations) that are stuck in our energy system and strengthen positive energy flows by feeding the energy body with positive energies and affirmations.
I consider myself fairly alternative, but I still think this sounds kinda weird. But then again, our bodies and our minds are kind of weird and there’s tons of stuff we cannot explain through traditional Western medicine either. All I can say is that from my experience, energy tapping works. As in, it has a marked positive influence, and can be really helpful to do if you’re feeling stressed or worried.
Back to the book review
In The Tapping Solution… Jessica Ortner goes through how we can use tapping to deal with body confidence issues, cravings, stress and trauma.
The book is well-written and divided into clear sections and easy to follow. And despite what I said about the book being overly enthusiastic I really do like Jessica Ortner. She seems like such a nice and genuine person, and I really believe she wants to help people. She also includes links in the book to lots of extra (free) material on her website, which is a nice bonus.
It covers important topics like dealing with emotional eating, limiting beliefs and past events, finding pleasure in moving your body, taking care of yourself, and food myths. I’ve been reading this simultaneously with Intuitive Eating, and it’s interesting to see how much they overlap in content and overarching ideas. Since Intuitive Eating is written by dieticians and has a lot of science and examples to back up what they’re writing, I find it comforting and encouraging that these different approaches/angles basically lead to quite similar conclusions. It makes me feel surer that a “non diet” approach is really what makes the most sense for both physical and mental well-being in the longer term.
I don’t think tapping by itself will solve anyone’s body issues, but I do think it’s a powerful tool to help investigate how we got to where we are, why we believe what we do, why we’re feeling what we are and to start to open up and change those things. Some of the sections and questions definitely made me re-examine and re-evaluate things that have happened in my own past that have led me down this path, and I found that really helpful.
There’s also a bunch of suggested tapping patterns (with phrases) you can use throughout the book if you’re having trouble getting started. Tapping works best when you find your own words and phrases and you are as specific as possible, but this can be a good starting point if you’re not sure what to say.
If you want to feel more empowered and confident, healthier and less stressed, this book can definitely help you on the way (though I’m not going to say it’ll make you lose weight – but then again that’s not really the primary objective even though it’s in the title). I’m sure I’ll be coming back to it both for myself and when I start helping others to deal with their body issues.