Tap to Sleep – Overcoming sleep anxiety with Laurie Santos
If I had to name one good thing from this pandemic, it would be meeting Laurie Santos.
Laurie Santos is an internationally accredited EFT practitioner aka Emotional Freedom Technique, Tapping practitioner, and a manifestation coach.
She is originally from the San Francisco Bay area and has a master's in Justice and Criminology. Laurie served as a federal probation officer for nearly 10 years before she went into life coaching.
That story still blows my mind.
In 2002, Laurie discovered the world of life coaching and felt called to certify as a coach and leave the world of law enforcement behind. She has had her coaching practice for 20 years now and has lived around the world coaching people in person and remotely. . She has called Spain, Kuwait, Angola and the Netherlands her home.
Laurie now runs her practice full-time out of her home in the Netherlands, and teaches her three-step Tap, Visualize and Magnetize method to her clients and groups. She helps them to overcome feelings of anxiety, fear, confidence issues, as well as impostor syndrome.
What is Tapping?
Now, you might be wondering “What exactly is tapping?”.
The real meaning behind tapping is Emotional Freedom Techniques. Gary Craig was the creator of Emotional Freedom Techniques, and he streamlined a system from a clinical psychologist Dr. Roger Callahan called Thought Field Therapy.
Basically, EFT is a tapping technique, which a lot of people call "emotional acupuncture".
We all have meridians that run through our bodies, which are energy pathways. These pathways can be blocked and put out of balance. You might feel like you don't have clarity in your thoughts or feelings, confidence or focus.
Most of the time that energy system has gotten out of balance because of some unprocessed emotions we have sucked up or are suppressing.
Oftentimes, it's trauma.
And through tapping, we can activate and balance those meridian points.
It's said in EFT that pretty much everything that you're experiencing in your life, whether it's chronic pain, a phobia, or sleep issues- all of these have an emotional base to them.
How do you tap?
Spoiler alert: go to minute 28 on the podcast episode or the video to tap with us and try it for yourself.
In tapping, you usually use a script created by Gary Craig. This script shows you how to tap on all of the meridian points in one basic combination, one basic recipe.
That way you don't have to remember all of the different combinations for all the problems that you have, while simultaneously offering you the right language to help you - hopefully - identify that core cause and clear it out of the body.
How do you know you cleared it? You feel more energized, you feel like you've got open pathways all of a sudden in your mind, in your spirit, in your body, to do things that you couldn't do before.
So, when people start tapping, they might notice that they feel hot, they might notice that they feel cold, they might notice that they feel sleepy or tired or they might feel really exhilarated. It depends on the issue that they're tapping on and how long that issue has been hanging around.
Do you need an EFT practitioner to tap?
You can absolutely self-tap on these points on the head, body and face. However, if you don't know the language that goes with the EFT tapping, and you don't know how to find and identify the core cause of your symptoms, you might experience some relief that will last a few days. But it will resurface again.
Sneaking Up on The Trauma
Having my own history of PTSD and visits to several talk therapists, what fascinates me the most about EFT is that you can get those emotions and blocks out of your system without really doing much analysis and talking about it.
You don't have to sit there and talk to a therapist. You just tap your way through. This might sound a bit “woo-woo” but it absolutely isn't.
It's totally scientific.
We are energy, that’s just science, and if you get things moving so they can come out, it just calms down your entire system.
Laurie explains that in EFT, they refer to this as “sneaking up on the trauma”.
EFT coaches use certain techniques, one in particular called the movie technique, to sneak up on that trauma without you having to talk about it.
While you're tapping, you know the topic you're talking about, but you might not necessarily be talking about the event or topic in detail, because we're sneaking up on it.
You're creating this psychological, energetic and physical distancing from the trauma.
The brain feels like retriggering is happening so it wants to stop, but because you're rebalancing those meridians, and you're working with your energy, the brain soon understands that it is safe.
So, when you bring a topic to a practitioner, one of the things that they’ll keep asking you is:
Do you feel safe?
They're hyper-focused on the emotional, mental and physical safety that you experience.
At the same time, by using a specific script, the practitioner makes sure not to ignore your fears and the part that feels unsafe. So, they are simultaneously acknowledging and honouring both sides of you.
Different Tapping Points
Each tapping point signifies something different.
So for example, if you’re tapping your wrist point, that helps with anxiety. As soon as you notice anxiety popping up. You can just start tapping on the wrist and that will start to bring that anxiety down.
Each tapping point, each meridian point is associated with a different organ in the body.
And if you have emotions that are not processed (emotions are "energy in motion" e-motion) they will continue to stack up and stack up and they have to go somewhere. So they will be stored somewhere in the body.
Emotions tend to store, for example, in the spleen, the liver, the stomach, or the heart.
Each of our tapping points correlates with those organs: anger is in the belly and sadness and grief are housed and stored in the heart, for example.
So, if you have long periods of unprocessed anger or long periods of unprocessed sadness, it will build up there.
And active tapping starts to loosen up all that stagnation.
And when you experience the loosening up at that stagnation, that's when you feel redirected and balanced again, and your sleep starts to become better and more regulated, for example, and you get lots of other payoffs, like more confidence, more assurance, more focus and clarity.
I personally tap several times a week and I have been able to clear a lot of stored emotions with Laurie's help. Anxiety was one of my big ones.
Tapping is a wonderful, super-easy-to-use tool. Try it out.