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There are several forms of tapping to relieve anxiety, all of which have had clinical trials which showed them to be highly effective methods without any need for medication.

  • Thought Field Therapy (TFT Therapy)
  • Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
  • Midline Techniques (MLT)

Brief History of Tapping Therapy

Based on acupuncture points and meridian, Roger Callahan discovered that tapping certain acupuncture points in a specific order helped relieve a wide range of psychological issues and pain. He called his method, The Callahan Technique, which evolved over time to be called Thought Field Therapy (TFT Therapy). Both Fred Gallo and Gary Craig were students of Roger Callahan. Each has developed their own specific and unique methods from TFT Therapy.

Is One Tapping Therapy Method Better Than Another?

All three methods are extremely effective. In person or virtual sessions with a trained certified professional will give you personal and customized methods for your needs. If it’s not possible for you to meet in person or virtually, there are also many videos demonstrating these three methods.

Understanding the 3 Methods

All three methods look at Subjective Units of Distress (SUD). To determine your subjective level of distress, think of how anxious or miserable you are feeling on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst. Often when we are asked this question, we either don’t fully comprehend our level of distress or we underestimate or overestimate our distress.

In all three methods, there is a way of evaluating distress called “muscle testing.” In an office setting, you would be asked to extend your arm, the therapist would apply pressure to your arm in an upward or downward fashion, and then ask you to resist the pressure in the opposite direction. If you are alone, however, it is difficult to do the standard muscle testing. For those who are assessing their distress alone, what I suggest is finger testing. Placing your index fingertip and thumb together, don’t allow your fingers to pull apart. Another similar method is pushing on your index finger with your third (middle) finger. Then ask a question (whatever the stressor is). If the finger doesn’t pull apart or the index finger doesn’t move the answer is “Yes.” If the fingers pull apart or the index finger moves the answer is “No.”

Another issue is called Psychological Reversal, which relates to a psychological blockage that points to underlying actions or motivation that is in opposition to your set goal. One of the differences between Thought Field Therapy (TFT Therapy) and Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), is that in EFT the Psychological Reversal is not a part of the process.

Acupuncture Points are used in All Three Tapping Therapy Methods and the Emotions Connected to each Point.

Chart of Tapping Points on the body


All three tapping methods are extremely effective. And as mentioned above, you can learn how to do any of these methods through video demonstration or reading Fred Gallo’s newest book, The Tapping Toolbox. Dr. Diane® has reviewed this book and will appear in her next blog.
However, to gain the best and most accurate results, you should have a customized program of tapping created for you. For example, a certified clinician specializing in tapping therapy, such as Dr. Diane®, can start a plan for you virtually or in person.

Recommended Readings and Resources

Callahan, R. J. (with Trubo R.) ( 2001) Tapping the healer within. Using thought field therapy to instantly conquer your fears, anxieties, and emotional distress. Contemporary Books.

Gallo F.P. (2000) Energy diagnostic and treatment methods. W. W. Norton

Gallo F.P ( Ed.) 2002 Energy Psychology in Psychotherapy. A comprehensive source book. W. W. Norton.

Gallo F.P. ( 2022) The Tapping Toolbox. PESI Publishing.


Dr. Diane® Roberts Stoler, Ed.D.
7 Hodges Street
N. Andover, MA 01845
Phone: (800) 500-9971
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Dr. Diane is a catalyst for change

Image Credit Elaine Boucher

Within each person shines an inner light that illuminates our path and is the source of hope. Illness, trauma, suffering and grief can diminish the light and shroud hope. I am a catalyst for hope and change, offering a way to rekindle this inner light.

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