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Tapping away anxiety and stress with bilateral stimulation, is it possible?

Have you ever been very angry with someone

and said to yourself:

"I need to sleep on it for a night!"

Much of what our thoughts are still circling around without resolution the day before feels very different and much clearer the next morning.

What felt upsetting or angry in the evening may already feel different and not so scary the next morning.

The reason: we process our day in the so-called REM sleep phases.

our day.

REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement.

In these phases, our eyes move quickly from right to left with our eyelids closed.

Both sides of our brain are stimulated. This ensures that emotions and experiences are processed.

Memories are then stored, but are often perceived as less stressful later after sleep.

What happens if this processing process is disturbed, for example, by sleep disorders or traumatic experiences?

If emotions remain unprocessed, they can repeatedly trigger anxiety and stress.

This can also become physically apparent, for example, through an oppressive feeling in the chest, a lump in the throat or palpitations.

These REM phases can also be induced in the waking state.

By means of bilateral stimulation, emotions can also be processed afterwards.

can be processed afterwards.

The REM sleep phases are imitated in the waking state through targeted bilateral stimulation.

in the waking state.

This method was originally used in the treatment of trauma patients.

In the meantime, however, it is also used for stress management or anxiety. This technique is also used in coaching to find solutions or to strengthen resources.

There are many different ways to stimulate bilaterally.

The most common is optically, by moving two fingers quickly back and forth from left to right in front of the patient's eyes.

There are also special glasses that emit light stimuli directly to the eyes.

(I will present this technique in detail in another time).

Bilateral stimulation is also possible by means of reciprocal acoustic signals, for example with loudspeakers or headphones, or reciprocal tapping on the body.

Even when we go for a walk or ride a bicycle we stimulate ourselves

ourselves unconsciously bilaterally.

Dr. Francis Schapiro, the inventor of EMDR is said to have had the idea for this kind of therapy even during a walk.

So you can also stimulate yourself bilaterally.

With fears, worries and doubts we can relax much easier.

Especially when these show themselves physically.

"Bilateral stimulation is a super self-help method"

In everyday life.

When the body takes over and you can't calm yourself down again. When your heart is racing, you have quite a lot of stress in your body and you just can't get on, this can be very simple and effective.

Here's a little guide:

Find a quiet, undisturbed place and sit down comfortably.

Now try to imagine the situation that is stressing you out.

Go through it in your mind as detailed as possible. (What do you hear, smell, taste?).

The more senses that are connected to the situation the better.

Then try to sense where in the body you feel the emotion you want to work on, i.e. fear, excitement, stress, sadness, or whatever you feel most clearly.

Do a so-called body scan, from the feet to the legs to the buttocks to the torso and arms to the shoulders and neck to the head.

Where can you sense the emotion?

Do you perhaps have a knot in your throat? Or a dull feeling in the pit of your stomach?

Is there a tension in your body that wasn't there before?

Notice this very carefully for a moment.

Now classify the feeling by giving the emotion a value from 0-10.

0 is totally neutral and would mean that you are completely relaxed.

10 means you are very tense.

Now place your palms on the right and left side of your thighs and tap alternately and rhythmically on the left and right side of your legs.

Tap for 1-2 minutes and try to breathe calmly.

Observe what happens in your body.

When you feel calmer

take a break,

loosen up,

drink a glass of water.

Then sit down again and think about your situation again.

See if you can bring up the emotion one more time

and evaluate your emotion again.

If it is still very high, tap again and repeat until the feeling is noticeably de-stressed.

The goal is to get to a value of 0 at the end.

Then you can see if there is another level of the feeling where the stress starts.

Go through the situation that is causing you anxiety and worry completely in your mind. In all steps!

To see if the bilateral stimulation has an effect in reality,

it is helpful to expose yourself to this situation soon.

Only in this way you can check if something has changed.

This way you can resolve some things that disturb you in everyday life yourself.


Self-coaching has its limits!

In case of phobias or deep fears you should seek advice from a professional.

You can't get to deeper, unconscious issues with self-coaching, you need a well-trained therapist for that!

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