Tapping is the newest trend in relieving stress

BALTIMORE - Imagine getting rid of all of your stress and anxiety with a touch of your fingers. Sound too good to be true?

Promoters of a new form of psychotherapy say "tapping" works almost immediately. 

Christine Cramer's anxiety was so severe, she couldn't do simple things like filing her taxes or driving over bridges.  Brittany Watkins's emotional food cravings were ruining her life.

But now both women say they're living free of their fears thanks to an alternative psychotherapy treatment called "emotional freedom technique," also known as "tapping."

The practice involves stimulating certain acupressure points on the body while you focus on what's stressing you out. 

It can be done with the aid of a therapist or alone during a moment of anxiety. But does it work?

Many tappers have published many small scale studies showing positive results. Like this one, to be published in the October Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.

It found stress hormone levels dropped 24 percent after tapping. No drop was found in the control group.

But not all researchers are convinced. A study out of Canada found that while tapping acupressure points did show a significant decrease in anxiety and fear, tapping other parts of the body - or even a doll - offered similar results.

The American Psychological Association says more research needs to be done.  It says stress and anxiety can be serious issues.  But there are also highly treatable proven psychotherapy techniques.

It suggests seeking a medical professional with well-established techniques  It does not consider tapping one of these well-established techniques.

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