I regularly receive questions from readers asking how to use surrogate tapping with EFT. In effect “proxy tapping,” where one person taps for another person, animal or plant, is a most interesting topic about which we know relatively little at this point, but which nevertheless holds considerable promise as a healing modality.
It is also a topic which causes some people to hesitate out of uncertainty and arouses skepticism in others. At the least, there seems to be confusion about how one goes about it, whether to use the first person when tapping for someone else (e.g. referring to them in the statements as “I”, “me” etc), or whether to use the third person, referring to them by name, etc. Here is my response to these questions.
Tapping by Proxy
Tapping by proxy is an experimental area with respect to EFT because we don’t know why it works as well as it seems to. However, whether or not a person believes it will “work” for the other they are tapping for, or even if they dismiss surrogate tapping as “not possible” and therefore not for themselves, the act of tapping by proxy in and of itself often has an extremely beneficial effect upon the tapper him/herself.
For this reason many people who otherwise might hesitate to try this method may want to try it whether or not they believe in it. If you do use surrogate EFT, however, you will need to observe certain guidelines to make it truly effective.
Here are the principles to keep in mind if you want to plan for this strategic use of EFT.
First and VERY IMPORTANT. The effectiveness of your tapping for others depends largely on the peace you experience within yourself as you tap.
Understanding and love begin at home, and “home” in the case of techniques such as EFT, is your own self. You therefore need to focus upon yourself as the conveyor of your intentions, The degree of peace that you are able to generate within you will be what radiates outwards to affect either the recipient of your surrogate tapping (if you accept the premise of this sort of tapping), or people around you who may also need to feel a comforting sense of inner peace about the issue at hand.
Let me say a bit about the theory of surrogate tapping. It is well known that if we strike a note on a tuning fork we will hear a similar note sounded on violin strings that are within hearing range, but not touching, the tuning fork. This is a phenomenon known as sympathetic resonance, the fork’s sound has caused a sympathetic vibration in a violin string which produces the same sound vibrations. Perhaps not widely thought about as yet, but certainly a possibility, is the fact that a similar form of sympathetic resonance may be an important ingredient in all communication between human beings as well as between inanimate objects. Is it possible that this, or some similar mechanism, is operating in surrogate tapping?
I won’t speculate in depth about why this technique might be effective, or why the state of mind and feelings that we are experiencing when we tap may be important for its effect, but instead will refer you to an excellent book, “The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe” by Lynne McTaggart (Harper Collins). This author is a first rate science reporter who tells the inside story of scientific research that suggests a new scientific paradigm, one based on a phenomenon currently known in physics as the “Zero Point Field.” It is described as being a non-visible force field of information that surrounds us — approximating a database of unimaginably large proportions. The Zero Point Field could be looked upon as a vast network of data storage and data transmission capabilities — a true “inter –network” that makes our present electronic “Internet” miniscule by comparison.
Taking a conceptual leap, we might speculate that it is this Zero Point Field that we may be utilizing in surrogate tapping, to transmit information even over large distances and effect change at a distance. This is of course a speculative notion, but if you are interested in pursing this line of thought further, I recommend that you read McTaggart’s book.
To return to the fact that it is you yourself who will determine how effective your surrogate tapping may be, in order to get the best results from using surrogate EFT, I suggest that you first create a positive state of mind in yourself. Among its many other benefits, this can boost your own morale concerning any situation or person you are tapping for as well as promoting your health and well-being.
Here are suggestions for some EFT set-up phrase that may help you when preparing to use surrogate tapping for someone else:
“Even though I am worried about (person or animal / this situation etc.), I choose to feel peaceful and confident.“
“Even though I find it terribly difficult to see (name of other) suffering, I choose to experience a quiet inner peace and love for them.“
” Even though (other, the world etc.) is in danger, I choose to feel a deep sense of peace within myself.“
Or you might want to try some other Choice for the LAST part of this sentence, such as:
“…I choose to feel peaceful and hopeful no matter what.“
“I choose to think of creative ways I can be of help to (this person or animal, with this problem, etc.).”
You will undoubtedly be able to construct many phrases to meet your own needs once you understand some of the conditions that need to be met for this kind of Choice making.
As for how you might apply the surrogate tapping, there are a number of ways to go about this and it’s important to keep in mind the fact that your intent is far more important than details of how you tap. Some people use surrogate tapping for small children, severely ill persons or animals who cannot tap for themselves by touching or holding the person or animal they are tapping for. Others don’t feel it necessary to be in physical contact with the other, but simply sit quietly in their presence and either openly or mentally tap for them, often without the other even knowing about the intervention. Still others tap surrogately for another at a great distance from them. This seems to work like distant prayer which rarely requires the permission of the person being prayed for. I know, for example, of teachers who have successfully tapped surrogately for students of theirs who were displaying disturbed behavior, without the students knowing about it, and had excellent results. I have even heard reports of hyperactive children calming down remarkably within a very short time if this was done.
One teacher who works with learning disabled children, has often asked permission of a distraught child to “tap for you” and almost inevitably the child has given his or her assent. While that child often does not seem to notice that the teacher is tapping, she/he can certainly hear the repetition of the reminder phrases and see the teacher tapping various acupoints on herself. This is usually extremely helpful for the student involved.
I recall an instance where a therapist colleague of mine was working with an extremely disturbed young man diagnosed as both autistic and schizophrenic (although he functioned marginally in the community). One day, when she was standing across the street from him on one of their outings where she helped him adjust to society, she noticed that he was becoming extremely agitated as he was walking. He was banging into lampposts and swinging his arms wildly in a way dangerous to passersby. Standing stock still, she began to tap on HERSELF using the setup phrase, “Even though Steven is agitated, I choose for him to feel calm and steady and focused.”
She continued this tapping for about a minute, during which time his gestures became less florid, his muscle movements smaller and less threatening, and a couple of minutes later he was no longer flailing his arms but instead walking quietly down the street. He did not know that she had tapped for him since she was at a distance.
This therapist didn’t pretend to “be” Steven when she tapped for him. Some people prefer to pretend that they are the person or animal they are tapping for, repeating the phrases in the first person. For example, for a frightened pet you might tap on yourself while saying, “I am “Dandy”, and even though I’m scared of that vet, I know that (my owner) loves me and protects me.” Something to remember if you do this, however, is to debrief yourself afterwards by doing a round of EFT and repeating the phrase “I am (insert your own name)” at each tapping spot. This way you avoid unconsciously identifying with the object of your tapping!
An important principle to follow when making EFT Choices for someone else is to avoid trying to change their behavior but rather to seek to comfort and steady them and help them achieve clarity of mind.
I have been contacted by some people who believed that surrogate tapping might be useful to help resolve deep-seated personality problems in another person or in some other way change them fundamentally. Aside from the fact that it is all too difficult for psychotherapists to help people make such personality changes under the best of conditions, such a use of EFT is inadvertently manipulative.
Aside from being unethical, manipulation is always resented by those toward whom it is directed and is always resisted, either openly or secretly. Therefore trying to change another’s behavior through surrogate tapping, even if you think it is in their own best interest, simply won’t work — given the premise that surrogate tapping actually does affect the other person, of course.
However, if you respect the autonomy of the person or people for whom you are tapping, you may be able to be of great help to others. If in the wording of your Choice you offer the other person inner clam, security and clarity of mind you will be giving them something constructive and meaningful rather than attempting to manipulate their behavior — and here you will be making a real contribution.
Actually, we are on the brink of many new discoveries in the world of energy psychology. EFT surrogate tapping may well be one of them. Even should you view it as nothing more than a well-meaning and supportive endeavor, you may be able to benefit greatly from this way of employing EFT.
With best wishes,