As healthy living and self-care become the standard in Southern California, a new trend is blending principles of acupuncture with mind-body medicine to abate common disturbances in the body like jetlag. Best of all, it’s one that you can easily do yourself while unwinding seaside or in your guestroom at Malibu Beach Inn.

Tapping, also known as Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT, is a psychological acupressure technique designed to improve emotional and physical health. It involves simple tapping with the fingertips to put kinetic energy into meridians while considering your current problem and voicing positive affirmations.

Based on the same energy meridians used in acupuncture for more than 5,000 years – but much less invasive – tapping is taking off in Southern California and around the world, tackling everything from physical pain to anxiety to fear of public speaking. Much like meditation, it’s something that you can do to improve your own wellbeing without equipment or help from a professional.


It starts with focusing on the problem that you would like to address. Come up with an affirmation incorporating that problem – one that says even though you are dealing with this issue, you still completely accept yourself.

Then identify the 10 tapping points, which span all meridians in the body with some points located at meridian intersections. They include the top of the head, the inside of the eyebrows, sides of the eyes, under the eyes, under the nose, the chin, collarbones, under the arms, inside the wrists, and the outside edges of your hands.

When you start tapping, the goal is to intentionally activate the energy disturbance by thinking about your problem, then clear the disturbance by tapping and repeating your affirmation.

Recommendations from professionals vary, but most agree that you should tap in rhythm with your breathing – perhaps tapping five to seven times with each breath – and use the tips of your fingers rather than the pads. Others still recommend alternating your hands rather than tapping simultaneously to provide a kinesthetic variant and alternating eye movement.

After two passes of all ten points, most participants report more positive emotions in relation to their problems – although many require multiple tapping sessions. (One benefit for those trying to recover from traumatic events is that they are not required to relive the details during this process as they would be in traditional therapy.)

While some are initially taken aback or amused by tapping, others are embracing it for its widespread success rate. Western medicine tends to focus on the chemical nature of the body, but increasing numbers of medical practitioners are recognizing these subtle energy flows as our collective intent for wellness grows.

View of Malibu Pier from Malibu Beach Inn, California.

Photo: Laurie Ferraro

The premise behind tapping is that all negative emotions are caused by disruptions in the body’s energy system. And the technique is meant to clear these emotional blocks by combining the physical benefits of acupuncture with the cognitive benefits of conventional therapy – even if your emotional block is related to a physical problem.

When you are finished, there should ideally be a cognitive shift, allowing you to see the problem from a new perspective and offering a sense of relief.

So the next time you arrive in Malibu with a case of jetlag, give this universal healing therapy a try. Once recovered, you should be able to enjoy your time on Carbon Beach to its fullest.

Featured Photo: Laurie Ferraro