Season 1, Episode 11

Tapping Your Way to a Calm Body and Mind with Dr. Peta Stapleton

Episode Transcript

Lorne Brown:

By listening to the Conscious Fertility Podcast, you agree to not use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician or healthcare provider for any medical issues that you may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guest or contributors to the podcast. Welcome to Conscious Fertility, the show that listens to all of your fertility questions so that you can move from fear and suffering to peace of mind and joy. My name is Lauren Brown. I’m a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and a clinical hypnotherapist. I’m on a mission to explore all the paths to peak fertility and joyful living. It’s time to learn how to be and receive, so that you can create life on purpose.

I am so happy to have Dr. Peta Stapleton on the show today, because back in March, 2020, Peta was supposed to come to Vancouver BC as part of the Integrated Fertility Symposium. She had an EFT fertility workshop all set up for the acupuncturists and naturopaths and other healers that were attending. And most of 2020s when Covid hit and the world kind of shut down. And here we are recording this in late 2022 and off air, we were just talking about hey, we should revisit that. And so hopefully that will happen. But let me give an introduction for those that may not know who Dr. Peta Stapleton is. She resides in Australia. She has over 25 years experience as a registered clinical and health psychologist. She is currently the associate professor in psychology at Bond University, which is located in Australia. And in 2019 she got the prestigious award being named Psychologist of the Year by the Australian Allied Health Awards.

She is a world leader research in EFT, also known as emotional freedom technique, also known as tapping. And she’s established herself truly as one of not only Australia’s leading health professionals, but I think worldwide when it comes to the mind body techniques such as EFT. And she often says, her research focuses on the fourth wave of psychological therapies that we’re going to talk about today, which is a focus on mind and body. And a big part of her significant contribution so far in her life has been to lead world first randomized clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of EFT, which is why I invited Peta to have this discussion today because I’m always looking for the best evidence that we have on things that may not be considered mainstream yet. And she does run a series of workshops and trainings throughout Australia and online. She teaches a lot of allied health professionals and teachers about EFT. So she’s getting to reach the younger population through the teachers, and she’s a co-founder of the Mind Heart Connect. It’s an organization that raises awareness of the mind body connection through evidence based practices. And I think I was first introduced to you Peta through your book because you’re an author also, the Science Behind Tapping, a Proven Stress Management Technique for the Mind and Body. Peta, nice to see you again and speak to you.

Peta Stapleton:

It’s lovely to connect. I’ll get back there soon.

Lorne Brown:

So we have lots to cover today and I thought, and we’re going to tie this into conscious fertility. Can you just explain what exactly is EFT first of all for our listeners?

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah, so EFT as an acronym stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques and anyone probably new to the field or might have heard about it many, many decades, it has been around for a good 45 years now. So certainly it’s not new, what has happened in the last two decades is it’s been tested in clinical research, in academic settings. But EFT or tapping as you mentioned Lorne, is probably the descriptor of what we do. So we actually focus the mind on what’s happening. So that could be a feeling or an emotion or a belief system. And we stimulate acupuncture points. So known acupuncture points on the body with a simple tapping technique. So now there’s acupuncture points all over the body, but for the purpose of research, we just use eight of them in clinical EFT. And lo and behold, after 20 years down the track of decades of research, we have this growing body that actually shows EFT indeed not only changes the stress reduction fairly quickly and it calms that part of the brain, but it lasts a very long time. So I know we’ll get into kind of research and chatting about that kind of thing today. But as simple as I would say, EFT or tapping is a way to quickly reduce stress or the stress response in the body. And we just do that by tapping on known acupuncture points.

Lorne Brown:

And can you share what some of the areas of research that has the evidence now using EFT? What are some of the areas that come to mind that you’ve seen in the last little while?

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah, absolutely. The research as far as kind of meeting our gold standards and being compared to other therapies out there with established evidence, definitely in the trauma and the PTSD diagnosis space. So post traumatic stress disorder, any of those kind of conditions, or indeed lots of research has actually been done with returning war veterans. So that’s really quite robust. We even have meta-analysis that show the effect size there is very large compared to other therapies to achieve that outcome. The other body of-

Lorne Brown:

Can I mention something about the PTSD and just tie it into our space with fertility is, so many women describe their journey as traumatic, that having a negative cycle after cycle, having a miscarriage, losing the pregnancy late in the pregnancy, failed IVF cycles. They literally use the word fertility trauma. So it’s quite interesting that with the EFT and why I think this is an important topic, is so many of the women are experiencing trauma from the experience of infertility, and there’s research in the fertility space that a diagnosis of infertility has a similar physiological effect as a terminal illness, like a terminal cancer for example.

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah, definitely.

Lorne Brown:

So you’re seeing this, we’re kind of speculating, jumping a bit from … because it hasn’t been studied robustly or I’m not sure if it’s been studied in the fertility space, but it’s interesting that you say it’s quite robust when it looks at PTSD and looking at people that have come back from war, veterans and you’re seeing a change, and it’s lasting.

Peta Stapleton:

And it lasts. So we even have DNA and studies like that where they’ve tested expression of genes in war vets with PTSD, you know 10 sessions of EFT. So one hour a week for 10 weeks and they don’t meet criteria but the genes that we’re expressing themselves to give them those kind of physiological symptoms, we see hypervigilance and nightmares and things like, that actually all dissipate. But the gene activity matches. So the genes stop expressing themselves, six months later they’ve stayed the same, they still don’t meet criteria and they look at you like, what do you mean I used to have those nightmares? Because the brain actually reconsolidates and it’s like they’re just the way they are now post EFT. So there’s lots of studies in the biological space, particularly for EFT, which I think is as a mainstream psychologist that teaches therapy at advanced levels. So I teach at master’s level here in psychology. We do teach cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment, mindfulness and things like that.

There are rarely the number of studies in some of those therapies that measure the level of biological outcomes that EFT has. So it’s quite exciting to be part of that. Just circling back to … and it reminded me as you were talking Lorne, I have got colleagues in the UK who have started, they’re in the EFT world but they have actually started to look at what they’re terming childbirth related PTSD. So in women, and they’re using EFT for that. So there is some groundwork that’s starting to happen there and acknowledging that some women in that birth process do develop a unique type of PTSD, and they’re starting to target that with EFT. So we’ll start to see some of those publications coming out shortly.

Lorne Brown:

Well very interesting. And you said something that I want to highlight and have you … we’re going to talk about the different things that you have the evidence for, where the research is coming. But on the stress and PTSD side, not only did you say that they felt better, they weren’t being triggered, they weren’t having these behaviors anymore, but you’re seeing changes in gene expression and changes in the brain. So there is structural changes, it’s not just like they think they feel better, you are seen biological changes.

Peta Stapleton:

Absolutely. And I think that’s what’s exciting about these types of therapies that not only DNA expression, another study showed one hour of tapping just for feeling stressed had 72 genes that changed an expression, and they were attached to things like immunity and the body’s immune system. So it actually improved. So one study actually showed 113% after one hour of tapping for stress. So things like that, not only do we get the inflammation response decreasing, we get improvements in immunity and things like that. So cortisol, cortisol gets measured fairly easily through saliva in many studies, we’ve done many here as well. And just one hour of tapping, again anywhere between kind of 25 to 45% reductions in cortisol, the stress hormone which we know is implicated in loads of autoimmune diseases, and the stress response and lots of different things, pain as well. But tapping for an hour, whether you’re alone or in a group, you can actually reduce that cortisol level. So there’s a lot that comes out of that. And I know we haven’t yet touched on but in Australia here we’ve done a couple of functional MRI studies where we’ve looked at brain changes. So physical brain changes in the food craving space, but also the chronic pain area. So there’s lots happening.

Lorne Brown:

The fact that you’re seeing gene expression changes, because we are what our genes express, we’re not necessarily what our genes are. It’s very important what the expression is and the environment is always impacting our gene expression. So genes can be turned on or off for disease, but they can also be turned on and off for longevity, health and reproduction. And so this is quite fascinating that you’re seeing this, and in the immune system, if you’re able to regulate and modulate the immune system, well this is important for health and infertility especially. So the body knows what to do and what not to do, because it has that [inaudible 00:10:38] known as the fetus in the body as well. So really interesting stuff. Tell me more about what you guys have been studying. So we just jumped on PTSD because stress is a huge component to so many illnesses and health, and feel free to jump in why stress isn’t great for even reproductive health. We can talk about that. I never like it when we say stress isn’t good for fertility, and then we stress out people. We’re telling you this because EFT is a tool to help deal with stress.

Peta Stapleton:

Exactly. And I totally agree that we don’t want to stress out moms to be, or indeed moms that are falling pregnant again with subsequent children, because stress is inevitable. The reality is we actually need a spiking cortisol to kind of get us going in the day. It’s just that it has its place. It’s about, I think, if you do feel the stress response for whatever reason in life, do you have a tool available to be able to turn that off when you want to actually feel calmer. And to me EFT falls into that, you know you might not have time to do a meditation practice, or go for a long walk or whatever it might be, but you might actually be able to duck into a bathroom or something like that and do a bit of tapping, and for an instantaneous tool that can actually not only make you feel better, like you’re saying calmer, but physiologically change the body space. I just think there is nothing that compares. And you mentioned the fourth wave and we talk about, there are lots of things EMDR, the eye movement therapy is part of that. These are somatic based therapy tools that target the body. And I think traditional talk therapy is starting to acknowledge again that they really do play a role in all of this.

Lorne Brown:

Can we compare that? So because you’re trained in talk therapy, right? You’re clinical psychologist. So it’s always nice that somebody who’s trained in both and now you’re trained in what you’re calling the fourth wave, the body-based therapy, somatic as in body-based therapy, when people go to talk therapy, it depends on the type but often you’re just reactivating the trauma. And from a background, hypnotherapy and conscious work that may not be a great thing, may not be, but I’m not trained in this so I’m asking your opinion on this. In Chinese medicine we talk about emotions being trapped in the body, which is why some of these tapping points, interesting from a Chinese medicine perspective because they’re in the Sinew channel, so in the tissue. So you’re helping release it. I think you’re a fan of the book, The Body Keeps a Score, I think it was.

Peta Stapleton:

Bessel van der Kolk?

Lorne Brown:

Yeah. So can you talk why, because I think so many more body based therapies are coming. So why is this important? And there’s talk therapy and there’s body based. Why do you think this is the fourth wave? Why is this getting you optimistic or even excited about the future of integration using this type of therapy?

Peta Stapleton:

Absolutely. I think you’ve probably nailed it there Lorne when you sort of said, is just talking about our daily problems or life kind of events or even traumatic things in the past, if we talk about them but don’t do anything to kind of interrupt that process, then we simply have a neurological hard wiring process that will happen for most people. And Hebbian’s principal kind of explained that neurons that fire together will wire together. So I just said this recently to my own students here, because they were wondering, one of them came up to me and sort of said, look my relative has been in talk therapy talking about a trauma that had happened, and over the last 12 months she appears to have been getting worse. Why might that be? And I said, was therapy including anything to interrupt the stress response? Because as we talk about or even complain to our friends, something that’s made us feel a certain way, if nothing interrupts that it does hard wire it in the brain.

So traditional cognitive therapies of which we absolutely teach, and aspects of those are really still useful, if there isn’t anything that can kind of interrupt that, we know through other theories like memory consolidation, we’re not giving the body a different experience of the story that we’re telling. And that’s probably the simplest way to understand why things like tapping, EMDR, the eye movement, other somatic based therapies, do work and last over time. Because if at the same time we’re talking about our problem, our stress, something that happened to us, we’re interrupting it with, for us tapping at the same time, EMDR obviously moves the eyes at the same time as talking. The brain can’t hold a distressing story and a physical calming response, which is what all these things are doing. It’s very hard to hold both. So guess what-

Lorne Brown:

Can you repeat that? I love this. Because this is important right? So you can’t tap your head and circle. We can’t, or chew gum and walk, that idea. So you’re saying that it’s hard, very challenging for the body to hold a stressful thought, and have a calming sensation at the same time, right.

Peta Stapleton:

At the same time, that’s right. And talking is the best way to activate what’s happening. So people often talk in therapy and we do in tapping, tell me the story of what happened. So it is very mindful and it is very exposure like. We have to hear what’s happening but at the same time we’re doing a calming response. Now tapping to me is just an easy simple one that we can actually do. I don’t have to meditate at the same time. I don’t have to have someone in front of me trained in EMDR. So funnily enough, EFT compared to EMDR, quite a few studies there showing identical outcomes, meaning the mechanisms there are very, very similar. So yeah, it’s very hard for the brain to hold a distressing thought and do a calming activity at the same time. And guess what wins? The calming activity. So if you do it long enough, we get a brain change.

Lorne Brown:

You get the brain change. And again, I know we’re kind of moving around here and there, but you said you were open to that and listeners follow us on this journey. It’s a fun one for me. Hopefully you’re enjoying it as well. When you’re tapping on these points, what is happening that there’s a … because you have research to show there is a calming, you’re measuring calmness. So what are you seeing change in hormones in the brain, et cetera, when you’re tapping on these acupuncture points in this process, that is telling the brain, shh, calm down.

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah, we are actually seeing, so Harvard University originally did a 10 year study. They included things like MRI brain scanning and things like that, of traditional acupuncture while someone was inside there feeling a certain way. So they started the ball rolling. We’ve now got lots of EFT research that supports it, that when you tap on a known acupuncture point, and of course we’ve got studies, plenty of studies that tap on non-identified acupuncture points, what we would call a sham point. None of those studies show an outcome. So I’ll give you an example. There’s no acupuncture points on the underside of the arm here. So if that’s done as a comparison therapy, it actually don’t show the outcomes. We do need to hit that acupuncture point. The brain gets a deactivating signal sent to the stress center, which is the amygdala. So we actually see not only if we’ve actually got studies and we use them here in Australia where we use an EEG style mechanism.

So we actually have wearable EEG head sensors, and we can tap at the same time that we watch the brain scan, the kind of bands if you like, of all the EEG, theta, delta, alpha, beta. And as we tap, the brain starts to calm down, the amygdala is getting a deactivating signal, regardless of what the topic is, it’s just about the words that we’re saying, which makes it really easy to start to target different areas. We then see the flow on effect in hormones, cortisol, adrenaline, things like that, where we then get obviously gene expression that changes and things like that as well. So we’ve definitely got this deactivating signal that’s sent to the brain, which you may see in other therapies too, such as styles of breathing and things like that. It’s just that this is just another alternative way to actually get there. And it’s pretty quick.

Lorne Brown:

I’m going to share with you and then we’re going to go more into research, more of the conditions, how I’ve incorporated this in my practice and why. So what I should say that I didn’t just share with you, you’re not aware of this, but EFT’s one of my favorite modalities as part of my practice. And you said it and you went kind of real quickly by, but you said brainwaves, beta, alpha, theta, delta. Can you imagine doing EFT and having acupuncture at the same time? Because I do the acupuncture first to help get them into alpha, into that parasympathetic, and then I get them to activate their story and then we go into tapping. So it’s a pretty fun experience. But how does this sound to you? Because this is what I think is happening. So this is me just asking you, after just reading so many books and materials and research papers and unconsciousness.

Your colleague Dr. Joe Dispenza going to his retreats, the Bruce Liptons and just all the conscious work out there. One day I kind of got an idea and you’ve said this a couple times, so I think you’re going to say yeah, that’s what’s happening. But I don’t know. So for my listeners, we have not rehearsed this so feel free by the way to say no, no Lorne, feel free. Because I don’t know. I think, meaning I haven’t done research on this, all of everything including the EFT process, the Byron Katie process, I see a formula that they all do the same thing, and I call it NAC. They get you to notice, they get you to accept what is, which gets you into present moment alpha. And then once you’re out of the story and you’re calm, then you can choose again. NAC, C is choose again. Now you get to choose how you want to feel, reprogram the brain. And I feel they’re all doing this. And the reason I like EFT is, so you said notice. So we talk about in consciousness and in hypnotherapy you have a story. That story leads to, that’s your thought, leads to a feeling, leads to behavior, that leads to gene expression and that becomes your destiny.

And we’re looking for something to interrupt the story, which I think EFT is wonderful for, the whole process of EFT, which hopefully you’re going to go into, there is a surrendering or accepting what is processed, not being resigned to it. There isn’t accepting and I use many tools.

So I think EFT is just another tool like EMDR, like PSYCH-K, like all the other tools I bring into it, the Byron Katie inquiry, they’re just tools to get you in my opinion, they get you to present moment. So you’re measuring the amygdala calming down, you’re measuring cortisol changing, hippocampus changing. I think that’s what happens when you become very conscious aware. When you literally go into the present moment. I think there is a shift physiologically, I think there’s something beyond what we understand and you tap into something, and then new creativity, things happen. Joe Dispenza says you can get a biological upgrade. These things are changing. I think this is what’s happening that we’re calling the present moment. Some call it the zero point field, some call it the quantum area, whatever it is. And so if you don’t get into the … just doing the EFT doesn’t mean you’re going to get there. You have to be in the work. It’s a process. And if you can get into that present moment, then it’s paradoxical when you finally get into the moment and you accept what it is when you can change.

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah.

Lorne Brown:

You have to accept what is, so that’s what I’m seeing. NAC, notice, accept, choose again, how to interrupt the story. And I think EFT is my favorite tool as part of that process. And so is that what we’re doing do you think?

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah, absolutely. Definitely. So Dr. David Feinstein, who our listeners might be familiar with, who’s in the EFT energy medicine world with his wife Donna Eden, has written some fabulous concept papers just about EFT but about the words that we tap by, that’s the title of one of the papers, where it’s exactly what you’re saying that it is the words that allow us to start to do that first step of notice and acceptance. And the EFT phrase we typically start with is around, I’ve got this feeling going on at the moment, but I accept this is what’s happening right now. But it’s the tapping that will interrupt that, to make that third step happen of, I get now to have a more conscious choice or choose something differently, because the frontal lobe has calmed down, we’re in more parasympathetic, and we actually can make a clearer decision, which obviously stress gets in the road with all of that. So Bessel’s book that you mentioned, he really said and they did MRIs way back in the day when it kind of was really out there, and he said, the minute that you’re in a really distressed or stressed state, not just even trauma, the speech area in the brain goes offline, where the frontal lobe is not connected. It’s very hard to make a good choice when you’re feeling in that state. So yeah, you’re right.

Lorne Brown:

So so logic goes out the window, you’re saying when you’re stressed speech goes offline. And so we go into the fight or flight sympathetic. So we’re in survival mode, which means we’re not in logical rational, we’re no longer rational, and we’re trying to deal with somebody thinking they should be rational but they’re not. They’ve lost that. That’s what you’re saying when we’re stressed.

Peta Stapleton:

Absolutely. That’s right.

Lorne Brown:

And with reproduction, we know blood is diverted from the reproductive system. Is this the time to reproduce or is this the time to survive? So, because you said it but I’m familiar with it, but there’s people brand new to EFT, you talked about the setup statement. Can you kind of walk us through then more in slow motion of what you’re doing with EFT then? So what is the setup statement and why and what do you do? Just to put it all together on this notice accept choose again idea that you just introduced as a formula.

Peta Stapleton:

Yes. So this is really the original recipe and of course there’s lots of other versions of tapping modalities out there. They all tend to start with the same thing, which is that notice section. And it does make tapping feel counterintuitive if you’ve come out of traditional talk therapies, and certainly clients that might come in for the first time when we sort of say, so tell me how you feel. And if they say a feeling like anger, and we say, okay, well here’s what we’re going to do with the tapping sequence, is we actually put it in a statement and while we’re tapping we will start with a sentence such as, even though I currently feel angry, we might even identify where that is in the body, I feel it in my chest. And then the second half of the statement is always, I accept this is how I feel.

Now there’s variations of that, but that’s as simple as it is. We actually encourage people to say out loud while they’re tapping, the setup statement, which is, even though I’ve got this feeling, I accept this is obviously what’s happening for me right now. Now it’s the continuation of tapping on these eight acupuncture points that we’re using clinical EFT that helps shift that feeling. And so this is the most common question that we actually get asked, that while they’re tapping on these pressure points, they’re actually saying mostly the feeling. And so that would be, I’m still saying I feel angry as I tap through, I feel angry, obviously I’m just tapping on some of the points in my face at the moment. I feel angry. And people that come to this for the first time sort of are horrified because they think we’re instilling this feeling of anger and we might be making it worse by actually saying it.

We’re not doing any reframing, we’re not doing any meaning making and we’re certainly not substituting it for the way I want to feel, because to us tapping is a technique of truth. We actually have to be truthful and honest about how we feel for it to work. It’s almost like we use the computer analogy, we need to bring the file up, so we actually have to engage the part of the brain that is having that feeling about whatever happened, long enough for us to hit the delete button so the file can be deleted and the delete button is the tapping. So we absolutely know through MRI studies, EEG, cortisol, we don’t make the problem worse by acknowledging it and even way back Karl Rogers and beyond, they were saying we need to accept for change to happen. You actually have to accept your current state. And EFT very much borrows on some of those philosophies.

Lorne Brown:

Can we talk about the setup a bit more then, I’d like to go deeper since I have you here to talk to this conversation. So you started touching on it, people are afraid that if I’m going to activate this feeling, this memory, then and you’re going to tap, you’re going to imprint it on me. So they’re very afraid and they’ve heard, oh well we just talked about talk therapy. Is it beneficial to keep talking about the problem? So how do you address that? You talked a little bit about it because you have data to say that it doesn’t, but this is the computer metaphor that you just gave then, because you must have clients that say … that’s a common question I get. I don’t want to feel it, I don’t want to think about it. But you’re saying for neuroplasticity to deal with this, we actually have to, it’s exposure therapy. We actually have to make it present. I actually tell people when they book with me to do conscious fertility work, are you willing to be uncomfortable? And they’re like, what? And I go, because this isn’t … but you have to go into your emotions. And so there is that piece. But the beautiful part is, if the process works, if you go through it, there is peace on the end of it.

Peta Stapleton:

Absolutely.

Lorne Brown:

But you have to be willing to be uncomfortable. So how do you explain and give them some comfort around, I’m afraid you’re going to imprint it? And part two, the question is I don’t want to accept this. Like for the infertility even though I’m afraid I’ll never get pregnant, or even I’m afraid … we can talk about, because I know you have data on test anxiety, so I’m wondering how that would translate to fertility testing, and pregnancy testing, because you do have data that this helps. For our listeners that are afraid that you’re going to imprint it, how can you give them some comfort? And then what about, I don’t want to accept this. What do you mean by accept or surrender to what is? Can you share a bit more on that?

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah and we absolutely kind of try to build a bridge to perhaps what they already know and accept and we will typically come back to what they currently might be using as their strategies. So you touched on it Lorne that typically what people are trying to do just to cope in their own lives, whether it’s through a different therapy or just before they get to us, is they are trying to use avoidance strategies or distraction. And that’s not uncommon because we’re trying to make ourselves feel better. So the only thing anyone ever wants to get out of the therapy process is to feel better. So we typically will ask how’s that going for you? How’s that working? Does it work to try and avoid or does it make it grow louder and stronger? I’ve got actually decades of clinical research in the OCD field, obsessive compulsive disorder because it overlaps with eating disorders. My other field. So it’s a strategy, OCD suffers use a lot is, if I can try and avoid and kind of keep it over here. But what happens and it happens for anybody that suffers these type of obsessive disorders, is it makes it louder.

Ironically, and even our mindfulness research that sits over here shows that if we face our biggest fear, we confront it and we take the steps to acknowledge and then accept, it actually dissipates if you like, or takes out that power. So it’s quite a funny kind of almost counterintuitive.

Lorne Brown:

It’s counterintuitive, but you’re right though because what you resist persists. So when you try to deflect it or pretend it doesn’t exist, I often use the metaphor as the beach ball underwater and you push, eventually it’s going to shoot up really high, right? And so it’s a strategy but it’s not really a solution.

Peta Stapleton:

That’s right. And it’s not a long term one. And typically they’ve been trying that one for years, if not kind of decades of their life. So we’ll always ask about what do you currently try? Is that working for you? You’ve ended up in my room for tapping so something’s not working. The other part of that question about well I don’t want to accept that I have these feelings, or that that thing happened to me, is a pretty standard one because they do sort of feel in that initial kind of start before we’ve even got into tapping that, if I accept this then that means something about me and it means it’s never going to change. And of course that’s where we make the promise of EFT or energy psychology, that it’s the tapping part that does the change. We only have to accept this is currently how I feel for a brief moment, but it’s the tapping on the acupuncture points that will get that shift.

Now the first thing I’ll often do in therapy or clinical trials, we do this in session one, is we actually tap on doubt. So we start with the benign and we start with the mundane and we say, do you doubt this thing will actually work? And I can tell you 99% of people in our trials will put their hand up and go, this is ridiculous, I hope they hope it will work because they’ve maybe seen stuff on current affair shows and news and media. They hope, but they actually doubt it will work for them. So we actually target doubt with tapping.

So I would do that one on one or in our groups it’s always session one, I doubt this will work for me. So we actually tap on doubt, and then if there’s any worries about I think this is going to make me worse, we tap on that before we even take those first steps into what’s really happening. So it’s quite unique and almost a bit sneaky that we use the very technique itself to address almost some of the protective behaviors that people might hold. Because they’re worried. They’re worried about well will I end up worse? Will my pain end up worse? Will I end up gaining more weight? Whatever the story is.

Lorne Brown:

Yeah, well because when I work with my clients at my clinic and we use the notice, accept, choose again, EFT’s a big part of it. I have a fear, my partner will leave me if I don’t have a child or what will people think of me or I have fear that it will fail. And it goes down to other programs, subconscious programs are running, and it’s very difficult for them to say I accept that because they don’t want to accept it. And so I often share that this process of accepting, surrendering is not saying that you’re resigned to it. You’re not saying you want it, you’re just not fighting with reality, because you actually have a fear that this will happen if you don’t get pregnant. And so accepting it is just … it brings down the resistance because you’re no longer fighting it.

When you have resistance … The whole, our tagline part of our conscious fertility podcast is to receive life on purpose. And when you have resistance in, Chinese medicine we call it chi stagnation, some people call it friction, resistance in the electrical engineers, when you have a resistance in electrical system, energy flows less. And when you have no resistance lots of flow right? In receptivity. And so it sounds counterintuitive, however, you’re not saying I want this, you’re not saying I don’t care, you’re not saying I’m resigned, you’re just saying actually, I’m accepting myself for the person who’s really afraid. And soon as you start to say that, often tears, and you’re tapping, after that there’s some piece that comes over you. Right? Here’s another question I want to ask you about the tapping. And this is me just thinking, I’m always wondering, I wonder why this is working right? And so-

Peta Stapleton:

The one thing I haven’t told you about yet.

Lorne Brown:

Why is this working? My brain has to make sense of it, right? I’ve never been one just … I’m open mind. Definitely look what I’m doing, Conscious Fertility podcast, I’m open minded. But I like to make some sense of it and that’s why I appreciate the research that you’ve been disseminating in getting out to us, because that gives me some comfort by the way. So with the tapping, one of the things that you said about when people are tapping on the points that are on the head and the body, that they’re concerned that you’re imprinting it, and how’s this different than talking about it? So here’s my question, is, when you’re in the story, you’re at the effect of it. You’re literally in it and you’re eating it. And so you are now in that sympathetic, high beta brainwaves, the amygdala that you shared earlier is firing.

And so you are turning on genes for survival and all those stress hormones are happening. I think what’s happening when we’re using tapping, is there’s a conscious part of us there. So we are uncomfortable and we’re feeling the story. So emotions come up, but there’s a witnessing that’s happening, a part of me that’s there. So I’m not fully in it but I’m close enough that it doesn’t feel good, but far away enough that I can witness it, and not be at the full effect which allows me to have change. And that’s part of that present moment stuff. And that’s why I think EFT works, that you’re aware. And so I want to say it another way and then please chew this apart or agree either way. When you are in it, the amygdala is fired and you said speech goes off line, you’re in survival mode.

So your reptilian brain’s being fired. So you’re no longer full, whole brain, you are in survival mode. But with tapping the amygdala it’s firing but you still have whole brain access when you’re tapping the way … whatever it’s doing, calming the amygdala and changing the hormones. And so when your whole brain you have access to other parts of your brain you normally don’t have access to, so you’re not going offline. And so you can do some integration which is the goal of integrating the emotional charge, the trauma story. So you have, our friend Dispenza often says, and he’s not the only one that says this, a memory without emotion is wisdom. Right?

Peta Stapleton:

Very nice.

Lorne Brown:

And so is that what we’re doing here?

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah. So the amygdala funnily enough in location in the brain lives next door to the hippocampus, which is a memory center. So lots of research suggests memory is stored everywhere, but it’s a memory center. And as the amygdala quietens down, funnily enough, the hippocampus can come back online, which is why people will, when they start to calm down through a couple of rounds of tapping, start to think about or remember things that might be from the past that are related to the current situation. Now this can be problematic if someone is tapping along with a video on YouTube, and doesn’t understand that this is what’s happening, because they might sit down to tap with how to attract more abundance and wealth into my life with a video. And through that process, as the amygdala is getting quieter, more access to the whole brain, the hippocampus starts to bring up a memory of when you were eight years old.

And of course in that moment the person might become quite distressed, not realizing, one, it’s related, but two, tapping is working very well and they make a decision that this tapping thing is terrible, and it didn’t work because suddenly it threw me back 25 years. But indeed what has happened is the hippocampus has been able to, because ID goes offline, you mentioned test anxiety, happens in every example performance where someone actually knows the information but due to the heightened stress state, can’t access the hippocampus to get that out in a test situation or giving a speech. So hence lots and lots of research has actually kind of been published in that test anxiety, performance anxiety, currently have a student here who’s doing her PhD in EFT for musicians. So for music anxiety with performance, it’s the same thing. You do a little bit of tapping, all my students tap in their exams, then you see them and they go, I remember, and they write down the answer. Because they just, let’s chill out the amygdala here and let’s get access again to the hippocampus. So it is a little note to yourself, if anyone’s listening and goes off and finds a million videos on YouTube, fabulous.

But if that is what happens, it actually means having working, not the opposite. And sometimes obviously we do recommend that people get support by experienced skilled practitioners for some of those processes. So there was one more thing I was going to mention about mechanism, if I may Lorne, or do you have a question first?

Lorne Brown:

No, I want you to do the mechanism that I’m going to go back to your testing hippocampus because you gave me … I just learned something that I did not know. So thank you very much.

Peta Stapleton:

Fabulous. So for the first time ever in the world, in the EFT world, my team here in Australia, we have actually recently … so I’ve just finished a two year chronic pain trial. So we did EFT for chronic pain. So our patients on average had chronic pain for about 14, 15 years. They went through a six week program. But as part of that, not only did we do functional MRI brain scans, and we absolutely got changes that has all just been published. So we got significant reductions in the pain modulation, catastrophizing areas in the brain. We tested vagal tone and vagal efficiency of the vagus nerve with Dr. Steven Porges’. So they have some equipment that allows us to measure where someone’s vagal tone and efficiency, so that’s how fast you can get back to baseline if something happens like your calmness. And we tested whether or not EFT as an intervening … so obviously they were chronic pain patients, intervening activity could do anything to improve vagal tone.

And it was during the height of the pandemic and obviously we had to see patients in person, so they did physically have to come into my office to be hooked up and do some movements. Guess what? We actually found significant differences at a statistical level in vagal tone improvement in efficiency after six weeks of tapping. What that coincided with was the brain scan improvement and the self-report, where patients literally we’re now doing six and 12 month follow up, sending me emails saying I forgot I was in your chronic pain trial during the pandemic because I haven’t had any pain. We’re like, I know I [inaudible 00:41:23] see you back. So that is the first time that’s been measured. But what we’re trying to pick up is that parasympathetic sympathetic kind of sweeping arc, to find out what else is a governing thing here. The autonomic nervous system is such a fabulous kind of thing that runs our lives, but how can we easily and are we affecting that? And the answer does at a preliminary level seem to be, yes we are actually impacting not only the amygdala but the vagus nerve, which is exciting because that’s where we’re going in the future with our research.

Lorne Brown:

And the vagus nerve goes from the head down the neck, which is why we do a lot of laser therapy around the neck in my practice, through the chest, our heart system to the gut. So many people with stress have digestive issues, and I’ve just learned recently that it doesn’t end in the gut, it actually goes to the uterus in the top of the cervix.

Peta Stapleton:

How fantastic.

Lorne Brown:

And so we have a guest that will be speaking because they’re going to talk about sexual trauma and painful intercourse, and how working with the vagus nerve may be able to impact that. So you said the autonomic nervous system, and to me the subconscious, that’s the autonomic nervous system. And when it comes to reproductive health and fertility, it’s the autonomic nervous system. We want balance because it’s the whole hypothalamus, pituitary, ovarian axis, this whole hormonal profile to have ovulation timely, to release the right amount of hormones, to allow receptivity that window for implantation. And there’s so many things that are involved, and it’s very difficult to try and make the body do everything it’s supposed to do. And if you can give it that environment where the autonomic nervous system feels safe, when your body feels safe, it’s more receptive, there’s more better immune system, better, everything runs better.

The only benefit of a stress response is when your life’s really in danger, then you want that. But if you’re worried about your fertility or your relationship or money, there’s no survival benefit to have all these hormones and things changing. So this is why I think EFT is such an amazing tool that I want to introduce to the fertility space because if they can help the body feel safe, then the whole nervous … we go into psycho-neuro-immunology, the whole hormonal nervous system electrical comes online and hopefully that will put them into more optimal reproductive health.

Peta Stapleton:

Totally.

Lorne Brown:

Questions I want to have for you then. So the hippocampus you’re talking about, so you mentioned in one of your pain studies, I think you had it in your eating disorder study too that … so the hippocampus is involved in memory and so in the pain study and in the eating disorder study, did you have it then that participants couldn’t really remember what things were like. So the memory changed. So the hippocampus changed, is that what happened in these studies?

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah, so basically sometimes, particularly because in some of these studies, our average kind of age of people participants is sort in their late fifties, mid sixties. These patients have been around for a long time. They’ll typically come into trials like this and kind of say I don’t remember anything earlier than 18 years or 15 years, that type of thing. And we never worry about that with EFT trials, because what happens as you start to tap even on a current present situation or feeling, is as the amygdala calms down, the hippocampus gets more access available to it, the memories come up and people genuinely are surprised. And I’ve got 15 years worth of food craving obesity research with EFT, where people are like oh my goodness, I just got a memory. But we teach them the minute you get a fleeting thought like that it’s important and we need to know it.

Don’t sort of discard it. It is very important because the hippocampus kind of just starts to throw things up as the whole system is coming down. So yeah, it plays such a strong role, not only in … and lots of eating disorders, food’s not the issue, it’s not about food. Pain, again, chronic pain issues. There might have been an accident or an injury that started it. For the majority of people in our trials there wasn’t, it’s just one day, which means it’s about something else too. It’s that’s a way of expressing it that seems socially acceptable, and has lots of different kind of outcomes but really what might be going on tracks back much earlier in life and not related to the theme of what it is.

Lorne Brown:

So do you subscribe to that idea of that a lot of the effect, so you have pain, you have anxiety, you have skin stuff going on, even possibly reproductive health, that there is some trauma or emotional … and trauma by the way, because some people are super sensitive and we’ve said this on other podcasts, somebody could be picked up late from daycare and that could have been traumatizing for an individual, if they’re incredibly sensitive and empathetic that way, an empath. So do you subscribe to the idea that a lot of the effects that we see later in life, there’s probably an emotional charge that needs to be integrated, and that’s where EFT helps with some of these physical symptoms but you’re really addressing some emotional and not that you like, but you expect sometimes memories to come up that have totally different story, but the feeling is similar and that’s what comes up for them?

Peta Stapleton:

And we are often using kind of really elegant ways to find that with tapping with the words we say, and for a lot of clients with long term kind of repetitive behavior. So if we’ve got someone in their sixties with these eating patterns or chronic pain that’s been there for four decades, then we know there is an established pattern and we will, we’re quite developmental in that we will look in the imprint years. So that first 10 years of life. So we will look, and you’re right for us a trauma is if a client tells us it had that impact on them no matter what it was, and the amount of school events that we’ve been told over these decades of, I stood in front of the class to give my speech and the teacher had a bit of a snort and everyone laughed at me. That’s the trauma. I’ve heard that story so many times the school.

But when you think about overlay that brain state as well, that little brain in the first 10 years for all of us was very much theta and delta and very hypnotic. So we do find, it’s not that it’s always there. Sometimes we’ve got lots of single session EFT studies where it’s a one hit wonder, and not that this is always the aim or the goal, but one hour tapping in the moment, done, never have a problem again. But it’s the long term problems that we will be going back and looking in that first 10 years to kind of find out what happened, you might want to think of it as a significant event more so than a traumatic one, but something set the ball in motion, and that’s where it tends to lie. But we don’t worry if someone can’t remember when they’re sitting in front of us because we know that it’ll come up if they keep tapping. So we just sit and wait for it and educate them as to when they get those thoughts they actually need to tell us, so that we can … sometimes they go home and dream it, come back the next session to tell you. So.

Lorne Brown:

It’s interesting to hear you’re doing it that way because with the hypnosis background that I have with EFT, I always, not in the first session, but unless it comes up I usually do some form of regression because usually, you’re not upset for the reason you think. Even with my fertility patients by the third visit they’re not working on the fertility issue, they’re working on something from before age 10. because it just comes up and it’s very gentle. I usually just ask the question as I’m tapping or we’ve worked on stuff, I just ask just like when, it’s just really gentle. I’m not looking for a problem. I realize with the tapping it will percolate up if necessary, and usually an earlier memory comes up. Going still to the hippocampus. So what I really liked about the test taking, because I never thought of it this way, is that when you dampen the amygdala, so that stress response, the hippocampus kind of comes online, we’ll use that language, and so now you have access to memories. I never understood why it was great for test taking, just like some things you know it worked but you don’t know why, I like that. Thank you for that. I did not know that. That’s great.

Peta Stapleton:

[inaudible 00:49:40].

Lorne Brown:

That’s great. And I could never understand exactly why, I just said the subconscious is bringing it up, it wants to work it. I was never totally understanding. I didn’t have a good logical reason to say, the reason the memories come up is because the hippocampus is coming online. So thank you because I just knew it happened, but I didn’t know really kind of why is that happening. But then on the other side, and it’s always like there’s this yin yang to things, but also there’s the other thing where, it’s not that the hippocampus goes offline but it changes the memories because you have studies where people don’t really remember their issue or believe they had the issue anymore. And that to me is a good thing because your memories are changing. In conscious work, one of the teachers I’ve had always says, and I don’t know where she gets it from, but everything that happens is neutral and then we give it meaning. So that’s why picking up from daycare, you don’t look at the situation you have, it’s how you interpret it. And so in your research people would come in with, you said, I heard you talk about pain, but people in the eating disorders had trouble remembering why, what craving they had?

Peta Stapleton:

Totally, every trial. Every trial.

Lorne Brown:

And I like this and I explain it that this is a good thing because we’re not using willpower and discipline to change, because discipline, willpower’s like a muscle it will tire. And so that’s why you’re going to go back to, that’s why the dieting won’t work and you’ll go back to those old habits. It seems like with the EFT from your trials, that there is a change in the brain. And so the memories change because their personalities change. They’re not that person. They can’t identify themself as a person that had that craving or wanted to smoke. And so now they’re not using willpower. They really think you’re crazy sometimes thinking they had that problem. Can you tell that story a bit? Like just-

Peta Stapleton:

And you’re right, we’ve done cigarette trials, major depression trials, food craving trials, obesity trials, chronic pain trials, like loads over the last kind of 18 years. And every single trial, and they do have a term for it in the EFT world, called the apex effect. So it is, you can Google apex effect everybody and you’ll absolutely see this happen, where the outcomes they currently have in their life, EG, no willpower, don’t eat that food anymore. They don’t attribute to the EFT trial, because they forget, they literally forget. But it is a neurological process. And our functional MRI studies show the brain’s activity is radically different after four week trial for food cravings or six week trial for pain. It’s different. It activates differently. So we know that we’ve got the biological explanation, but memory reconsolidation seems to be the best explanation, where same thing, when I bring up what’s happening for me, that could be my pain or my food craving or whatever it is, by cigarette urge.

And I do an opposite neutralizing activity, calms myself down, which is tapping. And I repeat that enough, the brain then can’t have that first feeling anymore in the same way. What happens then over time, and I think Joe Dispenza’s used the analogy in some of his teaching, it’s almost like you’ve got this highway, this super highway, and then the highway gets kind of closed. And so over time, because no more traffic goes down there anymore, it just gets overgrown with grass and then that highway doesn’t exist anymore Cause there’s a different one over here. And that’s the explanation from a memory reconsolidation point of view with no willpower, that if you are not using that neurological connection anymore, Hebbian’s principal, then it just loses its strength, and it just isn’t front of mind anymore. And people tell us they don’t remember, one being in the pain draw that’s happening at the moment, until they get my email saying fill out my survey. Or two, they say, I don’t remember what food I did tapping on.

And we remind them, and that could be, oh you were eating five mud cakes a day. Actually I had a guy who was eating a whole barbecue chicken every day, barbecue chicken. Would you like … oh it’s quite nice, but not one every day, and he’d been doing it for about 45 years. So he was quite obese. And we reminded him and he he started laughing and he said, I can’t remember the last time I had a barbecue chicken. And I said, well I can, the day you brought it into my trial because exposure therapy. And he found a memory that was related to something in childhood. It was about eight and there was a lot of positive emotion attached to that chicken, that was part of his story. So once that craving and everything had kind of collapsed, he’d gone on and two years later, we’ve done two year follow up on some of our trials, they can’t remember. And he just laughed and went, oh, I don’t even think about eating those anymore. Or I don’t even have a craving for if I think about it now. We were just like, yeah. He’s like, I don’t know why. And I’m like, you did my trial. We just have to let that go.

The highway of the brain is no longer got any neurological connection so.

Lorne Brown:

But you’re giving them the biological upgrade. There’s a change in the brain. And you said it like synapses that fire together wire together. And so they’re changing the brain structure. And so we see two things happening. One is with this, the amygdala calming down. The hippocampus is accessible. So you have older memories, but also you’re changing the memories as well. Sometimes they’re being changed or how they perceive or identify it. And so they’re not having that trigger anymore. Or now you go back to the very beginning when we talked. You’ve interrupted the story, right? So you got thinking, feeling, behavior. So he wants to feel good, so he eats the whole chicken, you’ve interrupted it and now he doesn’t need to eat the chicken to feel good. You broke … you interrupted the story.

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah, that’s exactly. And food’s such an interesting space to sort show people how tapping can loosen the power of food over people. Because they often kind of do, it’s not just negative feelings, it’s really positive feelings that get attached that might be from a positive memory. So it’s a really common one. But you’re right, they just happily merrily go on their lives. And I’ve even had people sort of say, I don’t even walk down those aisles at the supermarket anymore because I don’t even think about it. And of course they lose 30 kilograms along the way. So we get the kind of win-win.

Lorne Brown:

I’m going to ask you a couple things. I want to know, a couple of conditions, I’m just curious if there’s research on this because I haven’t spoken to you for a while, and I know more and more research is coming out. So you talked about pain, so I’m assuming that was a while back. Acute and chronic pain, fibromyalgia. So that’s happening.

Peta Stapleton:

Yes. Yeah.

Lorne Brown:

The emotional side of it. So stress, anxiety.

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah, lots of research and the stress kind of anxiety. Anxiety itself has had a meta analysis completed on a very large effect size.

Lorne Brown:

What about phobias?

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah, lots of research. So early research 20 years ago came out in phobias and there’s been a lot since. So yeah, plenty of research into phobia.

Lorne Brown:

PTSD you talked about. So there’s that.

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah, lots of that.

Lorne Brown:

Anything on depression?

Peta Stapleton:

So we’ve run a couple of depression trials ourselves here, and we compared to cognitive behavioral therapy. So funnily enough both conditions got similar outcomes at the end, but six months later the EFT people still didn’t meet criteria for major depressive disorder. But the CBT people had returned a baseline and they met criteria again. So EFT lasts longer, and obviously the lack of symptoms kind of thing. So yeah, there’s some other research that is international around that space too.

Lorne Brown:

And then in the women’s health you did mention there’s some research on fear of childbirth.

Peta Stapleton:

Yes. So that’s starting to emerge, and menopause. So funnily enough, menopause studies have started to emerge out of different countries where they’re using EFT for symptomology. Obviously hot flushes, mood changes, hormone regulation, with fabulous outcomes.

Lorne Brown:

I like to hear that. I’ve used it in my menopausal women for hot flashes. I’ve used it, this is all anecdotal, so I want to know if there’s research on morning sickness and women in pregnancy.

Peta Stapleton:

Yes.

Lorne Brown:

Is there any data on that>

Peta Stapleton:

So no, I’m just thinking off the top of my head now, Lorne, there’s one study that has been published on, it was used during the phases of pregnancy delivery, so for pain and things like that. But I don’t think they captured morning sickness. I personally used it because I knew EFT before I had both daughters. I personally used it for morning sickness, particularly the nausea stomach point, the whole pregnancy for one of my daughters. To great effect. So yeah.

Lorne Brown:

I teach it when the women come in. And then in the fertility world, I know you have a colleague Michelle that’s using tapping for fertility. I’m doing it in Vancouver at Acubalance. I really enjoy watching the women, especially the ones that are going through like IVF, just to use it as a process to have a better experience, and the stress which will help out with that. And then obviously just a more whole conscious fertility approach. So is there any research though that you’re aware of for fertility at this stage?

Peta Stapleton:

Not in the fertility kind of space, at a clinical trial level. You tend to need around a hundred participants when you run trials. So that kind of is a bit of a landmine if anyone’s wondering about obscure rare disorders and things, I get lots of emails saying is there any research on this, or this kind of topic? But unless we have enough people at the same time that can go through research trials, it tends to be more case studies, sort of single case studies or people like Michelle that are out in clinical fields where that’s their private practice. And of course they have the evidence that she runs programs as well as individual, where the outcomes are all positive. Women fall pregnant and go on to deliver happy, healthy babies. So.

Lorne Brown:

Glad to hear Michelle’s doing that. And like I said, more and more people are doing it. You know you said something that I was kind of chuckling about at the beginning that, if you’re having a stressful experience, you can go find a little bathroom and tap. I have walked on the street and seen people tapping when they walk, which I think is great. So people are like, what the hell? I’d rather feel good than worry about what you think of me, right?

Peta Stapleton:

I’ve seen it too. I’ve been in Hawaii at a conference, walked up a volcano and saw this young girl tapping and both my daughters are like, mum, mum, the girl’s tapping, I’m like, leave her alone, she’s calming herself down.

Lorne Brown:

That’s happened?

Can we do a review, because we talked about it here and there, but just kind of the mechanisms of EFT, if you can tie it in just to how this is good for the physiology of the body, just because with the conscious fertility, it’s a mind body approach. So the question for you is I want you to talk about the mechanism, I just want to set this up for our listeners as well. Mind body approach. And I feel when it comes to this podcast, the idea is we’re addressing both mind and body. And there’s two levels here. I believe, right action follows right thinking. So if you’re using a mind body tool like EFT, your behaviors will change and you’ll start to do behaviors that are congruent that will probably lead to better choices on an emotional and physical level. So just that part. Two is, if you can calm down the nervous system so it doesn’t feel it’s in alarm, then your resources are available for healing, for creativity and reproduction.

Because when your body doesn’t feel safe, and again obviously you want your alarm to go off in your body when you’re about to get hit by a car or a wild animal, when your life is really at risk, you need it to survive another day. But when it’s related to fertility or money or relationships or anything else, it doesn’t have a survival benefit, but it’s wreaking havoc on the body if it’s happening on a regular basis. And so physiologically, chronic stress leads to chronic inflammation, and it can throw your hormones out of balance, your cellular environment and this can impact your fertility. Just in a practical way, there’s research showing that women often will drop out of IVF cycles not for financial reasons, but because of the stress, and currently it takes on average two and a half IVF cycles to get a baby. So you may drop out, and that next cycle might have been a baby. And so people, that’s why acupuncture is … one of the IVF clinics have embraced acupuncture, not just because it helps with blood flow, and in some IVF settings they see it improved pregnancy rates, but it keeps the women in care to get that baby because they won’t drop out from stress. So as you answer the mechanism question, if things pop up in your head, how this can help health and reproductive health, please share. So what are the mechanisms behind the EFT?

Peta Stapleton:

I think you just summed it up beautifully. So definitely the mechanisms, if I just had to kind of condense it and sort of say, look, someone’s like how does it work? Because that’s probably the second most common question I can ask. Not only is this going to make me worse, but how does it work? Is one, it’s a way to reduce stress, not only in the mind at that kind of thinking level, but physiologically in the body. And of course we have a couple of decades of research now that show the physiological biochemistry changes that we get from tapping, particularly on things like stress and distress and trauma, are things like reductions in the stress hormone cortisol, normalization of EEG brain waves, that type of thing. DNA expression, heart rate variability, blood pressure, lots of vagal tone kind of stuff is just starting to emerge. So if we look at the body of biochemistry changes that occur there, it’s because we know that tapping on a known acupuncture point sends a deactivating signal, if we’re being really present and mindful to what’s happening for us, to the stress center and the brain.

Now the relationship there between that and the memory center means that if we’re trying to find maybe the root cause of what’s happening for us in the moment, then we’re more likely to find it when we’ve got that stress center becoming really calm, what that coincides with is a person saying, I feel much calmer just as a feeling state. Physiologically we can measure that and say, yes indeed you are, but they feel much calmer, which means they might then have access obviously to precipitating events from one year ago to 25 years ago, that again then tapping can be applied to in order to, you use the word integrate or process or find new memory, find new meaning for that memory. So yeah, so the mechanisms for us I guess as a field have really developed in the last couple of decades, used to always be talked about that tapping sort of shifted energy.

We know it’s much more than that these days. It’s a biological cascading of one thing affects another thing affects another thing, which ultimately makes that whole mind body kind of integration there become a much calmer kind of system. And in terms of the fertility space, obviously if someone’s in a calmer space, no matter what they’re going through, whether that’s IVF or financial stress, you can think more clearly if the body is calmer, which means opportunities to kind of find solutions to different problems out there, you will notice because when we become stressed and that frontal lobe drains of its blood, because like you said, we go into fight or flight, we become quite myopic, and we fail to recognize other solutions that might be around us as an answer to a problem, because stress actually makes us really kind of converge in on the very thing in front of us, which is not helpful and useful for problem solving. So it’s kind of like the answer to everything is we need to be calmer, that’s just the answer.

Lorne Brown:

We need to be in balance, the autonomic nervous system. Yeah, I like that. So to get your book, it’s called Science Behind Tapping, A Proven Stress Management Technique for the Mind and Body. Highly recommend that for both the layperson and allied healthcare providers. And how else can people find you? Because you teach in person but you also have a lot of online programs. So what’s the best website and IG account, whatever, how do you want people to find you?

Peta Stapleton:

Yeah, so on all the social channels, it’s just my name. So if people just search me Peta Stapleton on Instagram, or we share lots of stuff on Instagram about the latest researches, infographics and they’re all freely available to share and things like that. So Facebook, Twitter, obviously all of the channels. Probably the best place to go to for our training materials as well as programs and things like that, or even just to join the mailing list for our upcoming research trials, because all research trials are free to join, and these days we offer them worldwide, is evidencebasedEFT.com. So just evidencebasedEFT.com. And I can give you a heads up that we have two clinical trials in preparation for 2023 and beyond. They’re both online trials. So one is for OCD and trichotillomania, so body obsessive disorders. And the other one is to improve eyesight. So we’re actually targeting people that wear glasses who would like to roll back their prescriptions, and we’re replicating a trial from many years ago with Dr. Carol [inaudible 01:07:03] and we are going to offer that free of charge. And in the pandemic I ended up having to wear glasses for reading. So I’m going to do that trial myself.

Lorne Brown:

That’s good. I know the pandemic destroyed my nearsightedness for sure. So many us talk about that. So yes.

Peta Stapleton:

I know that trial’s actually coming up, and a really exciting one because of emotion that is held in, we touched on this a little bit, the physical sense in the body, emotion and going off the original trial showed the best emotion that got changes in eyesight, clarity was anger.

Lorne Brown:

Yeah. All right, there you go.

Peta Stapleton:

There you go. A couple of trials coming up. So join the newsletter everybody and we’ll let you know.

Lorne Brown:

All right, so look for Peta Stapleton on her channels and check out her book. And if you’re in the Vancouver area, come find me or telehealth, come find me at Acubalance, and Peta, I really enjoyed our conversation today.

Peta Stapleton:

That’s fabulous. Thank you so much.

Lorne Brown:

Thank you so much for tuning into another episode of Conscious Fertility, the show that helps you receive life on purpose. Please take a moment to subscribe to the show and join the community of women on their path to peak fertility, and choosing to live consciously on purpose. I would love to continue this conversation with you, so please direct message me on Instagram at Dr. Lorne Brown. That’s Dr. Lorne Brown, or visit my website, lornebrown.com. Until the next episode, stay curious, and for a few moments, bring your awareness to your heart center and breathe.

Hosts & Guests

Lorne Brown
Peta Stapleton

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