Ahern: Tapping her way to help others escape pain
By Patti Ahern Citizen Journalistfirstname.lastname@example.org July 11, 2013 1:06PM
Erin Muldoon Stetson, a resident of Chicago's Beverly community, promotes tapping, which uses tapping on various points similar to those used in acupuncture, as a way to good physical and emotional health. | Supplied photo
Updated: August 15, 2013 6:07AM
Erin Muldoon Stetson knows that many raise an eyebrow over non-traditional health practices, but despite skepticism, including her own, she found a health practice that she knows works — tapping.
Stetson gently taps various pressure points that are similar to those used in acupuncture and in doing so repeats affirmations to herself.
She doesn’t care that many will scoff at this health practice because she has confidence in her abilities to be logical and sensible about her health. Also, “it works,” she said.
Stetson, 39, lives in the Beverly community of Chicago and grew up with chronic back pain due to a herniated disc and sciatica. The pain was so severe she had surgery when she was 15, but even after surgery she still had bad back pain.
When she was 25, her soon-to-be father-in-law gave her a book about how to heal back pain. As Stetson read the book, her pain grew worse.
“How could a book make my back hurt?” she asked herself. “I began to make a mind-body connection and realized that when we experience pain there is often a trigger of stress or something emotional.
“I realized that if stress and anxiety can hurt you, you can also harness the mind to heal it,” she said.
To force her mind into cooperating better, Stetson decided to try to bend over to touch the floor with her hand. She sweated from the pain, but after working at it for several minutes she was able to slap her hands on the ground.
“I thought, ‘This changes everything,’” Stetson said. “I began to reconsider my life and realized the cause and effect of emotions and health.”
For the next six years, Stetson said she “fumbled” over how to find and harness a mind-body health connection until she was invited to a class on Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).
“I went in with an open mind, but I was skeptical. I was under stress due to a situation we had with my grandmother’s caregiving, and I think my body and mind were holding my neck and shoulder hostage, she said.
“What I found in the room were other normal people — a chemist, a college student, an accountant — and I learned that EFT was like acupuncture without needles. I went in with an eight out of 10 in terms of neck and emotional stress, and after two to five minutes of tapping, the eight turned into a zero.
“That wasn’t on my radar of possibilities, and I realized that I was on to something special.”
Stetson said she left the class eager to learn more. She researched and eventually put in 200 hours of practice in tapping. The hours of study and practice improved her health and allowed her to earn an advanced certificate as an EFT practitioner.
“Something about this clicked in a very big way, and now I’ve dedicated six years of my life to spreading the word,” Stetson said.
“A lot of us stuff the stress, and if we stuff it, it goes somewhere else in our bodies. I know I’m a great healer, and anyone who walks through my door is pretty much blown away by what tapping can do.”
Stetson begins by asking clients about their most pressing issue and then either guides them through the tapping process or will tap for them. The taps occur on the head, near the eyebrows, cheekbones and elsewhere, and the person in pain must repeat affirmations about their need for less stress and pain.
“We tap along meridians, energy lines, because when we are stressed, our energy is disrupted,” Stetson said. “By tapping, you calm the energy lines, and healing can occur. Our bodies and minds know how to heal themselves.”
Stetson, who lives with her husband, Jay, and two children, calms her children with tapping so they can nap and relax.
“She changed my life,” Orland Park resident Rebecca Spenglar said of Stetson. “I functioned at half my capability before Erin. I had a bad back, and the radiating pain is no longer there. I tell people, ‘Don’t knock it until you try it’ because it really does work.”
Stetson is happy to feel healthy and to help others.
“I am so blessed to do the work that I do. I feel blessed that people trust me with helping them with their problems. This is really important to me, and I think of my life as before tapping and after tapping,” she said.
Visit www.taponit.com for information about Stetson and tapping.