May 1, 2020

Tapping to Let Go with Nick Ortner

Is your personal narrative true? Or do you manipulate and aggregate past phenomena to support your current story? Today, Nick Ortner, CEO of The Tapping Solution, talks about how the simple technique of tapping can powerfully address fear and anxiety and aid the process of healing. Plus, experience a short tapping session!

Jeff: Nick Ortner, CEO of The Tapping Solution. Thank you for coming on the Commune podcast.

Nick Ortner: Jeff, it's always a pleasure to chat. You know I do a lot of podcasts, some with people I don't know, and others like this one with friends. So it's always interesting when I talk to a friend in this live public fashion to see what we can uncover. I enjoy it more because maybe we can go deeper and uncover some things about tapping and the world and what's happening and how we can help people heal.

Jeff: Absolutely. We have a lot of common interests, and common friends common, even political beliefs and allies, which would maybe be another episode someday. But we've always... I think really enjoyed each other's company. So just to begin, I would love just a primmer EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, one-on-one. For me and for our listeners, just to get generally acquainted with the modality.

Nick Ortner: Of course. So EFT, as you said, Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping is what we call it as a general term, sort of like meditation is a general term. And then we have all these different kinds of meditation, but we call it tapping because we are literally physically tapping on these endpoints of meridians of our body. It's a combination of ancient Chinese acupressure. That's the tapping component. And then modern psychology.

Nick Ortner: And what the latest research has shown is that when we tap on these endpoints of meridians, while focusing on the stress, the anxiety, the pain in our bodies, whatever's going on, we're sending a calming signal to the amygdala in the brain. And your very wise listeners will know that the amygdala is that fight, flight or freeze response center in our brain when we're stressed when we're anxious when we're worried about a world pandemic, that is a part of us that is firing, and this happening sends a calming, counteracting signal to tell the body it's safe, to tell the body that it can relax.

Jeff: Yeah. The reptilian part of our brain, this kind of fight or flight, cortisol component of us can be very helpful and in certain situations certainly when we were roaming the Serengeti as foragers. But rarely in modern life are we in sort of physical danger, but it seems like that this part of our brain has now I suppose now reacts more towards sort of psychological threat. And I wonder, kind of, you have seen through kind of many experiences the usefulness of tapping to relieve kind of fear and anxiety sort of fight or flight in the most kind of emotional or psychological way. I wonder if you can talk about of the relationship between this technique and fear and anxiety.

Nick Ortner: Yeah, absolutely. And you mentioned one of our big stress hormones, cortisol that is flowing through our bodies at all times, and it's a useful hormone in a lot of ways. I just ran across a research study just came out a couple of weeks ago on tapping, and it was actually a replication study. So replication studies are great and important because in science, as you know, we tended to do a lot of studies and someone tries to replicate it, and that doesn't happen. It doesn't work again. So it's important to say, "Hey, this is a different group of researchers replicating the study."

Nick Ortner: And what they did in this study is they had three groups. One did an hour of tapping, of group tapping. The second group did an hour of psychoeducation. So learning about stress, and learning about the body and its stress response. And the third group got to sit in a waiting room for an hour and read magazines. So they were the control group.

Nick Ortner: The tapping group saw a 43% decrease in cortisol in an hour. So this is salivary cortisol before and after a huge drop. And I really loved the physical measurements because it's like, okay, we know and we're going to talk about fear and anxiety in a moment. But it's like, "What is the physical response it's happening in your body." I think it's important to acknowledge that, especially in this time when we're looking to boost our immune systems and stay healthy, lowering that cortisol, lowering all those other stress hormones, is so critical. So 43% decrease in tapping group, a 19% decrease in the psychoeducation group, which to me showed, "Hey, the things that you're learning and when you're reading books and exploring this information, it's helping you to relax your body and moving you into that state."

Nick Ortner: And by the way, when you add the tapping component, now you added, you went up to 43%, and then maybe the funniest part of this study was the control group who read magazines. Their cortisol went up 2%.

Jeff: Oh no.

Nick Ortner: So just sitting there, who knows what magazines they were reading. I've been joking that I would like to see the next replication study, the third control group being on Facebook for an hour, on their newsfeed, seeing what their friends are posting, seeing because I am convinced the cortisol will go up 20%, 30%, 40% from that.

Nick Ortner: But that, to me, shows the relationship between this fight or flight response and the cortisol in our body and then these emotions. So with the tapping, we are focusing on the anxiety, the stress, the overwhelm, the fear that is gripping our lives. I think we're in an unprecedented time, not only because we're in the middle of the global pandemic, which is as stressful as it gets.

Nick Ortner: There's two components of any stressful situation, and those two are uncertainty and lack of control. Someone will think about a global pandemic. It is full of uncertainty. We don't know what's going to happen next, and lack of control. We can't do anything about it for most of us, right? We can't take an action and say, "I'm going to do this to change the situation in my life." So this is uber stressful. Cortisol's rising, fear and anxiety is rising, and with the tapping, we acknowledge these feelings, we send that comic signal to the amygdala and now, what we're doing too.

Nick Ortner: To me, the big breakthrough in tapping and these other somatic therapies, somatic meaning body-oriented therapies, is that we move beyond all this head stuff, right? Where we just talked for 30 years about mom and how she drove us crazy for dad and how he wasn't kind, or the things that we experienced growing up or the abuse or the trauma. All important things to look to heal, the tapping and physical therapies. Sematic therapy says, our bodies are part of this equation. It can't just be about our minds. It's going to be difficult to talk our way out of these things. We've got to have that deeper experience and begin to tell our bodies that it's safe.

Nick Ortner: With that calming signal, the body begins to relax and feel safe. And that's why people have such profound breakthroughs where they say, "Some people yawn like crazy, they cry immediately. They feel a sense of relief because their bodies, for the first time in a long time, had begun to calm down."

Jeff: Yeah, it's interesting. And there's an author named Peter Levine who you're probably familiar with.

Nick Ortner: Yeah, of course.

Jeff: I was reading some of his writing that addresses kind of how animals shake that there's a physical expulsion of stress and anxiety that we don't do. We're often in this kind of freeze mode. And then because we're not moving because there is no kind of physical detoxifying of the trauma or the stress, we bury it in a... and I guess what Michael singer might refer to as sort of a negative, some scar or but that didn't, then these patterns emerge over and over again in our lives in a whole variety of different ways.

Jeff: And it's interesting how you described anxiety. I talked to a guy named Peter Crone maybe about a month ago, and he brought this up as well. Where anxiety and the two principal components of anxiety, this kind of a deadly elixir between uncertainty and powerlessness. And my friend, Chip Conley, wrote a book I know quite a few years ago called Emotional Equations, which was largely for adults like me who need some sort of mathematic equation in order to understand one zone's emotions.

Jeff: But he essentially said that "Anxiety equals powerlessness times uncertainty" And that they're both equal factors in determining kind of our anxiety levels. And I think there're various ways at that to address the problem. We can try to address certain elements of the uncertainty and reduce that to the degree that we can, or we can apply different forms of tools. Now, there could be sort of a meditative approach to uncertainty which is sort of to surrender and let go of the ego like minds need to know everything to actually have certainty in one's life and to actually become more, I suppose, unattached to outcome and more equanimus and I guess, and let go of that need to control.

Jeff: And then, of course, there are sematic modalities. I think like EFT and other ones that really directly address it. So I wonder if you could talk a little bit about kind of the acupressure, I guess the ancient Chinese component of it, the meridians, and then how that merges with modern psychology and what elements of modern psychology that you are pulling into the practice.

Nick Ortner: Yeah, absolutely. Before I do that, since you mentioned Chip's name, I have to read you his testimonial about tapping.

Jeff: Okay.

Nick Ortner: I don't know if you've heard this.

Jeff: I didn't. I'd love to hear.

Nick Ortner: So he wrote, "In my darkest hour, I discovered tapping and miraculously this unorthodox approach to making sense in my life. Move me out of the fog and into the sunshine." I love his emotional equations, but we met a couple of years back through TLC, and he had actually done tapping before we met, and he's a big fan of it as a technique. So I thought that was kind of serendipitous.

Jeff: I love it.

Nick Ortner: When you mentioned his name, I was like, "well, I got a testimonial."

Jeff: He's a beautiful guy.

Nick Ortner: He is beautiful man, beautiful man. So these ancient Chinese acupressure components. So these meridians, we often think of our bodies, especially in this Western world, as being very biological. So we think about the food that we eat, the supplements we take, the pills that we take. If we go to a Western medical doctor, most of their resources and techniques will be biological. They're like, "Take this thing, and it will have this chemical reaction." But the reality is that our bodies are very electrical and that's something that Western science understands and agrees. They just don't work with those principles.

Nick Ortner: So we know that our brain is full of electrical signals that date. It's not just a biological component that we have nerves that send electrical signals throughout our body. And what these endpoints of meridians are, are points of greater conductivity. So when we tap, when we create that pressure, that drumming, we're sending that signal through these points of less resistance to the body and the brain.

Nick Ortner: And then the modern psychology component. I mean, this is where there's so much flexibility, so much ability to do tapping the way that feels good to you. So much ability for therapists and psychiatrists and psychologists who are many of them are bringing tapping into their practice to take their principles. So I've seen yang-yin psychologists who say, "My practice has changed when I brought tapping in with my yang-yin principles.

Nick Ortner: So really whatever your approach is, whether it's cognitive behavioral therapy or anything that you use as a baseline for communicating with people, for helping people explore themselves, their bodies, their histories, their past, the healing to happen. When you bring in this physical component, the results are amplified tremendously because you can help people actually relax.

Nick Ortner: And I've heard time and again where people say, "Well, I was in talk therapy for 20 years, and then six months of tapping and my life changed completely because we're unlocking this safety component. You mentioned the word buried before. When it comes to our feelings and emotions, it's such a big part of this process. When we start tapping, we start on how we feel. So we say, "Okay, how anxious are you on a scale of zero to 10? Feel it in your body now notice that anxiety be present to it." And that part of it can be really difficult, especially for people who are into positive thinking, which I am. I'm all about positive thinking and optimism. Someone's watched The Secret maybe a few too many times. They really struggle with the thought of being negative in any way.

Nick Ortner: But I remember sitting down with my dear friend Louise Hay, who's since she left us, a founder of Hay House and a legend in this space in this field of self-help and personal development. And she is all about affirmations and positive thinking. And I said, "Louise, we're doing this tapping together. We had done some private sessions, and you love this process, but we start with the negative. Why are we doing this?" And she looked at me, and I hadn't prepped her for the question. It was just amazing her simple answer. She said, "Honey if you want to clean a house, you have to see the dirt." And it just became so obvious to me in that moment that so many of us bury things and we put the dirt under the rug, and we think we're being positive. We think that we are forgiving someone because we're just ignoring it, but this is saying, "Hey, let's actually process these emotions."

Nick Ortner: And it also allows us to do some really deep work. I was doing a Facebook live in our private group earlier this week about anger and forgiveness and taking people through a process where if they had someone that they were angry about something that needed to be said, that they could tap through it, tap through that process, speak their truth. So almost imagine it's happening in that moment, and then process it to the point where they can then get clarity of saying, "Well, this is something that I actually need to say to this person, or no, I can move beyond this."

Nick Ortner: As an example, if someone has an 80-year-old mother who abused them growing up and they're just realizing they're 50 years old and they're doing this work, and they're realizing, "My gosh, she was horrible to me, and she abused me physically and verbally and it was an awful experience. I'm looking to heal from it."

Nick Ortner: The question in a situation like that is, how does that healing happen? Do you have to or do you want to say to that 80-year-old mother, I can't believe all the things that you did to me. I can't believe how much you hurt me? Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe there's a way to process these emotions first to have that healing happen and then have the clarity to say, I either need to say something or I've done my healing. It's in the past, and I'm letting it go because that's what best serves everyone involved.

Jeff: Yeah, now, that's interesting. I mean, I suppose it's yang-yin in a way to do that shadow work that you can't truly be free, be present, be in awareness without really doing some of that hard work on the shadow components of your life. The resentment, the anger, the jealousy, the envy, the low self-esteem, the story basically that a lot of people are constantly carrying with them. And we all have those. I have them. And I'm committed to that work, and I think it's really important. And then there's kind of the other side of it too, which is that we tend to identify ourselves through sort of the continuity of our own psychology of like "I am the product of these memories and experiences that have influenced me to be me to defined what the experience is like to be Jeff or to be Nick."

Jeff: And I've been thinking about this a lot recently of whether or not a lot of those, that story, a lot of those experiences and memories are actually true or not. Or are they just essentially manipulations of phenomena that happened in the past that I have essentially aggregated to support this current story that I'm having right now in this very present moment. And when I meditate or use other modalities and I do tap not religiously, but I do tap, and I find it really helpful.

Jeff: When I do those things, I actually, what I can kind of peek into is that all I am is the experiencer of sort of transitory phenomenon from moment to moment. Like, "There is no story," like the truth has no story, but, of course, like "I'm not living in that space all the time. I'm not fucking tall or anything." I can just sort of like pop-up in there and then back into the muck of being like an animal.

Jeff: So it's an interesting, it's strange as being human, especially right now where we're living in kind of like this strange forced monasticism, I mean, I suppose monks like go off to ashram and caves to sort of strip away external stimuli to essentially get at the core of what is contentment? What is pain? And there is sort of a strange coerced monasticism in a way that's happening, not to everyone, not to frontline workers, not to people who are sick, not to biologist or supply chain folks, but to a lot of people who are sequestered at home. Just living with less and living with themselves. And I think this is where that tech we're tapping can be so incredibly useful because we're not often trained to deal alone with ourselves.

Nick Ortner: Yeah. 100%. It's one of the things that I love about the technique, and again, therapists and psychologists love it because they can teach their clients something to use themselves, right?

Jeff: Right.

Nick Ortner: So it's not just about that hourly session or that monthly session. It is, "I can take control of my body, my life, my anxiety. It's not something that has to control me." And a lot of times for those situations, for anxiety or depression or overwhelming fear, it's almost like the fear of the experience itself is just as bad. Like, "What if I get a panic attack when I go out? What if I get this feeling." So the fear of the feeling sort of keeps it running into that circle. I got a text. I mean speaking about taking that power back and being at home and the front line workers.

Nick Ortner: I got a text a couple of weeks ago from a friend of mine was actually a nurse at Yale-New Haven. And to me, this highlights the power of this technique to transform lives one by one. And she writes me, and she says, "Hey, I have to thank you. I had a panic attack last night at 2:00 AM, I've never had one before like that. It was pretty bad. I felt like I couldn't breathe and was shaking. My teeth were chattering," and this is like probably the calmest person you'll ever meet. She's just down to earth, calm. So anyway, "A lot of my friends keep reaching out, and complete debilitating anxiety, and I think I'm an empath and just take it all on, and the million daily scary emails from work don't help. Anyway, I listened to your, stop a panic attack, attack meditation on the app, and it immediately calmed me down like immediately. Then my husband talked to me for a while after I did it twice and I was better. Seriously, thank you so much for what you do. I don't know what else I would have done without your work."

Nick Ortner: That 2:00 AM moment to me that is the power of this technique, whether it's using the app or just learning the technique on your own because if someone's had a real panic attack, they know that if you have a panic attack at 2:00 AM and it's a full-blown panic attack, most people end up in a hospital, right? You need help. You need medication to bring things back in perspective and calm you down. A lot of people go to hospitals with panic attacks thinking they're having a heart attack.

Nick Ortner: So this is real and obviously, disclaimer, go to the hospital if you think you're having a heart attack. So just check with your medical doctor. But this is a tool where people can take that power back and say, "I have a resource within, or I can calm my body down, or I can bring things back in balance very quickly."

Jeff: It's a beautiful email or text to get, and I feel that in this time, that kind of expression that's becoming more normal, that gratitude that reaching out to people and giving support. I'm feeling it too. It's lovely. 


Jeff: I think by, and large people have a different association with Newtown, Connecticut, as it was the home or the community for the tragic shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. So your work came really to your doorstep. I wonder if you could talk a little bit about that experience and what you learned as almost kind of a first responder in your own way and then how you've applied that forward to other situations.

Nick Ortner: Yeah, thank you. It's a good, deep, and broad question. So we'll see what we can pull out of this. So, as you said, I live in Newtown. The shooting took place 10 minutes from my house as I drive right now, about three or four minutes from my brother's house, who also lives in Newtown. So when that day happened, I remember that Friday so well when the news started coming out and at first it was like, "Well, one person was shot" And you think, "Okay, well that was horrible and tragic, but it's not a big deal." Not that it isn't obviously, but that's how you react, right? We go with the scale of these things, which is ridiculous, but there it is.

Nick Ortner: And as the news began to unfold over the weekend and got the real story, the shock was just, I mean, it's one thing. I think the whole world, I know the whole world was shocked and stunned, and then when it's 10 minutes from your house in the town that you live in and you own a house and it's something else. I knew we had been doing a lot of work. So that was December 14th, 2012, we started the tapping solution. In 2007, then my movie came out in 2008. So, we'd already been out there doing a lot of humanitarian work and worked with genocide survivors in Rwanda supporting work they're doing tapping with them, and kids with cancer in a hospital in Mexico. So it was already part of our mission, and then it just got taken to the next level because we knew we had to do something to help.

Nick Ortner: I flew in Dr. Lori Leyden, who, whose work we had supported in Rwanda because she had that direct experience of these unspeakable tragedies and together with my brother and sister and the rest of my family. And then a whole lot of volunteers who came forward. We spent the next couple of years helping people heal and wherever we were given the opportunity. We had some incredible stories like my friend Scarlett Lewis who wrote a book called Nurturing Healing Love. I remember going to her house the Tuesday after the tragedy.

Nick Ortner: So, five days earlier, her son Jesse had been murdered. And walking into her house and seeing all the paintings of Jesse in his room and his toys and it was as real as it gets. And we were there to provide comfort for Scarlett. She actually knew about tapping. She was a fan of Wayne Dyer and Hay House and was familiar with my work. So she was open to it, and we did some tapping together in that moment, we also tapped with her son, J.T her Jesse's brother, who hadn't gone back to school and was having a really hard time obviously. Scarlett and J.T, I had worked with Scarlett for a year afterward, still in touch with her. She's gone on to do incredible things with the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation, where she does social, emotional learning in schools, and part of her curriculum includes tapping.

Nick Ortner: So she wrote a book with Hay House, so we've gone on to do other things. But in those early moments, it was just about finding some peace. Tapping isn't a cure for anything, it's never going to fix a tragedy that is so unspeakable. But what it allowed Scarlett to do and what it allowed J.T to do and other people we work with is to release some of the heaviest trauma, the shock that the bodies were and the stress, the anxiety, and be able to breathe and find some peace. And also to grieve.

Nick Ortner: I've worked with people who have had such tragic losses, oftentimes the anger about what happened obviously, so many reasons, anger at God, anger at the shooter, anger at the responders, anger at politicians, whomever it is that might feel anger towards the shock of the event, all the things that come with a worldwide event like that and make it, so people struggle to actually grieve, to go through the process of sadness.

Nick Ortner: And I think if we played any role, and that was to help people reduce all those overwhelming emotions, so they had the ability to grieve and to feel that sadness. The lessons I learned during that time when continuing to support the community and in any way we can, one of the things that I learned, especially in the years afterwards where other shootings would happen, and people would look to us for help and resources is two things.

Nick Ortner: A, just how difficult and expensive it is to do anything. So when Parkland happened, we raised $50,000, and we donated extra money to send Dr. Leyden down to work there. But budgets get strained really quickly when you have to fly people when people have to leave their homes when they have to be available to help. And then also what we saw in Newtown and other places is that sometimes people are open for this kind of help and other times they're not.

Nick Ortner: It's part of the reason why I developed the tapping solution app. Within the app, we have a foundation category which is free all the time. And we have a teacher self-care collection that's free, military and veteran support that is free. And then we have crisis support, like a sort of a crisis support first aid kit that's free. And there's stuff in there like, feeling safe and secure, releasing shock. As things happen, we roll things out, so we have a tapping for Australia, and therefore when the fires happen a few months back, we have the coronavirus anxiety and other stuff there. Part of the thing for me for the app was the ability to reach people quickly on something that happens.

Nick Ortner: And I also recognize in Newtown, I'm still seeing it every day, that there's a lot of people who need help who just won't ask for it. So, we could offer a free session all day long to the whole community, but only so many people will say, "Oh, I need help, or I'm willing to sit down for an hour with somebody and talk about this." And the app and other resources we've made available for us are sort of that transition piece for the person who is at home who is struggling, who needs help and maybe isn't ready to do that deeper dive.

Jeff: Yeah, I know it's such an important tool. I've seen exactly what you were saying. I've seen sort of a corollary for yoga where there's a lot of folks that feel intimidated or that there's some kind of like cultural shame or something going to a yoga studio or maybe they have body image issues, or there's a whole variety of reasons why you might not want to go to a yoga studio and lay your mat down next to someone that's like sort of indiscriminately popping up into a handstand every three seconds or so. So I've seen-

Nick Ortner: I don't like those people either.

Jeff: No. To my damn wife. And so being able to offer that where people can meet people where they are, which is right now and often just in their homes where they can feel safe unjudged and just have a portal, have a door away in, it's a great gift. And it's so important. 

Jeff: You talked a little before beautifully about kind of the stages of grief and that kind of oftentimes the first stage is to start second-guessing yourself or assigning responsibility or kind of playing with this kind of "If only we hadn't gone to school that day," or kind of a lot of the... it's not exactly denial, but its sort of trying to assign the responsibility before kind of the acceptance and being able to kind of sit, or I would say more stand in the pain.

Jeff: And then getting to the other side of that, which you are able to facilitate with J.T of, as Viktor Frankl would say, "Finding meaning in the suffering." And that's, I mean, there's just God in that. And I think that's sort of the highest expression of being human is to find that kind of meaning in that suffering. The fact that J.T could come to the other side of that journey and find meaning in something bigger than his own pain. It's beautiful.

Nick Ortner: 100%. It's sort of, you bring that up leads me to think about our current situation because I don't know how much we're doing that there's a lot of information coming at us. I mean, maybe we'll do it when it's past us a bit, and we're still in the thick of it. I worry, I mean, one of the things that I worry about with the current situation is the amount of different informations and opinions and views and conspiracy theories and this and the other not saying some of them aren't half-true or a quarter true or 100% true not judging those, but there's so much to decipher and decide, and again, so much uncertainty and lack of control that I wonder when we're able to have that conversation about the meaning behind what we're going through.

Jeff: Yeah. I feel this just made a little piece called Where the Hell is Walter Cronkite, which speaks to that there is no reliable, dependable source of fact or truth right now, of course, this is when you look to leadership for kind of steady informative fact and in the absence of that and sort of this kind of hope, bleak credence to conspiracy culture, we just don't know what to believe. So then not only is there sort of less social cohesion but then it's harder to have these conversations because they're not based on any sort of agreement.

Jeff: So, for many people, I think that there's great pause has been somewhat of an epiphany. I think, for others, there's plenty of folks that deny that it even exists. So how do you have a conversation about meaning? Speaking of meaning, one thing that I've always really thought was sweet and wonderful, especially in kind of today's kind of global culture is the kind of human scale of your business, which the impact belies kind of the size of the organization because you're making huge impact. The statistics are crazy. But that you work so closely with your family. And I wonder if you'd just talk a little bit about that because I think it's a very unique story in a culture where the sort of family business has eroded a bit.

Nick Ortner: Yeah. So, I started... I mentioned making a documentary film in 2007. I had this crazy harebrained idea to make a film about tapping. And I enlisted my younger sister Jessica, who's seven years younger than me. And so she was around 21 at the time or so, I was also at 28, 29. She had just dropped out of college, and college wasn't for her. She wanted to do something different. And I said, "Hey, I'm making this movie. Do you want to join me?" And I don't know. She thought it was a good idea or had nothing else to do. It could go either way. But she joined me, and one of my dear friends from high school, Nick Polizzi, joined me as well. Nick's going to make The Sacred Science film, and a bunch of really cool docuseries and the three of us set out to make this film.

Nick Ortner: We put it out a year later, sold DVDs for 1995 on the internet, and made back all the money that I had spent and started becoming profitable. And then my brother Alex joined us. He started working with us running operations and marketing. It wasn't long after that that my dad joined in. We'd been in some businesses together before, and he came in to help with the tapping solution. And then a few years after that, when my mom retired, she was a school psychologist for 30 years, and when she retired from school of psychology, she came on board to help with the foundation and to work there. I actually just got a text from my sister because we are recording, Tapping Meditations in Spanish for the app.

Nick Ortner: And I was born in Argentina, so I speak Spanish fluently, but I moved here when I was eight, so maybe my accent could struggle here or there or I don't know all the stuff I was going to do it. And then I said, "You know what, let's have mom and dad and record them." And my sister texted me, "Well, this is an adventure," Helping mom record in Spanish. I feel like a producer. It'll be great. But there's a learning curve for sure. LOL and there's a video, so I haven't played the video. I'm sure the video is something about my mom, clicking through and trying to make things work.

Nick Ortner: So this is a family business through and through. You see it in action here, and it's been fabulous. I mean the good, oftentimes when you think about a family business, you usually have one person who knows what they're doing, and the rest are being pulled along. And it's like, "Well, cousin Joey has to work for us because it's the family business." That's not the case here. My sister wrote a book, The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence. That was also in New York Times Best Seller, like my first book.

Nick Ortner: My brother Alex wrote a kid's book, and he's been recording Tapping Meditations for kids in the app. We actually have the first ones that we launched for kids who are on coronavirus anxiety, and those are free in the app. And just today, he was working on some for sleep and focus for kids. So we've obviously had our ups and downs throughout the years. But they've been few and far between. And I think we're also mission-driven. 

Jeff: Yeah. That's beautiful. I love it. And yeah, obviously, I work very close with my wife. In fact, I feel like this is all just in her honor on some level. And she's just too humble to be out there screaming at people taking that role. But yeah, it adds a whole nother layer of gratification when you can make a difference in positive change with the people that you love.

Jeff: Just a little primmer. And so people can get a tiny bit of a taste and then get over to the app.

Nick Ortner: I love it. Absolutely be happy to. So whenever we start tapping, we start by deciding what we want to do. So what do we want to focus on? Are you anxious? Are you stressed? Are you feeling fearful? Do you have pain in your body? And tapping is extraordinarily effective for pain relief. I wrote my second book on rain relief. I hear stories every day about people having 10 years of neck pain that went away with a tapping session. So if you're in pain, you might want to focus on that.

Nick Ortner: Pick something that you want to let go of. The easiest for a lot of people in this day and age is just anxiety, just anxious about what's going on, but pick what you want to focus on or release. And as you tune into it, give it a number, an intensity on the scale of zero to 10. So you might feel anxiety in your chest and say, "Well, it's an eight or nine," Or you might be stressed in your shoulders about that's happening in the world, or an upcoming deadline or something someone said to you and just give it a number.

Nick Ortner: Well, let's go ahead and take one gentle breath in and let it go. And as you take that breath, just notice if there's any tightness in your chest. I've heard a lot and seen a lot of breathing and chest construction the last month, even if we're not dealing with something. I think just collectively. We're all holding our breath. We're all tight in that area, so just notice that that way we can see if something shifts as we do the tapping.

Nick Ortner: We'll start by tapping on the side of the hand. It's called the Karate Chop point, and you want to take four fingers of one hand, or the other hand and tap below the pinky on the outside of the hand, and you're just tapping gently, repeatedly, and then repeat after me, either in your mind or out loud. And Jeff, will you be my echo for this process?

Jeff: I'd be happy to. I'm doing it right now.

Nick Ortner: All right, so tapping on the side of the hand even though I feel so much stress in my body.

Jeff: Even though I feel so much stress in my body.

Nick Ortner: I choose to relax and feel safe now.

Jeff: I choose to relax and feel safe now.

Nick Ortner: We're going to stay on the Karate Chop point for two more times, just tapping gently, even though it feels a little hard to breathe.

Jeff: Even though it feels a little hard to breathe.

Nick Ortner: With everything that's going on.

Jeff: With everything that's going on.

Nick Ortner: So much uncertainty.

Jeff: So much uncertainty.

Nick Ortner: And with all these feelings.

Jeff: And with all these feelings.

Nick Ortner: I choose to feel safe now.

Jeff: I choose to feel safe now.

Nick Ortner: And one more time still on the side of the hand even though I'm holding on tight.

Jeff: Even though I'm holding on tight.

Nick Ortner: Moving too fast.

Jeff: Moving too fast.

Nick Ortner: Just a little overwhelmed.

Jeff: Just a little overwhelmed.

Nick Ortner: Or a lot overwhelmed.

Jeff: Or a lot overwhelmed.

Nick Ortner: And with all these feelings.

Jeff: And with all these feelings.

Nick Ortner: And all these new and strange experiences.

Jeff: And all these new and strange experiences.

Nick Ortner: I choose to feel safe now.

Jeff: I choose to feel safe now.

Nick Ortner: I'm going to tap through the points. The first point is the eyebrow point. It's on the inside of the eyebrow where the hair ends, and it meets the nose. You can take two fingers of one hand or the other hand or both hands. The meridians run down both sides of the body. And I want you to just tap gently and tune into your body. Where are you holding on to this anxiety?

Nick Ortner: Now we'll move to the side of the eye. It's not at the temple. It's right next to the eye on the bone. Again, one side, or both sides. And as you tap, take a gentle breath in. Now moving under the eye. Be present to these slots. As we said earlier, we are looking at the dirt in order to clean the house. So what are you most anxious about? Are you worried about your finances or your kids or your future? Bring these fears forward. Allow them to surface. Give them a voice. Under the nose, and if your mind is wandering or bringing up all sorts of things, that's okay.

Nick Ortner: In this moment, you're sending that calming signal to the amygdala. You are telling your body maybe for the first time in weeks or months or years, that it's safe to relax. Underneath the mouth. It's above the chin, below the lip, now little crease there. Tapping gently, feeling the feelings, noticing how they begin to lose their grip. They begin to let go. Collarbone feel for the two little bones of the collarbone. You can go right below it. Tap with all 10 fingers, both hands.

Nick Ortner: Tapping gently, recognizing that anxiety and stress. This is a tough time for everyone. It makes sense that you're stressed. It makes sense that you're anxious. It's okay that you're afraid, and it's also okay to let these feelings go. Underneath the arm, three inches underneath the armpit, either side of the body, right on the brown line for women, tapping gently, letting go. The last point is at the top of the head. Tapping gently and breathing gently.

Nick Ortner: We'll do one more quick round, and I forgot to do my disclaimer these days, which is make sure to wash your hands before you touch your face. But I think most of us are well practicing that and our home and had been washing our hands. So let's move back to the eyebrow and repeat after me. Either in your mind or out loud. It's safe to relax.

Jeff: It's safe to relax.

Nick Ortner: Side of the eye. It's safe to let go.

Jeff: It's safe to let go.

Nick Ortner: Under the eye. I can be calm and peaceful.

Jeff: I can be calm and peaceful.

Nick Ortner: Under the nose, even as the world goes crazy.

Jeff: Even as the world goes crazy.

Nick Ortner: Under the mouth, I choose peace.

Jeff: I choose peace.

Nick Ortner: Collarbone. I choose to let go.

Jeff: I choose to let go.

Nick Ortner: Under the arm. To feel safe in my body.

Jeff: To feel safe in my body.

Nick Ortner: Top of the head. Right now.

Jeff: Right now.

Nick Ortner: And you can gently stop tapping and take a breath in, and let it go. So that was two quick rounds of tapping, and now we tune in. We gave something a number when we started the anxiety, the stress, the overwhelm. So check back in, and you might say, "Well, the anxiety was an eight, but now it's a six or five or a four." Notice that breath. Has your breath changed at all? You can just take a gentle breath in. Has it gotten deeper and more open? Has your body shifted at all? Is there some pain that is now a little less? Have your shoulders relaxed? And the tapping process is just continuing on. What's next? What else do I want to uncover? What do I need to do to get to a place of peace?

Jeff: Thank you, Nick. You have a great gift and a beautiful voice.

Nick Ortner: Oh, I appreciate you. Thank you.

Jeff: I appreciate you. I appreciate your time. I appreciate the Tapping Solution and your entire team and your family, and I'm holding you tight even from 3000 miles away or six feet away.

Nick Ortner: Yeah, we're six feet away. Thank you. Before I forget, we were making the premium version of the app free for six months for healthcare workers and first responders. So nurses, doctors, firemen. I had a male FBI agent apply the other day, which was the coolest thing. He said he was dealing with anxiety, and the tapping was helping him. So if you know someone on the front lines, share that resource with them. If you just go to, you'll see a little link there.

Nick Ortner: And as mentioned earlier, for the rest of the world, we have a lot of free resources in the apps, specifically around coronavirus anxiety. For pregnant women, to kids, to healthcare workers. Just doing everything we can to give people those specific resources.

Jeff: That's beautiful and incredibly generous.

Nick Ortner: Thank you, Jeff.

Review us on Apple Podcasts

Other episodes you might like:

The Secrets to Healthy Aging

Dr. Mark Hyman

In this 1-hour master class, Dr. Mark Hyman shares the latest research on what lifestyle strategies can slow or even reverse the biomarkers of aging.

Let's Connect

Contact  | Help | Privacy | Terms
© 2021 Commune Media, Inc. All rights reserved.