For years I struggled with intense anxiety, stress, and panic—until a friend introduced me to Emotional Freedom Technique. Also known as "tapping," it saved my life. The practice has helped me to remove blocks, heal past traumas, and deal with day-to-day stressors as they occur.
Tapping is just that—a system of tapping on acupressure points on your own body to address problems. While it may look and feel silly in the beginning, it has been gaining in popularity and has even been approved by the Veterans Administration for use with their patients suffering from post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, pain, and other conditions.
When I discovered you can use EFT to help your pet, I was thrilled and a bit curious how it could work on animals. I wanted to learn more, so I reached out to animal communicator, energy healer, and educator Joan Ranquet to really home in on this unique healing modality and how it can benefit our pets.
Animal communicator, TEDx speaker, Hay House and Sounds True author, educator, and animal guardian, Joan Ranquet leads an inspired life. It’s no surprise MSN has deemed her one of the “Top 25 People Who Do What They Love.” Her TEDx talk, The Rainbow Bridge, Animals in Transition has over 305,000 views.
Describe Emotional Freedom Technique for people who have never heard of it.
Emotional Freedom Technique is an alternative treatment for relief of physical pain and emotional distress. When using this technique you tap with your fingers on specific acupressure points that are connected to meridians and organs. These meridians and organs are connected to emotions. When you tap on the these points you are releasing the stuck emotion that is associated with them. It's like telling a really bad story, but you are tapping on the feel-good points and eventually moving that emotion out of the body. For animals in particular, unless they have a good animal communicator they don't share with their friends what happened the other day to release their stress so it's really locked in their body. You are providing a way for them to release and relieve those stored emotions.
So obviously we humans are doing the tapping on the animal, are the meridian points the same for animals and humans?
Yes, no matter what being you are the meridian points are the same. So if you notice say a dog is feeling a little distressed, if you were to come and lightly tap on the eyebrow point or bladder point in acupressure you would begin to see them get a little relief.
By distressed do you mean things like anxiety or behavioral issues?
Yes, EFT can be very helpful for both anxiety and behavioral issues. If you can identify the main feeling—for example let's say you have a dog that suddenly is exhibiting leash aggression and know that they had an experience where they were attacked by the neighbor dog—you can tap on how betrayed they felt or perhaps how scary the experience was for them, so that you're releasing that experience. That way, the dog isn't anticipating that experience every time you walk out the door with a leash.
Do you have a specific success story you can share that would help readers understand the benefits of EFT?
Just last week I tapped with a cat that had been diagnosed with asthma as a result of allergies and was having difficulty breathing. I look at it more from a Chinese medicine standpoint. The lungs are related to grief. I realized that the student I was working with had had the cat for less than a year. So I asked her, "Do you think at any point the cat had the opportunity to grieve her last person?" She said no, because the person went straight into hospice and then passed away.
So in many ways, the cat is almost bracing for what could happen again. We tapped on the grief and we tapped on the many changes that had taken place within the household. As the cat relaxed into the tapping it was just as if layers and layers of grief and emotions continued to melt off of her and she entered a new state of calm. I always say that relaxation at some level is the baseline that has to be there for all healing of anything, physical or behavioral for any animal. In this situation that is when breathing or sneezing doesn't get out of control.
How do you identify the main feeling or emotion that you need to tap on? Is this something you can do on your own or should you identify and tap with a professional?
Working with an animal communicator that is an EFT practitioner as well is important because they will literally be able to tap through the feelings of the animal. For example, once a week I have a client whose horse was bucking her off, ultimately injuring her. She wanted an animal communication session before she tried getting back on the horse. Through our session I discovered some physical issues in the horse, and then she realized he wasn't just being naughty, he had some discomfort. So we began tapping through the discomfort and now she taps regularly with the horse because they both just feel so much better after. But all of us can determine something like when it feels like our dog is a little sad or anxious. All of us can identify on their behalf at least a couple of feelings. All it takes is a couple of feelings to get rid of, to create relief.
If someone wanted to work with you, I know you offer classes and workshops.
Yes, I have an eleven-week class that runs twice a year, and then I have the spring intensive every year. The first three days is animal communication. And the next three days is EFT for animals. And in-person it's so much fun because you get to tap on my dogs, on my cats, on my horses and you get all kinds of experience.
If you would like to learn more about EFT or work with Joan, you can learn more about some of the workshops she leads at JoanRanquet.com
After our chat Joan offered to do a trial session with my 14 year old dog Chance, who has been scratching and chewing himself raw for the past nine months. We have been working with our veterinarian to try to pinpoint the cause of his discomfort, but I wondered if there could be an emotional component to his distress as well.
Joan started out by asking me if there had been any changes to our life, and it's true, there have. Within this last year Chance has retired from going on our daily group walks, which he has led for the last twelve years. Instead, he now does an easy stroll with me and his best friend Bosco, who is thirteen. Bosco has been having some health issues lately and I often wonder how that affects Chance. In addition, workers started construction on a new building next door to our home.
With Joan's guidance, we tapped around those emotions. As you can see in the video below, Chance didn’t seem to mind the tapping so much! We are going to continue trying EFT in addition to working with our veterinarian to pinpoint the root cause of his discomfort in hopes of finding him some relief.