Here’s What Happened When I Tried ‘Rapid Tapping’ To Help Manifest a Lot of Things (Including Good Skin)

Photo: Getty Images/ Fabrice LEROUGE
Does the word “manifesting” make you think of mood boards, mantras, and “The Secret?” Well, same—that is, until recently, when I had the chance to meet Poppy Delbridge, author of Tapping In: Manifest the Life You Want with the Transformative Power of Tapping and became fascinated with the "rapid tapping" method she'd come up with for manifestation.

By mixing the art of ancient touch therapy to shift stuck energy, along with repetitive language, micro-meditation, and visualization, Delbridge claims that you can take control of your life with only a few moments each day. Curious to decipher whether or not it would actually work, I tried rapid tapping for a week.

What exactly is tapping?

The concept of tapping was born in the 1980s when acupuncture students realized you could stimulate pressure points without the use of needles. It started as a method to relieve physical pain, but in the '90s psychologists revealed that tapping on certain facial points could also serve as a form of therapy to help balance out negative emotions. In present day, the most well-known form of tapping is called Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and involves speaking affirmations while tapping pressure points. For example, I first learned of the practice during a "Fear of Flying" therapy session, where I learned to tap any time turbulence was making me anxious.

Delbridge’s more simplistic version of the practice, which she coined “rapid tapping,” is a set of short routines that are rooted in the same ideas but introduce an element of goal setting. "Traditionally, tapping has been used to remove pain and trauma and to lower stress, but my ‘rapid tapping’ technique is also about moving toward potential and possibilities—that’s the biggest difference,” she says. “What you believe is possible is ultimately possible, because it’s all about adjusting your energy to match what you desire. It’s a proven technique that links the thought patterns about yourself to your potential.”

How does the rapid tapping method work?

Delbridge says that the more you speak and tap into positive self-beliefs and affirmations tailored to your ideal future self, the more likely they can become a reality. Essentially, by focusing on the outcomes you want and strengthening those connections in your mind, you're make them deeper and stronger through a process called neural plasticity.

In terms of the physical act, Delbridge says to think of “rapid tapping” as a distant cousin of acupressure, the no-needle version of acupuncture, which humans have been doing for centuries to promote peak health by encouraging Qi (i.e. life force) energy to flow in perfect balance.

It's also important to picture the outcome you want to manifest. “Visualizing during tapping is an important way to mentally rehearse for something that gives your brain parameters that weren’t there before.” She likens it to what athletes do all the time before a game.

Removing blocks and limiting beliefs

Delbridge explains that positive thinking alone (like, I want a yacht!) won’t get you what you want. But unlocking deep feelings around why you don’t deserve that yacht will lift roadblocks that you may have subconsciously set in place for achieving your financial goals.

And just like I was taught to tap during turbulence to calm my nerves, removing negative narratives is easier when you’re in a slightly altered brain state (Delbridge explains that this is when you’re more suggestible to positive changes). “We create memories when we’re highly emotionally charged—like on your wedding day, or when something really awful happens,” she says. “Rapid tapping will put you in that energized brain state by turning off the stress reaction, which is the perfect time to use my energy techniques to seal in that positive frequency.” She adds that then you can introduce goals and ideals into the picture.

How to do the rapid tapping method

There are certain “rapid tapping points”(such as between eyebrows, under the eyes, on the collarbones, and over the heart), that serve as meridian endpoints (again, think acupressure). In her book, Delbridge suggests measuring your progress through a series of self check-ins which evaluate the change in your emotional state as you learn the exercise—overtime, it will elevate.

As the book outlines, I was instructed to first breathe deeply, with hands over heart, and say aloud how I feel. Afterward, I massaged “sore spots” (a comforting place under the collarbones that regulates the nervous system) and reframes any negative feelings with positive ones, laying the tracks for the day. It ends with tapping with self-affirmations and then rubbing the hands together and placing them around the head in a “hug” to re-calibrate and seal in the positive frequency.

Delbridge explains that this exercise alone has the power to instantly change your mood (and it really did, for me). But as a long-time beauty writer, I would be remiss if I didn’t add a truly appealing side-effect of this practice. Because you’re tapping on the face in one continuous motion, tired eyes benefit from the light lymphatic touch, which increases blood flow for depuffing benefits. Such skin-care claims may sound far-flung, but one glance at Delbridge’s clear, bouncy complexion and you may become a believer, if not a tapping fanatic.

What can you use rapid tapping for?

Really for anything, Delbridge says (think: creative prosperity, financial abundance, amazing sex). She explains that when big groups tap together with a unified goal, a higher frequency is created, which is why she’s hired to work with corporate teams and larger communities so often.

In terms of my own tapping, there were some really heavy hitting items for which I wanted to tap, namely—gun control, reproductive rights for all, a bathroom renovation—but for the sake of this article, I chose something more immediate; a year ago I turned my travel passion into a side hustle and now design luxury trips for my own network, so I decided to tap for a new, amazing client. Since I don’t actively market myself, I rely on referrals from friends, which oftentimes feels left up to the universe.

What happened when I tried rapid tapping

I’m very disciplined when it comes to routines so bookending my day with a few minutes of rapid tapping wasn’t a challenge. (I actually enjoyed the ritual of it all.) When it came to making a difference in my skin, I can say that no, I didn't see a reduction of wrinkles or a collagen boost (though that's tricky to evaluate in the mirror), but yes, there was definitely a reduction in puffiness around my eyes, an age-related issue that has made me self-conscious. As a long-time fan of lymphatic massage, I wasn't surprised by the instantaneous effects from the "flutter taps" around my sockets, and find myself gently tapping them when I'm sitting at my desk.

Did I achieve my goals in a week’s worth of tapping? Yes and no. A new client did not enter my life during that week’s span but two current clients asked me to design last-minute summer trips. One of my goals for this new side gig was to get return clients—another way in which I can measure my own success. Did my tapping attract this positivity? Maybe! Delbridge admits that even though the process is backed by science, there is a magical element that plays into achieving your vision, which is hard to prove or explain. “Some things are unfathomable for the human brain," she says, "but if it’s makes you feel better you wind up saying, ‘I’m in!’”

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