A woman with presenting plaques smiles inwardly as she looks at her glowing heart.

“Tapping” Technique for The Emotional Toll of Psoriasis

Life is stressful. Psoriasis is stressful. Life with psoriasis? Super stressful. This condition takes up almost every waking thought—worries about treatment, skin clearance - and, of course, the stares. Stress plays a significant role in this incurable disease.

Stress is also a noticeable trigger for psoriasis symptoms. The more stressed we are, the more our symptoms increase, and the more painful, debilitating itch remains. Stress is unavoidable, but stress management is not. We've talked about yoga, exercise, and meditation - but I'm here today to introduce a new stress management tool.

What is a "tapping technique"? How can we use it?

Let's start with a story. A man has two tomato plants - one he speaks sweetly to and tends with loving words, the other he curses and ignores. The plant who was adorned and taken care of blossoms with fresh fruit - the other? Dried up.

The moral of this story is to speak more kindly to ourselves. We can do that by making opportunities to do so.

The tapping technique is exactly as it sounds. It's when a person uses a repetitive tapping technique with their fingers and hands to calm their mind and invite more productive thoughts into their emotional orbit.

The tapping technique is also referred to as an Emotional Freedom Technique, which is a type of counseling intervention that stimulates acupressure points by pressuring, rubbing, or tapping these points while focusing on situations that represent personal fear or trauma.

How I use the "tapping technique" in my own psoriasis management

Here's another story. One of the more stressful times of my life was preparing for a beautiful moment with my husband, renewing our wedding vows. I was stressed, scared, and irritable throughout this planning and secrecy. My scalp psoriasis flared and resembled dried-up corn. My head and skin exploded. It was a nightmare.

Throughout all of these preparations and arrangements, my psoriasis was worsening each day. I was spinning like a fan at my doctor's appointment. Beyond stressed is an understatement.

My doctor sat me down and asked me to count my breathing. I could hear my heart beating in my ears. We walked back my feelings with a series of questions and got to the root of my many emotions. It was important to find the core of why I felt this way. I was worried about money and my husband being disappointed.

Our exchange ended with one final question: "Do I love myself?". This was my first introduction to mindfulness and finding a connection with my body.

Tap this out!

Tears filled my eyes and fell down my cheeks. I was in the middle of a terrible flare. Psoriasis and its impact consumed me. No, I didn't love myself, but this was the question I needed to hear so I could begin to. Like the tomato plant, I was not giving my body the needed love.

My doctor helped me identify some reaffirmations to practice daily. I used to say aloud that I accept my psoriatic body and love it no matter what. These words had so many healing powers. Within a month, my body was healing itself.

This was my version of an Emotional Freedom Technique, and it's different for everyone, and the process is always different. Some call it "tapping," but I call it a magic potion. With daily affirmations, I got what I was missing. Myself again!

By the way, the wedding was beautiful and without a hitch.

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