A psychotherapeutic approach that combines cognitive techniques with the stimulation of acupuncture points by tapping on them has been gaining increased attention among clinicians, as well as among laypersons using it on a self-help basis. It is called energy psychology, and 36 peer-reviewed studies published or in-press as of April 2012 ‘including 18 randomized controlled trials’ have found the method to be surprisingly rapid and effective for a range of disorders. More surprising are reports of “surrogate tapping.” In surrogate tapping, the practitioner taps on him- or herself and applies other elements of energy psychology protocols as if he or she was the person whose problem is being addressed, all the while holding the intention of helping that person. Essentially long-distance healing within an energy psychology framework, successful reports of surrogate tapping have been appearing with some frequency within the energy psychology practitioner community. A search of the literature and pertinent websites, combined with a call for cases involving surrogate tapping, produced the 100 anecdotal accounts described here where an apparent effect was observed. Studies of other long-distance phenomena, such as telepathy and distant healing, are reviewed to put these reports into context. The paradigm challenges raised by reports of positive outcomes following surrogate treatments are considered, and conclusions that can and cannot be legitimately reached based on the current data are explored.
Keywords: acupoints, distance healing, energy psychology, entanglement, surrogate tapping
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