WASHINGTON -- Imagine you could relieve your pain, do away with stress and lose a few pounds by tapping on your face.
The ancient, holistic practice of tapping is gaining popularity with many as a way to cope with and overcome fears, phobias and bad habits.
"Tapping is a stress-release technique," says Jessica Ortner, producer of documentary "The Tapping Solution." "I like to say it's like acupuncture, but without the needles."
Tapping therapy, or "Emotional Freedom Techniques," is inexpensive and does not take a lot of your time. It is easy to do, but requires consistency and belief in order to be effective.
To begin, you must focus on what it is that may be creating the stress: an upcoming job interview, a craving for ice cream, a fear of flying, anything that is making you fearful, anxious and stressed.
"Stress impacts every aspect of our lives," Ortner says. "What tapping does is disrupt that anxiety and help create a balance in the body."
The tapping is done with one or two fingers on our body's energy points, also called meridians, which include the top of the head, eyebrow, under the nose, chin, collarbone, the underarm, and inside the wrist.
"All these acupressure points," Ortner says, "are actually places of comfort for many."
She says you may notice when some people are stressed; they intuitively place their hand on their eyebrows, their temples or their chests.
Tapping includes a phrase or mantra said when tapping to address the problem that is causing the angst. By keeping it short and specific, it allows you to focus as your fingers begin the process.
Can it help you lose weight or relieve that job interview fear?
Testimonials swear you can, but no studies are available.
"The Tapping Solution" focuses on individual success stories from users of tapping.
The concept, like acupuncture, has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine.
"You don't need a guru. You don't need an expert to empower yourself," Ortner says. "Tapping just gives us another way to make ourselves stronger."
© 2014 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.