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Calm in the Chaos

Two restorative practices to center and find calm on a hectic day

1. Three minute body scan

This is one of my personal favorites. You do not need any special skills or equipment. This can be done sitting or standing, but preferably lying down. As with any mindfulness practice, the aim is to bring present-moment, nonjudgmental awareness. With a body scan, the goal is to allow yourself to become aware of the different areas of your body and to experience how each part feels, without trying to change anything.

Just be present and acknowledge what is there. To begin, you bring your attention at the top of your head and then move down the body, region by region, ending with your toes. There are numerous guided body scans of varying lengths available online to help you with this practice ( is a great resource for those interested in learning more).


2. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) a.k.a. tapping

EFT is a process of tapping on a series of meridian endpoints to balance or unblock energy though a particular meridian. These meridians are associated with different bodily organs. Each meridian has an endpoint on the surface of the body where you can access the energy channel.

EFT is based on the concept that negative emotions can disrupt the body’s energy system. It is thought that tapping on meridian endpoints may realign energy patterns and the response to negative emotions. The tapping points include: side of hand (karate chop position), inner eyebrow, side of eye, underneath eye, under nose, chin, collarbone, under arm and top of head.

General Steps for the Tapping Process:

1. Identify a problem or concern you would like to address. This is often referred to as your Most Pressing Issue (MPI).
2. Rate the magnitude of the feeling, at this moment, on a scale of zero to 10, with 10 being the most intense.
3. Establish a setup statement or affirmation using the following statement:
“Even though I have ___________, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
4. Select a “reminder phrase”; this is a few words that help you focus on your MPI. For example, “This stress...”
5. Start by tapping on your karate chop point and repeat your set up statement three times.
“Even though I have ___________, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”
6. Using two fingers, tap on each point (five to seven times each), starting from the inner eyebrow and finishing the cycle at the top of your head, while making affirmative statements and reciting your reminder phrase. Example: “This stress…is overwhelming.”
7. Complete one to two rounds of tapping and then rate the intensity of the problem again on a scale of zero to 10.
8. Continue the tapping or stop when you experience relief or need to move on.

Dana M. Elia, MS, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist with over 20 years of experience in medical nutrition therapy, integrative and functional nutrition, and health and wellness coaching, also teaching group classes and lecturing on health related topics to audiences of all age ranges. She is an adjunct faculty member at the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences.


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