TAMPA (Ivanhoe Newswire/WTVM) -- Mental health challenges affect 63 million Americans every year. Treatment ranges from medication to meditation to counseling. But there's an alternative form of healing that let's your fingers do the walking.
The new and improved Mary Stump eats well and smiles often.
"I'm 64 and I'm aging backwards now," Mary says.
But the road to happiness was a rough one … littered with grief, misery and a brain tumor.
Mary says, "Five people died in three years and my daughter and I were the only survivors."
Instead of using medication to cope, Mary turned to a holistic therapy called Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT. While meditating on her stress, she gently taps on meridian endpoints. Holistic health coach, Suzette Roth, says it's like acupuncture without the needles.
"We tap on the variety of points on the face and the collarbone. And what that does is it clears the energy field," she says.
Mary was skeptical at first. "I said it doesn't sound like something that would work for me."
But it did work. So, now, whenever Mary starts to stress , she starts to tap. And, she's not alone.
There are almost half a million instructional videos on YouTube.
"It really gives frustration a voice, so you're not shoving it somewhere in your body, in your heart or in your head," Mary says.
But is tapping really therapy, or is it trickery? In the book Trick or Treatment, physicist Simon Singh says it is nothing more than a placebo. But a National Institute of Health study rejects that, saying after just six sessions, psychological distress plummeted in veterans with PTSD.
But Mary didn't need a study to tell her it works.
"It's really opened me up," she explains, "it's non-addictive, you're not going to harm yourself; you're going to heal."
Health coach, Suzette Roth, says tapping can have an immediate benefit. And, if done daily, can change someone's entire demeanor. If you want to start, you can just go to YouTube and search EFT. There are thousands of videos that walk you through it.