Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tap your way to better pronunciation?

Clipart: Clker
If for some reason you have encountered any of the so-called "Power Therapies" developed for dealing especially with conditions such as PTSD, you may have heard of "Thought Field Therapy." (If not, not to worry!) It is based roughly on, among other things, acupressure therapy which, in turn, is based on Chinese traditional medicine . . . Thought I'd just briefly "tap" into that approach to psychotherapy to highlight one aspect of HICP teaching: tapping the hands and body for different functions. (See most recent post of the potential cross-cultural pitfalls of self-touch in our work.) There are several versions of TFT; the one linked above, the British TFT Association, has more connections to Western "reality" than some others! What they share is the use of rhythmic and a-rhythmic tapping on various acupressure (or Shiatsu) points on the arms and upper body, locations in traditional Chinese medicine which are identified with various "energy fields" or "junctures" of various kinds--typically while focusing on a problematic memory or systematically avoiding focusing on it. That such manipulations in a coherent therapeutic mindset or worldview may "work," is not the question. They do, but, from a Western perspective, particularly, it is nearly impossible to establish that empirically--so I won't try. HICP does, however, borrow from that tradition the idea that touch, as it creates haptic anchoring, in some cases even on the same acupressure locations, is a useful tool--when combined with a wider range of more "traditional Western" pronunciation teaching moves. Just for fun, you might download the linked PDF on TFT .  . . and keep it "on tap!"

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