Results of Scientific Research

Index of this page

1. Changes in Psychosomatic Senses

250 healthy adults, ages 18 to 75, were asked to fill out the Psychosomatic Sense Checklist (PSC). PSC is a pencil and paper questionnaire and includes 35 sense items such as feeling tired, stiff shoulders, neck tension, feeling sad, anxious, lonely, happy, relaxed, energetic, etc. Each item has a rating scale of 1 to 4, where 1 is the lowest and 4 is the highest.

The attendees rated their senses both before and after doing Tapping Touch. Their age range was between 19 and 73, and the average age was 41.

The data was then statistically analyzed and broken down into 3 different categories (indexes). These were: 1) Index related to stress, fatigue, tension, 2) Index related to positive emotions, and 3) Index related to negative emotions. In each item in all categories, statistically significant changes were seen. The results of these analyses are shown in the following graphs.

graph 1

Statistical Significance:
Before-After Comparison of Stress/Fatigue/Tension :(t = 22.81, p < .001);
Each Sense Item :(p < .001)

graph 2

Statistical Significance:
Before-After Comparison of Negative Emotions :(t = 19.23, p < .001);
Each Sense Item :(p < .001)

graph 3

Statistical Significance:
Before-After Comparison of Positive Emotions :(t = 22.81, p < .001);
Each Sense Item :(p < .001)

62nd Annual Conference of the Japanese Society of Public Health, 2003.

2. Changes in Anxiety Level

The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was used with 65 subjects, aged 20 to 70. The average age was 41. There are two subtests to the STAI test: State and Trait. In this study, only the State subtest was used in order to measure the subjects' level of anxiety immediately before and after giving and receiving Tapping Touch.

General research has established that a normal anxiety score level is 45 (Mean score). Subjects for Tapping Touch scored an average of 46.5 before Tapping Touch, which is about the same as the norm. After receiving and giving Tapping Touch, their score was reduced by about 10 points, which is statistically significant.

graph 4

Statistical Significance:
Before-After Comparison of State-Anxiety Index :(t = 12.33, p < .001);

Presented at the 62nd Annual Conference of the Japanese Society of Public Health, 2003.

3. Changes in Brain Waves and Autonomic-Nervous System

At the Neuro-physiology Laboratory in Kinan Hospital, Mie, Japan, a group of 10 subjects were tested for physiological changes using the following neuro-physiological equipment and questionnaires.

Of 10 subjects, 5 subjects fell asleep during the assessment later shown by the analysis of obtained brain-wave data. They seemingly became very relaxed and fell asleep during the measurement after Tapping Touch. Due to the sensitivity of measurement equipment used, their results were considered not compatible with those who were awake and thus invalid for the current study. The following summary includes only the 5 subjects who were awake during the measurement after receiving Tapping Touch.

(Skin Temp.)

Summary of Neuro-Physiological Changes

Overall results indicate that those subjects with higher levels of subjective stress tended to show greater increases in skin surface temperature and the heart rate variability coefficient, indicating greater activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.*

Tapping Touch also tended to increase alpha waves, suggesting that Tapping Touch encourages brain relaxation. Alpha waves are commonly found when the brain is highly relaxed, but not asleep.

Future research is needed: 1) with a larger number of subjects, including subjects under a high level of stress, 2) using A-B Research Design*, and 3) under research conditions that prevent subjects from falling asleep during assessment.

Results were presented at the 62nd Convention of the Japan Society of Public Health (2003).

4. Changes in Serotonin and Psychological States

Serotonergic (5-HT) neurons are known to play a role in the suppression of anxiety, tension, pain and depressive symptoms among humans. Also, previous scientific studies have established that 5-HT neural activity is enhanced by rhythmic behaviors such as walking, swimming, drumming, and chewing.


We thus hypothesized that Tapping Touch may enhance 5-HT neural activity. Tapping Touch involves a rhythmic behavior, i.e., rhythmically tapping with the hands of right and left alternately. Also, in clinical settings, it has been consistently evidenced that Tapping Touch has suppressive effects on anxiety, tension, pain and depressive symptoms.

Nine healthy volunteers, 18 to 76 years old, participated in this study. The research was conducted at the medical department of Toho University, in collaboration with Dr. Hideho Arita.

The subjects were paired and asked to do Tapping Touch with each other for 30 minutes (15 min. each). They were assessed at pre- and post-course, as described below.

The subjects' brain activities, such as alpha waves and frontal robe blood flow change, were also assessed with EEG and Brain Topography.

To assess the serotonergic neural activity, we sampled blood and urine before and after Tapping Touch. For analysis of 5-HT activity, we determined 5-HT levels quantitatively in the whole blood (WB) and urine (Urine) using HPLC system.

To assess psychological changes, standardized and validated self-report measures were administered: (1) the Profile of Mood State (POMS) and Visual Analogy Scale (VAS).

Results showed significant main effects of Tapping Touch on the 5-HT level. Furthermore, among the psychological parameters, 4 dimensions of the POMS (Tension-Anxiety, Depression-Dejection, Fatigue, Confusion) and all dimensions of VAS (Pain, Anxiety, Depression, Tension, Guilt, Stress) improved significantly after experiencing Tapping Touch.

Details of the research results are withheld for other scientific paper. Partial results are shown in the following graph.

graph 5

Results were presented at the 68nd Convention of the Japan Society of Public Health (2009).

Copyright 2010, The Association of Tapping Touch.