When I first heard the term "tapping away your problems", I thought it was a turn of phrase rather than a literal form of therapy.

But on meeting Suzanne Alford, an emotional freedom technique (EFT) practitioner, it became apparent that tapping into my emotions was going to involve a lot more than a chat over a cup of tea.

Described as acupuncture without the needles, EFT is a therapy which relies on tapping on specific pressure points to release emotional problems.

Ms Alford explains: "The body has a number of lines, known as meridian lines, running through it.

"What happens when we have emotional problems is that these get filed away within the appropriate meridian line. If they are not dealt with they start to fester and manifest themselves into physical or mental problems."

The first step for me is to identify a "presenting" problem. I pick the obvious and common issue of stress with work, and then score them out of ten.

To begin with I score seven and this mark is written on the middle of a flip chart.

But I am not allowed to get away with stopping at this point.

By probing and pushing, Ms Alford soon has me filling up the page with all sorts of issues, even a memory I have of my old headteacher telling me off at primary school.

Soon, there is not much space left on the board and I begin to think maybe I should have sought help earlier.

Ms Alford believes 85 per cent of ailments have an emotional root cause. If this is the case, then judging by my chart I should be carted off to hospital straight away.

Now the fun stuff starts. I have to pick three things from the board which most represent the way I feel and then get tapping.

I tap firmly with either two or four fingers on all the pressure points, including my eyebrows, lips and underarms, all while chanting my deepest fears.

When tapping on the final point, I have to hum a little bit of any song that comes into my head. On this occasion, it happens to be Baa Baa Black Sheep.

At the end, I score myself again and, funnily enough, my stress level has gone down to zero.

After working in human resources management for 14 years, Ms Alford retrained to practitioner level as a holistic therapist learning Reiki, reflexology and massage.

Getting a taste for her new found interest, she studied to be a life coach and changed the course of her career, holding therapy sessions from her home in Hunter Close, Borehamwood.

After our session ends, Ms Alford tells me: "I have always dreamed of finding one simple technique that would act as a wand to help people to get rid of many of their problems.

"EFT is as near to the wand as I can currently get."

As a sideline, Ms Alford is also a part-time actress. She swears by EFT to get her through auditions.

She said: "Instead of being 95 per cent anxious I am now 95 per cent calm at auditions. It makes such a difference to my confidence and performance."

What is unusual about this kind of therapy is that people do not need to sign up to a long course of treatment.

"People usually only need one or two sessions before learning how to apply it themselves and take it away with them," says Ms Alford.

And to all the sceptics out there she adds: "Don't knock it until you try it."

With my new-found inner peace, I stroll back to the office only to discover the mounting pile of work on my desk and the long list of emails that have arrived in my inbox - time to get tapping again.

Ms Alford is holding a talk and practical demonstration of EFT at St Michael and All Angels Church hall in Brook Road, Borehamwood, on December 1. The event starts at 2.15pm and costs £3. Tickets have to be bought in advance. For more information, call Ms Alford on 020 8386 2736 or 07766 515968.