Thumping For Joy

     Until very recently, the thymus gland was a highly misunderstood organ. In fact, in the 1950’s, doctors would erroneously irradiate the thymus gland in children believing doing so would prevent illness. They mistakenly thought its enlarged state at birth was a sign of disease rather than health. What is the function of the thymus? The thymus gland is a critical organ for our immune system…it regulates the protective white blood cells, specifically t-cells, that shields us from so many pathogens. Where is the thymus located? Beneath your sternum and in front of your heart, the thymus is greatest in size at birth, but for unknown reason, after puberty, it undergoes a slow process called thymus involution as it atrophies with age. According to Dr. John Diamond, this gland seems to be the first organ to

respond negatively to emotional and physical stress. He believes this is the main cause of the involution of the thymus, and he notes that the thymus gland can shrivel to half its size in only 24 hours. Some theorize the reason the thymus atrophies is because we lost the instinct to thump on it like guerrillas do. In my research, however, I did discover the indigenous tribe of New Zealand, the Maori, has a war dance named Haka in which they thump on their chest as a show of strength, vitality, and to diminish fear. As a result, in some indigenous tribes they were chest thumping to eliminate fear and anxiety.
    In her book Energy Medicine, Donna Eden recommends thumping on the thymus gland if you are feeling surrounded by negative energies. It is a part of the Donna Eden Daily Energy Routine. She suggests thumping on the thymus if your immune system is being challenged, and to invigorate your body’s entire energy system as this process will “stimulate and reset it.” To do your own war dance move, simply tap on your sternum with all your fingers including the thumb. The idea is that tapping on the gland creates vibrations that stimulate the maturation and release of white blood cells. Donna Eden advises to do this for several minutes anytime your energy is low or if you feel that your immune system is being compromised.  There were also sources online stating this practice will also slow down the atrophy of the organ, but I found no evidence to support that notion directly. There are, however, relatively effective efforts to recover the function of the thymus gland with the use of stem cells (
    Probably the most prolific researcher on the energetic influence of the thymus, Dr. John Diamond also touts the benefits of thymus thumping. He too believes the thymus gland does even more than regulate the immune system. In his book, Life Energy, he reminds us that the word thymus is derived from the Greek word Thymos, which means “life energy.” He believes the health of the thymus gland reflects a patient’s overall well-being. In other words, a person in poor health will most likely test to having weak thymus energy, and a healthy, high energy person will test strong on the thymus gland (through body kinesiology testing).  In addition, he states in his book, Your Body Doesn’t Lie, “the thymus gland monitors and regulates energy flow in the meridian system.” He believes that the thymus gland oversees the entire energy system and that any imbalance in the meridians can be alleviated through thumping on the thymus gland. He also discovered thumping on the thymus will balance out any existing energetic imbalance between the left and right brain hemispheres.
    Several sources report ( that after thumping on the thymus point you will feel a tingling, subtle feeling of joy or happiness. They also state it is how to get more energy fast. As a result, it is clear why the thymus point is also called The Happiness Point, but I did not discover who first coined the term. This practice makes sense from the perspective of Ayurvedic medicine in which the thymus is an energy point of the higher heart chakra.
     Invented by Mary Louise Muller (a craniosacral therapist), there is an evolved form of the thymus thump called the Boundary Tap. Remember, the role of the thymus gland is to create white blood cells that in turn identify what is an unhealthy invader to the body, and what isn’t. In other words, their job is to determine the difference between self and non-self, and what is nourishing and what is not. Consequently, it makes sense that tapping on the sternum would help to strengthen one’s energetic and emotional boundaries as well as physical boundaries. To do the Boundary tap: first, firmly tap on the mid-line of the sternum several times. Second, walk your fingers up your body, up the base of your neck, and all the way up your neck to underneath your chin. Third, flick your hands out underneath your chin like the Italian “back at you” gesture. According to Muller (, the boundary tap, “resonates into the thymus energy which is related to immunity, the larynx energy which has to do with self-expression, the hyoid which relates to centering, the heart which relates to love for self and others.”   Dr. Judith Swack, the founder of Healing from the Body Level UP (, reports that the tapping portion seals the energetic boundary while steps 2 and 3 removes the unwanted energy. She suggests doing this exercise “to hold your center,” and whenever you need to set boundaries with others. For example, if you are having trouble saying no about something, first do this exercise for several minutes while concentrating on the problem. You should feel freer to express your boundaries afterwards.
    We now know from Dr. John Diamond that the thymus gland is at the heart of our life energy, and a large thymus is a happy thymus. He states that thumping the thymus will balance out all the meridians in our energy field and can even help to correct brain hemisphere imbalance!  In addition, the internationally well-known leader in energy medicine, Donna Eden, recommends thumping the thymus daily to encourage an active immune system and to boost energy levels. It seems thumping on our thymus point may have a positive emotional impact for us. There were numerous websites with people reporting a sensation of happiness and/or joy arising from within them only seconds after thumping the thymus gland.And lastly, the Boundary Tap, an evolved form of the thymus thump, can help us to set stronger boundaries with others.With all of this energy tapping, it makes sense that people are thumping for joy!


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