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There are many reasons for doing this but if this is something that came on suddenly then be quick to act as it can represent a possible health issue such as seizure activity. Because you mention that you cannot really bring her out of it and because of her age this would be my first concern.
Other causes would be boredom , nervousness, an injury to the tail you can’t see, parasites, or bugs/mites.fleas
If it is due to boredom or behavior then you want to redirect the behavior to something more rewarding such as a treat dispensing toy.
But I would definitely suggest that you take a video of it, including how you have to comfort her to get her out of it and show this to your vet.