Imagine being able to calm yourself down before stress drives you to the refrigerator.
Imagine having a quick way to regain confidence when you feel discouraged or anxious about your body…
The Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, offers all this and it is, quite literally… right at your fingertips.
I first became intrigued about this energy psychology technique about 15 years ago when I attended my first training. EFT, also called tapping, offered a way I could help my clients–and myself–harness the energy field to promote healing and wellness–and help with weight loss. EFT is a powerful strategy to add to your weight release and personal growth tool-kit.
Let’s start with some background…
History of EFT
EFT is considered a cousin to the traditional Chinese medicine practice of acupuncture. Acupuncture uses needles placed in the body to stimulate the body’s meridian system, or subtle energy pathways (also called chi) for healing.
In the 1980s a clinical psychologist, Dr. Roger Callahan, PhD, discovered that simply tapping with one’s fingertips on the body’s energy points relieved psychological distress. He developed an acupressure process called Thought Field Therapy, or TFT, in which a variety of tapping sequences on the body alleviated physical and psychological problems.
From Dr. Callahan’s pioneering work, Gary Craig, a performance coach, discovered that one basic tapping pattern produced similar profound results. He subsequently developed EFT, a simplified version of TFT. In recent years, the powerful technique came into mainstream spotlight with the documentary film, The Tapping Solution.
How EFT Works
Similar to Eastern medicine, EFT is based on the premise that unresolved emotional issues disrupt the body’s subtle energy system. Instead of flowing freely, energy in the body becomes blocked, resulting in emotional distress or physical symptoms. For example, if you feel anxious and that triggers a food craving, using EFT helps clear the energy block so your frustration is relieved and released from your body–and your craving eliminated.
In 2010 Dr. Peta Stapleton conducted a study using EFT to reduce food cravings in overweight individuals. Cravings diminished after only four, two-hour EFT sessions and participants maintained positive results at a six-month follow-up.
You can read about that study here.
The EFT Process
The basic EFT procedure involves tapping lightly but firmly, using both your index and middle finger, on eight points of the body: the beginning of the eyebrow (by the top your nose), side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, the chin, collarbone, under the arm and on the top of the head. As you tap on the eight points you repeat out loud, or silently if you prefer, a statement and affirmation related to your problem.
For example, with a food craving you could say, “Even though I feel frustrated and crave potato chips right now, I totally and completely love and accept myself.” A positive affirmation for self-love and acceptance helps clear the underlying negative beliefs and judgments associated with the problem.
You begin the tapping process with a “set-up” statement by tapping on the “karate chop” point on the outside of your hand, below your little finger. You do this while reciting the statement and affirmation chosen for your problem. This first step orients your energy system to allow the rest of the process to work smoothly.
Sound Strange? Try it Anyway
When I introduce EFT to my clients, I say up front that it might look and sound really strange. No question about it… this is not your everyday weight-releasing technique. But didn’t it once seem strange to put a needle in your ear in order to relieve pain?
You can use EFT to help reduce and eliminate food cravings, manage emotional eating triggers, and release limiting beliefs that sabotage your progress. You can get started by reading this wonderful, recently published book by Jessica Ortner, called The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence: A Women’s Guide to Stressing Less, Weighing Less & Loving More. I just finished reading this and highly recommend it. It’s a practical and easy-to-use guide to learn how to use tapping for weight release and body confidence.
If you want personal instruction, it’s best to learn EFT with a trained practitioner to ensure you’re doing it correctly and to help tailor the statements and affirmations to your particular needs. After initial instruction, it’s easy to do on your own.
To learn more, watch this video of Jessica Ortner describing the tapping points.
Here’s one thing I want you to be aware of: If you’ve experienced emotional, physical or sexual trauma that you believe has contributed to your weight issues and compulsive overeating, please learn EFT from a licensed mental health practitioner. Sometimes deeper, trauma-related issues may surface through tapping. And while many highly qualified professionals can teach you EFT, they may not have the skills necessary to help you if traumatic memories become triggered. At that point, a responsible coach or EFT teacher will refer you elsewhere to address those issues. To avoid having to disrupt your process, my recommendation is to learn EFT from a licensed mental health practitioner who can help you use tapping to deal with the trauma you experienced along with releasing weight.
Once you learn the technique you can practice it anywhere, anytime. When I feel anxious or upset, I use tapping to calm myself and clear my mind of negative thoughts. I then say the Ho’ oponopono prayer, as a way of tapping in the high energy phrases, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.”
This promising, cutting edge energy psychology technique offers you a safe, economical and portable tool to help you overcome obstacles in your weight loss journey… Feeling a whole better is just a few taps away.
Have you used tapping?