The Emotional Freedom Technique, (EFT), is a simple approach for balancing the energy field by gently tapping meridian points. Because it affects the entire energy system – mind and body –it can be used to release anxiety, addictions, pain, and other physical symptoms, or to achieve life goals. It is easy to learn and is a convenient self-help tool for weight loss and the addictive pre-occupation with food that keeps life on hold.
Although there may be similar patterns related to compulsive overeating, EFT allows an individual to personalize the use of it by addressing his/her own emotions, thoughts, habits, and experiences. Tapping the points can have a quick effect, which is important for immediate cravings, frustrations, resentments, discouragement, and excuses. Many have also experienced relief of long term issues from childhood, trauma, grief, or low self-esteem.
For those who have used emotional eating as a way to “numb out”, ward off feelings, or disconnect from body sensations in order to avoid underlying emotional pain, EFT has been called the Tearless Trauma Technique. Memories and feelings that keep someone stuck, can be approached as a person is ready, without re-traumatizing.
Websites such as EFT Universe.com, contains numerous articles about using EFT for weight loss. One woman found that she had difficulty getting to her weight loss goal. Each time she came close, she would self sabotage and start binge eating. She realized that underlying this behavior was the unconscious belief that she should not succeed at anything. Beneath this pattern was the memory that as a child, whenever she learned to be successful at something e.g. making cookies, her parents would no longer help her and instead would turn the task over to her as a responsibility. This deeply unconscious pattern made her anxious whenever she came close to her goal weight. She feared that if she succeeded in getting to her goal weight she would lose support and get more responsibility. As she brought this pattern to conscious awareness, EFT helped her release the struggle and embrace success in her life. She was able to stop bingeing completely.
Another individual discovered that she associated being thin with the severe illness and death of a family member. Once she released this issue, she was able to lose weight.
A common pattern found in those suffering with addictive eating is a poor self image and the need to please everyone around, sometimes at one’s own expense. Physical health also suffers when one is overweight, has a poor diet, and does not exercise. EFT has been shown to improve these issues as well.
Fears of losing weight might also be associated with deprivation, safety and protection, being “starved” for attention, or a sense of “not being enough”. Any of these issues can be an anchor for addictive behavior and they can all be “tapped on” using EFT. Many find that EFT helps them to feel good while working to reach their goals. As they begin to feel more deserving, lovable, and whole, the habits of overeating, eating in secret, and feeling hungry all the time – give way to healthy habits in eating, exercise, and living a more satisfying life.
EFT may not work for everyone on every issue, but with the good results seen so far, it is worth a try!
Articles and tutorials are available on the internet. Classes, groups, and individual sessions are available locally. Note: EFT is not meant to replace necessary medical care or psychotherapy.
Mary Szczepanski has been a psychiatric nurse for many years and has taught EFT to hundreds of people. She is a Certified Holistic Nurse and Healing Touch Practitioner and Instructor. Her private practice is called Healing Touch Alaska.
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