Tonight I tried a ‘tapping’ exercise for the second time this week, when I was confronted with a craving for something sweet. I was only introduced to tapping, otherwise known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a week ago.
I was recommended to a book called The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence, by Jessica Ortner, and I was so intrigued I bought the eBook straight away, and got stuck right into it.
What is tapping? It works on essentially the same principle as acupuncture. Basically there are meridian points on your body that you can stimulate by tapping on them, instead of using needles, and the act of tapping has been found to disrupt activity in the brain, particularly in the amygdala where emotions are believed to be processed, and ‘re-route’ the negative feelings that are associated with physical or emotional pain.
The amygdala controls the release of cortisol and other stress hormones, now widely known to have an impact on weight gain (Source: Livestrong. When combined with repeating positive affirmations, or even just voicing out loud the things you’re feeling anxious or upset about, or the way you feel when besieged by the desire to emotionally eat, the strength of feeling somehow just eases away.
It sounds a bit way out, I know. A few years ago I might have only scoffed and not given it any further thought, but the older I get the more attuned I become to the mind-body connection, and the more willing I am to explore alternative ideas like this.
Plus both acupuncture and meditation are pretty accepted forms of therapeutic intervention these days, and EFT appears to be a combination of both. It seems to work on two levels – the science is there to show the physical impact on brain patterns and hormone production, and it serves as a positive distraction from those feelings that can spring up and threaten to overwhelm.
As well as taking you through a solid briefing on what tapping is and how it works, she offers a number of sample tapping sequences, like the following example. I won’t bother to explain the tapping that goes with this, you can read the book yourself for that, but here’s a sample of the dialogue you can say to yourself:
“Even though I need this food to quiet this feeling, I love and accept myself (repeat three times).
I need to eat this now.
I feel this feeling building up.
I don’t want to feel it.
It’s too much to handle.
It feels so hopeless…
So I need this food.
It’s the only way I’m going to get through this day.
All these feelings behind this craving… [here’s where you describe to yourself what particular emotions you’re experiencing before switching into the ‘positive’]
I feel the peace I crave.
I feel the love I crave.
I don’t need to find all the answers.
I simply find relief in this moment.
It’s safe to feel these feelings.
And to let them go.
I can find the relaxation I crave now.
I honor my body by eating lovingly and consciously”.
Now, if you’re someone who has never felt the desire to emotionally or ‘comfort’ eat, you might be feeling pretty uncomfortable reading that. But for those who have experienced it, as I have, you’ll probably be struck by how fundamentally Jessica gets it.
She’s lived this, and found a solution that works, which gives her bucket loads of credibility in my world!
No harm in giving it a try, right, to see if you also find some relief? You can find The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence, including the eBook version, through Amazon by clicking the image below.