EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (EFT) aka ‘TAPPING’
What on earth has tapping got to do with nutritional therapy? You may well ask.
Tapping therapy is based on the combined principles of ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology. Tapping with the fingertips on specific meridian endpoints of the body, while focusing on negative emotions or physical sensations, helps to calm the nervous system, rewire the brain to respond in healthier ways, and restore the body’s balance of energy.
So I thought I would explain why EFT is such a useful adjunct to nutritional therapy. It is a fantastic tool to have in my box of treatments to help my clients overcome the many challenges they face, whether they have uncomfortable, painful symptoms, food cravings or stress and anxiety, as well as many other emotions they experience.
The fact of the matter is, too often we medicalize emotional problems – sadness, loneliness, fear, loss, anxiety, trauma, to name some. Given the link between the brain, central nervous system and gut, known as the ‘gut brain axis’, which continually communicates information via billions of neurotransmitters (chemicals) and neurons (nerves), it is easy to see how a threatening situation, shock or trauma, can disrupt digestion, bowels and the immune system. Chronic anxiety as well disordered eating or a poor diet is often at the root of IBS, for instance, and pain perception is far greater if a person is struggling emotionally.
The gut has its own nervous system, and is the advisor to the brain – it tells it everything it needs to know, and vice versa. Tapping makes full use of this mind-body connection, acknowledging and integrating the concepts that physical pain, disease, and mental wellbeing are intricately connected to our emotional states.
So How Does It All Work?
The body is equipped with an energy system that travels along pathways known as meridians. Tapping on these meridian endpoints sends vibrations/kinetic energy to stimulate this system, and when verbally or mentally addressing the root causes of distress, the areas of blocked energy are able to release and flow naturally.
The basic Tapping technique requires you to focus on the negative emotion at hand – a fear, a worry, a bad memory, an unresolved problem, or anything that’s bothering you. While maintaining your mental focus on this issue, you use your fingertips to tap 5-7 times on each of the 9 specific meridian points of the body. It sounds too simple and bonkers doesn’t it? But it is incredibly powerful and effective, and it certainly takes most people by surprise!
Tapping on these meridian points in sequence while concentrating on the negative emotions engages both the brain’s limbic system and the body’s energy system, encouraging a sense of safety and resolution. And as the scientific field of epigenetics is proving, when you change your internal environment – your emotions and beliefs – external changes in your mental & physical health will follow.
So this is why I frequently use EFT alongside nutritional rehab and therapy. I teach my clients how to ‘tap’ themselves so they have a self-help and self-soothing tool to go to, at any time they need it. It has certainly helped me as a therapist to treat a person more holistically. I like to know that I am getting to the root of a problem, not just addressing the physical symptoms. Health improvements can be quickly noticeable, just by changing a person’s diet or lifestyle, however, if the emotional root cause of the condition isn’t addressed and resolved too, recovery may only be temporary, until the emotional issue recurs.
Here are some examples of when EFT can be really effective:
- Food phobias – often related to negative childhood experiences
- Food cravings – comfort eating – loss/loneliness/sadness/trauma/boredom
- Eating disorders – relieves anxiety around food/trauma/sadness/loneliness/fear
- Gut inflammation – anger/loss/frustration/anxiety/sadness
- Headaches – anger/stress/anxiety
- Chronic fatigue – many limiting beliefs about recovery from illness
If you would like more information, please get in touch with me: