EFT (emotional freedom technique) tapping is a powerful stress relief technique designed to calm the central nervous system, easing anxiety and other uncomfortable emotions. It focuses on acupressure points, or “tapping points” as well as cognitive behavioural therapy and exposure therapy to release stress and other negative emotions. Along with helping with emotional stress, there’s also evidence that EFT tapping for weight loss works. If you’re curious to learn more about this weight loss strategy, read on.
What is EFT Tapping?
EFT tapping is a method used to reduce anxiety, stress, PTSD and depression. It involves tapping on different parts of the body (primarily the face and head) to balance energy and reduce physical and emotional pain. While tapping in a particular sequence, you focus on the issue you wish to treat. It’s used as an alternative to acupuncture and can be helpful for people with anxiety, chronic pain, weight loss issues and other problems.
EFT tapping was discovered by acupuncture students in the 1980s who realized you could stimulate acupressure points without needles. It was originally used to target physical pain, but over the years it has become popular for emotional issues as well. When you’re feeling anxious, tapping on specific meridian points while breathing deeply can help release difficult or unwanted feelings. It also involves speaking affirmations and other negativity-clearing statements.
Meridians, according to ancient Chinese medicine, are the channels in the body through which our life energy flows. Meridian points are specific points based on these meridians, and EFT is based on the concept of physically tapping on these points with our fingers.
Does EFT Tapping for Weight Loss Work?
EFT tapping for weight loss can work as it may help people curb emotional eating and release stress. Stress releases hormones that make weight loss hard and weight gain easy, so dealing with stress can be the key to controlling your weight.
It’s believed that tapping on acupressure points can activate your amygdala, the part of your brain that regulates fear and anxiety. This can help lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol has a correlation with weight gain and binge eating patterns, so since EFT tapping can regulate your cortisol levels, it may help you lose weight.
Losing weight can make you feel anxious, stressed and overwhelmed. That in turn can lead you to binge or engage in emotional eating, and then gain weight. When you’re stressed, your brain signals your amygdala to release cortisol and adrenaline.
This slows down your digestion, making it harder to lose weight, and it constricts your blood vessels and leads to other biological changes that effect how strong your food cravings are and how quickly your brain reacts to a given situation.
These two things combined mean that when you’re stressed you make poor about what to eat, and break your eating and exercise habits. It’s a viscous cycle that can be tough to break.
We overeat because our brains are looking for pleasure. Eating sugary, fatty foods makes us feel great, until it doesn’t. After the initial sugar rush, your insulin levels drop and you feel tired, which triggers the craving for more sugar, which starts the cycle all over again.
EFT tapping allows you to pause long enough to regulate your stress, giving you time to evaluate whether eating an entire bag of chips is the proper response to a stressful experience. It enables you to process emotions and move on from a negative, toxic mindset that could lead to bad choices and more significant weight gain.
How to Use EFT Tapping for Weight Loss
1. Find a Quiet Place and Take Your Time
Similar to any type of mediation, it’s important to focus on your EFT tapping practice in a quiet place with no distractions. Try to spend at least 15 minutes on your tapping mediation in order to reap the benefits. Your goal is to give your full attention to your emotions, so don’t be afraid to let yourself feel the negative emotions that have been holding you back. You have to process them to be able to finally let them go.
2. Choose a Tapping Target/ Set Up Statement
Put whatever is stressing you out about your weight into words. Don’t be afraid to get specific. Your focus could be on how you feel about yourself or perhaps cravings you tend to get. This could be something such as “Although I feel self conscious because of my weight and the way I look, I accept how I feel and I’m okay” or “Even though I feel frustrated and crave chocolate right now, I love and accept myself”. A positive affirmation helps clear negative beliefs and judgments associated with the problem.
3. Start with The “Karate Chop”
Once you have your set up statement, begin the tapping process by tapping on the “karate chop” point on the outside edge of your hand, in between your wrist and your little finger. Do this while reciting the statement and your affirmation at least three times. This first step orients your energy system, setting up the rest of the system to flow smoothly.
4. Learn the Tapping Points
EFT tapping relies on specific acupressure points. They include the outside edge of your hand, the top of the head, the forehead, between your eyebrows, under the eyes, the temples, under the nose, chin, collarbone, and under the arm. Tap on each point as many times as feels right to you. Call out your emotions and speak your affirmations when tapping the meridian points. You may feel stronger responses from certain points than others. Continue repeating the tapping sequence for at least 15 minutes.
If you want to see EFT tapping in action, check out this video by Jessica Ortner and The Tapping Solution.
If you’re looking to lose weight and sick of diets and calorie counting, try EFT tapping for weight loss to see if it works for you!