EFT helping addictions
EFT and addictions
EFT is often described as a psychological form of acupuncture. It is based on the idea that events in our past that we were unable to fully accept or process are held in the body, and cause an energy imbalance in the body.
Tapping gently on a series of acupuncture points corrects the underlying energy imbalance and breaks the connection between a painful event in the past and a traumatic reaction to it. This often then brings long lasting relief from the condition being “tapped” on – even when that condition or symptom has been present for a long time.
EFT is a very gentle technique that can literally be learned and applied within minutes. It can be then used as a powerful “self-help” tool. The advantage to working with a trained therapist is that it is sometimes difficult to establish the underlying event that causes the addictive behaviour: an experienced therapist is able to see the connections and patterns, and ascertain the root cause. Similarly, a trained therapist will be able to “hold” a client if difficult memories or emotions surface.
EFT for smoking and food addictions
EFT is a therapy that is particularly suited to working with addictions. It can work at two levels: firstly, EFT can work on the craving for the desired substance itself. For example, it is comparatively easy with EFT to put some chocolate in front of somebody, and see the desire for that chocolate reduce from very high to zero within two or three rounds of tapping. This is a powerful tool for clients to use at home when they are working on giving up addictive behaviours.
More importantly, EFT is also able to work on the root cause (or more likely root causes) of a particular addiction. If you’ve struggled with giving up smoking, chocolate or other unhealthy food, you will know from bitter experience that will power alone is not enough. Although you may rationally want to stop smoking, there’s part of you that wants to stay “stuck” in that unhelpful behaviour. EFT is able to access those unconscious parts of ourselves that are not ready to move on.
What causes smoking and food addictions?
There are some patterns that seem to be very common with people who are addicted to smoking or food. For example, it’s quite common with smokers to have started to smoke because of wanting to be part of the “in” crowd. Then, ten, twenty or even forty years later, they are still smoking for the same reason. Another common reason for addictive behaviour is to defy authority – quite often parental or teachers’ authority.
So, people smoke as part of a natural teenage rebellion – unfortunately, that pattern still keeps them smoking many years later, when they are well past the teenage years! EFT is able to “get in” there with these root causes and break the energetic link.
Another common significant factor with addictions is the fact that cigarettes or food are used to “keep down” unwanted emotions. For example, a lot of people turn to the fridge when they feel angry, unhappy or anxious. Similarly, people may eat chocolate to reward themselves if they feel they deserve a treat, or conversely if they are having a difficult time and want to console themselves. It’s common knowledge that the smoker feels that lighting up at a time of stress actually steadies the nerves and calms anxieties. Again, EFT has a number of techniques that are able to identify those tendencies and “neutralise” them.
It’s often the case, however, that there are individual triggers for different people. For example, I asked one client I saw how much he wanted a cigarette that was in front of him. However much I tried to get him in touch with his craving for that cigarette, he continued to say that he wasn’t interested in the cigarette. It turned out that for him the issue was that his cigarette smoking was very secret and for him shameful: he wouldn’t think of lighting up in front of others, but smoked a huge amount when he was on his own. Once this was apparent, it was straightforward to address that with EFT.
In other case, with a client addicted to chocolate, she remembered being an au pair in Switzerland (the home of the best quality chocolate in the world!). The difficult child she was in charge of always wanted to eat chocolate, and they frequently got into arguments about it. She would deny the child chocolate, and then eat it herself when the child had gone back to school.
Over two decades later, this client still ate chocolate when she argued with other people – as a way of “getting back” at them! Again, once this was uncovered, it was easy to work on. After over twenty years of addiction to chocolate, the client has been addiction free for five years!
|About The Author
Fiona Cutts is an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Practitioner based in Prestwich, North Manchester who specialises in working with addictions, fears and phobias.
Find out more about Fiona’s work by visiting her GoToSee profile page here