In the 1960s, therapists John Diamond and George Goodheart developed therapeutic methods that involved tapping along the meridian--essentially certain parts of the body considered pathways that regulate the body's flow of energy. Two decades later, Gary Craig refined the methods and developed what he called emotional freedom technique, or tapping therapy. Practitioners claim they can tap these points to help resolve eating disorders and compulsive overeating, though no conclusive medical study supports this claim.
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The EFT Alive website describes how anyone can do tapping therapy, accessing the 10 acupuncture points, also called tapping points, on the body. Use all fingers to tap the top of the head. Use two fingers to tap the beginning of your eyebrow, the side of your eyes, underneath the eyes, under the nose and under the chin. With a flat fist, tap the space under the knobs of the ends of your collar bone. Run four fingers up and down the area underneath your armpits. Pat the insides of your wrists with your opposite hands. Tap the pinky side of your hand.
Tapping therapy for weight loss also requires your focusing on the issues you wish to address. Reflect on your specific behaviors around eating that you would like to address. The EFT Alive website recommends you crystallize these issues into a short reminder phrase. For example, you might list a typical food, situation or feeling that triggers overeating. The Tapping (EFT) Quick Start Manual instructs you to tap your points three to seven times in the same location, repeating the phrase, and assessing the amount of pain you feel.
This process can spark emotional pain. You should assign this pain a numerical rating from one to 10 to assess its intensity. You should also follow the reminder phrase with an affirmation that begins with the phrase "even though." You might say, "Even though I overeat when I am tired, I deeply and completely accept myself." Repeat this statement three times as you tap the point below your pinky finger. Take a deep breath and continue through the tapping points, noting if your emotional pain rating lowers.
In his article, "What is EFT," chiropractor and naturopath Dr. Neall Stedmann credits tapping therapy with healing physical, emotional, mental and spiritual traumas, including those associated with eating, body image and weight problems, and especially those with roots in your childhood.
In the article "Emotional acupuncture an effective therapy in weight loss," Margaret McNally reports findings of a study conducted by Dr. Peta Stapleton. Tapping on acupuncture points reduced people's food cravings and, coupled with a nutritious diet and exercise program, supported obese people as they attempted to lose weight. Emotional freedom therapy helped address emotional eating so that people could stick to their diets for the long term.