Emotional freedom techniques, or EFT, are a form of touching developed by Gary Craig, a Stanford University engineer graduate and ordained minister. The premise of the techniques is based on tapping meridian points in the body with fingertips to reduce emotional stress and bring the mind and body into harmony. EFT is used for weight loss by reducing or eliminating the mental blocks that keep patients from maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Many people are overweight because they eat to resolve emotional issues, to make themselves feel better and to calm their anxiety. EFT targets the underlying stress that causes the anxiety and relieves that tension, making it more likely to relax patients so they won’t turn to food for relief. Once emotional issues are resolved, the overeating ends, say EFT proponents.
Emotional eating has long been recognized as a disorder that stands in the way of successful weight loss for many people. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic report that people with emotional weakness often are vulnerable to attacks of binging. Eating often is used to mask feelings of inadequacy, cover up fear of financial insecurity or relationship problems, or as a way to handle stress.
EFT proponents claim that the body’s energy system can be reprogrammed to only eat for nutritional purposes. Once treated with the finger-tapping routines of EFT, old habits can be replaced with new habits. Patients don’t automatically reach for food when anxious or bored, but instead have had their energy banks reassigned to desire healthier options like exercise or meditation. Cravings are eliminated so that the person who received the therapy does not eat if she is not hungry.
EFT proponents say that addiction to food is a reaction to previous trauma. While working on redirecting energy through EFT, you can employ other techniques to aid with weight loss. Mayo Clinic doctors recommend changing habits by replacing them with new habits, trying other stress-management techniques such as yoga or tai chi, and removing unhealthy food that can tempt you during times of weakness.
While EFT sessions usually are conducted privately by trained practitioners who know where the meridian spots are located and talk you through your emotional issues, free guides on the EFT home website can provide preliminary guidance. Individual sessions usually cost hundreds of dollars when delivered by trained therapists, depending on where you live. Group sessions can provide the same techniques, cost less and also provide a network of others going through the same processes who can support you in your efforts to lose weight through EFT.
About this Author
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years’ experience. She has held posts at newspapers and magazines, including the “Greenville News,” “Success,” Demand Studios and “American City Business Journals.” Ray has covered health and fitness, business, sports and people. Ray has a bachelor’s degree in journalism.