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EFT and addictions

by Jacqui Footman
4 minutes
EFT and addictions

Can EFT help you quit smoking or lose weight or deal with another addiction?

A resounding "yes".  Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT or 'Tapping') provides a user-friendly, simple, supportive and safe self-help tool to those struggling to change habits or behaviour patterns or overcome an addiction.

No drugs are needed, just your own fingertips and a willingness to reflect on questions such as why you smoke, when, which feelings or situations it helps you deal with, what your life would be like without cigarettes.  You then tap on any negative feelings or beliefs that have come up for you.  EFT does what it says on the label - gives you a tool to use to achieve freedom from negative emotions and beliefs.  Tapping on certain acupuncture points, mainly on the face and hands, whilst focussing on the negative feelings or thoughts allows you first to reduce their intensity and sometimes even to dissolve them completely, leaving you feeling lighter and relaxed.

This technique is so simple you can even learn it from written instructions and do it on yourself.  People have had up to 50% success rates just doing that, but when you work with an experienced practitioner and thoroughly investigate and tap on all the feelings and beliefs that may underlie or may in any way be related to your addiction, success rates rise to 80% and beyond.  Essentially however, you do the tapping yourself; your practitioner is a facilitator and is trained to ask you the sorts of questions that will help you understand which emotions to tap on and how best to word your affirmations to bring about successful resolution.

Do you have to want to quit?

Not necessarily.  Your starting point for EFT is wherever you are at right now.  So, for example, if you don't believe you are ready to deal with this challenge, you would start your tapping with the affirmation, "Even though I don't feel ready to quit, I accept myself anyway".  Gradually the tapping will gently, sometimes almost imperceptibly, bring you round to a point of being open to the possibilities before you and ready to seize them.

EFT is an extraordinarily gentle and user-friendly technique, yet at the same time potentially very powerful.  The power lies in the combination of the meridian tapping, clearing and balancing the body's energy system, with the acceptance of just who you are and how you feel and that it is ok to be you however you feel.  You stop beating yourself up about whatever shortcomings may be getting in your way and become open to a world of positive potential, and if ever things should go wrong you always have that tool at your disposal .... "Even though I didn't get that right today, I did all that I could and there is another day tomorrow".  By tapping away negatives and finding new positives you can achieve more.  Even if you have a temporary lapse in your addiction-busting, you can always use the EFT to pick yourself up and start over.  With EFT, once learned you have a tool for life, a tool you carry with you all the time and can pull out and use whenever necessary for emotional first-aid.

Anybody can learn to use EFT to eliminate cigarette cravings and even to quit smoking entirely. Gary Craig, EFT's founder, explains, “smokers generally expect to fail when they set out to quit. But when they use EFT, most experience an instant reduction in their cigarette craving. Their level of hope increases as their cravings decrease. If they persistently use EFT to address the emotional component of their addiction, they are likely to have a high success rate.”

Dr. Carol Look is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and EFT Practitioner who has helped many clients quit smoking. Dr. Look reports, “While I used hypnosis successfully for many smokers, I found that treatment using EFT gave the client more control, empowerment, and an active tool they could pull out and use whenever they wanted.”