What’s the difference between a craving and an addiction? A craving is a strong desire. Cravings are usually transient. They come and go. An addiction is a long-term pattern of giving in to cravings. An addiction is an enduring behavior that persists over time. Purely physical cravings can often be easily addressed with EFT. However, addictive patterns usually aren’t just physical. They’re rooted in unresolved emotional trauma. Until those traumas are resolved, the addiction continues. Even if willpower succeeds in suppressing it, the addict often simply switches to a new substance.
I’ve worked with my share of people who no longer want their coffee, chocolate, or alcohol after one or two rounds of EFT. I’ve also had my share of people with seemingly endless emotional issues who truly needed their addictive substances or behaviors until an emotional clearing of their negative jungle occurred. It was their best solution to the problem until the causes could be eliminated. This can take time, of course.
You may notice that the cases in this chapter illustrate not only deeper emotional issues, but a higher level of experience with EFT as well. Most of these stories were submitted by experienced EFT practitioners and/or licensed therapists who have a more complete understanding of emotional issues and how to navigate through them.
I include these examples so you can see how deep the emotional issues can run, and how an experienced EFT professional might find and address them.
Improving your EFT skills will require good detective work to lead you to the specific issues that need attention, and good testing methods will let you know when there is more work to be done. You will see some great examples of both in this chapter, so feel free to try any of these approaches on your own issues.
In the first report, John Digby from the U.K. alertly uses EFT for physical symptoms that “show up” as he helps his client with a chocolate addiction.
It is always interesting to see how emotions show up as physical symptoms. People sweat when they’re nervous, get a headache when they are stressed, or feel a knot in their stomach when they’re scared. In this case, you will see that once the physical craving was tapped away, the emotions were still there and showed up in several physical forms.
When working on your own cravings or addictions, pay close attention to changes in your body, and be sure to address them with EFT. Because they represent aspects of the issue you are trying to resolve, they can lead you to deeper issues. Remember that even if you start by tapping on something global or general, emotional layers will be peeled away, revealing unexpected memories and very important clues for your healing process.
I run my practice from an office in a multi-use block of start-up companies and am opposite the kitchen, where I bump into most of the other occupants from time to time. One of the ladies that I speak with runs a local Weight Watchers group and had vouchsafed to me that she had a real addiction to chocolate! Now there’s a surprise! Last Thursday I met her in the kitchen and this time asked her if she could spare ten minutes to see if I could help. She said okay.
We sat down and I showed her a small packet of German chocolate that I keep for demonstration purposes when running workshops. Her level of intensity was 9.5 on the 0-to-10 scale. I asked her to tap the Karate Chop point while she smelled the chocolate and described it to me. We then went onto EFT’s Basic Recipe using reminder words like smooth, yummy, warm, comforting, dribbling, and I really want it. We breathed deeply and sighed. I asked for her level of intensity and she said there was none but that she felt sick.
We then did on e shortcut round on feeling sick in the pit of her stomach and I asked for her level of intensity again. At this point she said she no longer felt sick but had a headache over her left eyebrow. After another short version for “sharp pain over my left eye,” I asked her level of intensity again. Now she was completely clear and willing to throw the chocolate in the waste bin.
I found the diverse aspects of this five-minute session very interesting and was bowled over today when she looked in to say a heartfelt thanks. She said that since our session, she was feeling a lot more grounded and alert to the world and life in general. She really does seem a new woman, and all in five minutes. She has booked her place on my next introductory EFT workshop, and we are both looking forward to it immensely.
In this next report, Dr. Carol Solomon describes a weight-related tapping session that reveals some emotional themes common among people with weight problems, like a need for approval or a need for attention.
Dr. Solomon has previous experience with cases of this kind, and she is able to suggest directions for the session that beginners may not be able to replicate on their own. However, if any of these directions feel as though they fit for you, do a few similar rounds of tapping and see where they take you.
This case also illustrates more global uses of EFT, as seen in the various Setup Phrases. Global language is generally more effective if you use it with a longer term plan, and as you will see, this client tapped every day for a month and was encouraged to use EFT as a daily practice.
For faster results, this client’s past issues could be broken down into specific events and the sting from these events could be “tapped away” quickly.
You will also see new aspects showing up as physical symptoms, just as we saw in the previous case. An interesting twist here is that Dr. Solomon treats them as metaphors for her client’s emotional issues by suggesting that her client’s family is a “pain in the neck” and that they give her a backache.
My client Jean was morbidly obese and had been unable to lose weight for many years. No matter what she tried, it would only last a short time before her eating got out of control again. Like many clients with persistent food and weight issues, Jean was holding onto old childhood hurts. She felt deprived as a child. Her mother was emotionally needy, and her sister, “the beautiful one,” got most of the attention. Jean only got attention for being “responsible.”
What Jean didn’t get from her family, she gave to herself. Jean didn’t think that she could get love and attention from her family, so she “settled” for food. It didn’t stop her from continuing to try to get her family’s approval, even as an adult. Jean spent her entire life in search of the love and attention she didn’t get from her family while hating herself for not being the one they gave it to. Jean’s low self-esteem led to excessive pleasing behavior, in which she hid her true self while being unable to set limits. I don’t know anything that will create stress more quickly than saying “yes” to everything!
Hanging onto her excess weight became a symbol for the only kind of attention Jean thought she could get. These patterns became obvious in one of my EFT sessions with her.
Even though I need to be needed…
Even though I need to show them how responsible I am…
Even though my fat gives me negative attention, and otherwise they ignore me, I love and accept myself anyway.
Even though I’ve spent my whole life breaking my back trying to please them.
At this point, Jean said her back started to hurt. Even though they give me a backache…
Then the pain moved to her neck.
Even though they are a big pain in the neck, I love and accept myself completely.
Even though I can’t accept that I’m not going to get the attention I want from them, I love and accept myself completely.
Even though I can’t say no because they might think I’m not responsible, and that’s all I have…
Even though I need to hang onto this fat to get attention, otherwise I’m invisible, I love and accept myself anyway.
Even though I’m still trying to prove myself, I approve of myself and I accept where I am in this process.
Jean’s back and neck pain disappeared immediately. She tapped for a few minutes per day for about a month using a combination of these statements. I encouraged her to make EFT a daily practice. She is now steadily losing one to two pounds per week and she has stopped feeling “hungry” all the time. As a bonus, she no longer feels that she needs to say “yes” to every request and is feeling much happier.
Although it seems like a nice little bonus, the change in Jean’s overall behavior is one of the most powerful, yet subtle, benefits of using EFT. In many cases, we address pain, or weight loss, or some other current complaint, but by cleaning up the unresolved emotional events behind them, major shifts can happen. Eventually, the past is no longer unresolved or painful, and all of our conditioned behaviors, beliefs, and habits that we adopted in the past are no longer necessary. That’s what we call emotional freedom!
The following report by Tam Llewellyn of the U.K. provides clear evidence of the link between addictions and unresolved emotional issues. His client could drink alcohol socially with no signs whatsoever of alcoholism.
However, when she drank a specific brand of beer— Budweiser—her drinking of that beer became uncontrollable. Much of the “comfort” we derive from “comfort foods” has similar links to the past, and putting your EFT detective skills to use in finding them may help control your appetite just as dramatically as Tam’s client controlled her appetite for Budweiser.
This session begins with a very simple application of basic EFT and demonstrates some standard real-time tests to evaluate the results. Once the emotional component is revealed you will see that the Setup language clearly points to a collection of specific events in which Budweiser meant good times. To be more specific in the session, any of those individual events could be addressed with Tell the Story Technique or the Movie Technique. After addressing the emotional component, Tam uses some positive phrasing in the Setup to reframe his client’s perspective. This approach is a more advanced EFT tool, and should generally be used only after the intensity has been released, just as Tam illustrates.
In EFT workshops, I often ask participants to bring addictive substances if they wish to see EFT remove the addiction. These usually involve sugar, chocolate, cigarettes, and coffee. However, at a recent workshop one of the participants came up with an unusual request.
Emma was not an alcoholic, in that she could do without alcohol and did for long periods, and she could take a social drink or two and not want more.
Her problem was with Budweiser beer. Once she had a bottle she could not stop drinking it. She would drink and drink and drink until no more was available. To complicate matters, Emma wanted to lose her addiction to Budweiser beer but wanted to retain her liking for an occasional beer when it suited her.
I had never been asked to remove only part of an addiction. However, being willing to try anything once and with Gary Craig’s words “Try it on everything!” ringing in my ears, I started the demonstration. When a bottle of Budweiser was placed in front her, Emma immediately reported a 0-to-10 craving of 10.
We tapped together for: Even though I have a craving for this Budweiser beer, I deeply and completely accept and love myself. We used the Reminder Phrase “Craving for Budweiser beer” while doing a full round of tapping.
That first round reduced the craving to a 5, and after the second, it fell to a 2. I cracked the bottle open and the resulting hiss immediately took the craving back to 10. More rounds reduced it again to a 4 or 5, and even sipping the beer did not increase the craving, but it did not show any signs of falling, either.
It was Emma herself who made the breakthrough. She said, “It’s not the Budweiser beer, but the happy times I have associated with it.” That changed the line of the therapy and while I continued tapping around the points, she repeated my words:
Even though I loved those times, and want them back, and Budweiser beer reminds me of them, I deeply and completely accept and love myself as I am now. Those times were great and so was the Budweiser beer, but I do not need it now. I can still remember and enjoy those times without the Budweiser beer. I have a film running in my head called “Those Budweiser Beer Days” and I can remember them well. They were great.
Even though I think I need Budweiser beer to help me recover those times, I deeply and completely accept and love myself.
This work brought the craving level down to 2 and even sipping it did not bring it back up again. Emma said she could do without it and that anyway it tasted “strange,” but she still had a little wish for it and those happy times.
This time we tapped while saying:
Even though I may need this Budweiser beer to recall those happy times, I choose to recall and enjoy them without Budweiser beer and I will be amazed and intrigued at how easy it is for me to rerun the film of those times (now re-titled simply “Happy Days”) any time I wish. It is amazing that I do not need those days to come again—I am happy as I am now and I can still have lovely memories.
The craving level was down to 0 and Emma was having uncontrolled fits of laughter.
Emma and the group were with us for a full week learning various therapies, and during that week I saw her drinking the occasional can of beer. But even when it was offered or even pressed on her, she never drank more than a sip of Budweiser, saying it was nowhere near as nice as other beers and really tasted a bit funny!
Dr. Carol Solomon is up next to address an intense craving for ice cream. Once again, after peeling away a few surface layers, a very clear core issue emerges and presents an entire collection of specific events from childhood.
The connection between the events and the craving is so clear that you might wonder why Jannie didn’t see it sooner. However, the human emotional framework can be tricky and elusive, so it’s always good to have a tool like EFT and an experienced professional like Dr. Solomon to guide you through.
I teach a three-week teleclass on “EFT for Weight Loss,” and I have people bring food to the first call so we can tap for cravings in the moment. After the first round of a recent class, almost everyone’s craving was down, except one woman, “Jannie.”
Jannie was tapping on her craving for ice cream, although she said she didn’t bring it to the call because “unless someone delivered it as I dialed in, I would have eaten it the minute it came in the house!”
We tapped for cravings:
Even though I have this craving, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I really want this food right now…
Even though I have this urge to eat…
We used the Reminder Phrase “this craving” on each tapping spot.
Her craving went from a 10 to a 2. But she was still worried that if someone put a bowl of ice cream in front of her, she would eat it, or that the craving could be triggered again in a stressful situation.
So we tapped more:
Even though I don’t quite want to let it go, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I’m afraid I’ll still want it…
Even though I have these cravings that are triggered by stress…
Even though I want things I think I shouldn’t have…
We changed Reminder Phrases as we tapped the EFT points down the body, saying: these cravings…
triggered by stress…I can’t quite release it…I’m still hanging on…It’s triggered by stress…I’m afraid I might still want it….I don’t quite trust it yet…
Between the first and second call, Jannie did buy a quart of ice cream. It stayed in her refrigerator for 12 hours—11 hours and 59 minutes longer than usual! When she opened it, she just ate the cherries out and threw the rest away. She hasn’t purchased any since and has no desire to get any.
On the third call, we tapped for specific events.
Jannie came up with five events that had an emotional charge. These specific events all occurred when she was between seven and fifteen years old, and they all had to do with her parents and with her being denied something. For tapping during the class she picked “my mother eating ice cream every evening after dinner and I was not allowed any.”
Jannie’s mother was a 105-pound, 5-foot 2-inch, extremely beautiful woman who took very good care of herself and her home. She loved ice cream, so every evening she’d go to the freezer, pile ice cream into her salad bowl-sized dish, curl up at the end of the sofa, and eat it slowly bite by bite.
Jannie was not allowed to have any ice cream, ever, because she was chubby and “Jannie doesn’t get sweets” was a house rule.
At some point in her life, Jannie made a decision, based on her interpretation of these childhood experiences, which she described in a letter to me following the class. She wrote:
When I decide to get ice cream, I always tell myself, “I deserve it”—not as a reward for anything, I just I deserve it. I never could figure this out because I am someone who is actually more humble than this and hugely grateful for my life and all I have been given.
Carol, this is phenomenal for me. It finally makes sense, perfect sense, actually. I did deserve it when those energies were stuck in the denial from my mother. When I tapped through all those issues around ice cream (being denied, feeling I deserved it, that I could have it anytime I wanted it, accepting my mother for who she was able to be and loving her anyway), I felt a great relief. I am at 0 now with ice cream. And what I love most of all is that it finally makes sense to me! I remember that my mother always had gallons of ice cream around as well as all kinds of candy. I wondered why I didn’t just go eat all that stuff anyway (I was not an obedient child). Then I remembered (funny, I had forgotten) that my parents had a lock on the freezer and a cupboard with a padlock in the kitchen to keep me out!
So I asked myself why have I never chowed down on all of those things all the time since I left home and have the freedom to do so? My eating is typically very healthy (I never keep anything in the house that is tempting to me) and although I am twenty pounds overweight, this is more due to orthopedic injuries and mid-life hormones than poor eating. In class #1, you said to me that I needed to trust myself. That resonated because, although I do really well, I strategically and stringently set up my environment to keep temptations out—always.
So my next revelation is about goodies locked up by my parents…I cannot be trusted, but I love all those goodies, so I essentially “lock up” all the goodies I’d love because I don’t trust myself. So when you said I needed to trust myself, I actually felt your words in my heart right then, and now that I’ve figured it out, I feel such peace in knowing I can trust myself.
So Carol, this has been amazing for me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. What I find with you is your insights and words bring normalcy to me and you make beautiful sense and connections and I feel all this so profoundly.
I thank you so much for pursuing this with me. I just read that victims will feel a sense of entitlement, and that resonates with me in thinking “I deserve this ice cream! Wow!”
In a four-month follow up, Jannie wrote to say that her results have held up, even under stressful circumstances.
She tapped for a craving one more time, two weeks after the class ended. She wrote, “I must tell you that ice cream is so far out of the picture for me now. The true test has been my husband needing surgery and me needing “something” for comfort, but ice cream never even crossed my mind! I’ve been happily choosing berries, cherries, and grapes instead! This is an absolute miracle!!!
Thank you, thank you!”
Addictive cravings sometimes represent a crying out for love. You can often identify such cases when a few rounds of EFT directed at cravings have only minimal impact. That’s because there’s a bigger emotional need that drives them. In the next report, Gabriele Rother from Germany illustrates this concept beautifully. Once again, global descriptions in the Setup peel away some layers so the core issue can come though. The extended Setup Phrases in the rest of the session are designed to increase the intensity of the anger by describing it in more detail. By focusing on the anger to this degree, the tapping can correct the related energy disruption more completely.
The Reminder Phrases are not distinguished from the Setup Phrases here, but you can assume that this language was used while tapping through the sequence and not just on the Karate Chop point.
Gabriele addresses several aspects along the way and then closes the session after resolving a specific event with her client’s father.
A woman called and asked me how she could tap for her intense craving for chocolate. She had experienced sudden attacks of cravings and was very angry at herself for eating the all of the chocolate in her possession at once.
We started tapping with the Setup Phrases:
Even though I have this ravenous appetite for chocolate, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Even though I don’t like myself because I am so weak every time that I cannot resist…
Even though I am so angry afterward…
Even though I have this addiction to chocolate…
This yearning for chocolate…
“What is your real yearning?” I asked. She replied, “Craving for security.”
We tapped while saying:
Even though this yearning inside myself lets me take the chocolate…Chocolate means security for me. I never felt secure. I yearn for it so badly. I yearn for it forever. I know chocolate is not the same. Chocolate only reminds me of security and feeling safe.
After that round she felt very angry, and a lot of rage came up about the fact that she wasn’t protected by her parents. They both were employed and didn’t have time enough for her. This made her very upset. We tapped for:
This rage about my parents…I am still so furious, even though this happened a long time ago. I yearned so much for security and protection. I never got it. There was nobody protecting me. I had this yearning. This yearning is still there. The chocolate calms me down for a while but it comes back. And I am so angry about myself and about my parents. I am angry!
After this round she calmed down a bit, but it came to her that she was still angry with her aunt. She experienced abuse during a stay at her grandmother‘s and she told her aunt about that. But her aunt refused to listen to her and didn’t take her seriously. That upset her.
We tapped for:
Even though I feel this anger about my aunt…
She didn’t take me seriously. I am so angry about her.
She didn’t believe me. Nobody takes me seriously. That makes me so furious! I am mad with anger! But maybe my aunt was afraid of this man. I am still furious about her! Maybe she experienced something similar and had fears like me, but I am still furious…Nobody takes me seriously. But the chocolate takes me seriously. It is always there and gives me a good feeling. I wished I could have gotten that same feeling from my aunt.
After this round the anger about the aunt was gone. Now a sort of sadness and a feeling of anger came up about her father. He refused to take her home, and she was not able to tell him what happened with this man and that made her sad and angry at same time.
My father…He didn’t take me home. I am so angry about this. He does not love me. And I wasn’t able to tell him what happened. Couldn’t tell it to Grandma, neither to Dad, and my aunt refused to listen. I am so sad and so angry! But Dad wanted to protect me. He wanted to do his best for me. In his view, the best thing for me was to stay with my grandma. But he didn’t know what happened there. He still loves me. And I couldn’t tell him. If he knew what happened, he would have taken me home. But I couldn’t tell him. At least it was okay. Nothing more happened. My aunt took care of me. At the end she protected me. I can let it go now and enjoy my chocolate without longing for it. I can enjoy the chocolate without being angry. I don’t need to eat it up all at once. I can enjoy it that I feel safe now even without chocolate. I am protected and I am okay like I am.
Deep breath out. All of the anger and the sadness were gone. I asked her about her longing for chocolate. It was completely gone and she felt a deep release. This session took us about a quarter of an hour.
Here’s a brief idea from Dr. Deborah Miller that brings about big results for stubborn food cravings. Notice how her approach involves common-sense questions.
I enjoy how EFT allows one to get to the core reason for a food craving. This interesting story shows how well we hide the reasons.
I facilitate individual sessions and group classes titled “EFT Ideal Weight.” It is a delightful way to look at the myriad causes of holding onto weight. In one particular class dealing with food cravings, each person brought an item that she had cravings for. I asked each woman to look at the food item, smell it, and sense the emotions that came to the surface because I wanted them to identify what it was about the item that they craved. Was it the look, the taste, the texture?
With EFT the craving level dropped quickly for everyone except one woman. Her craving was for a specific type of bread. When I asked her what it was about the bread that she craved she admitted that it wasn’t the bread. It was dunking the bread in milk. I asked her what it was about dunking the bread in milk that she enjoyed. She told me that it made the bread soft. The type of bread she craved is dry bread commonly used for dunking in milk or hot chocolate.
Then I asked her if there was something in her life that was hard that she wanted to make soft. Her eyes got wide and she stated that her husband was sometimes hard with her and she wished he’d be softer. From that moment on her craving level for the bread dropped to nothing. Since this session she hasn’t had a craving for dunking bread in milk.
German EFT practitioner Horst Benesch could not get a woman beyond her cookie craving until he persisted with questions and discovered a core issue. Once the core issue was collapsed with EFT, the cookie craving disappeared.
Identifying core issues is an important concept that all serious practitioners need to master. Horst uses both the Karate Chop point and the Sore Spot while doing the Setup. You’ll find the Sore Spot described in Appendix A.
In a recent EFT workshop I placed cookies in the middle of the tables and asked whether anyone irresistibly had to eat one of them. A forty-two-yearold woman said she could not imagine not eating this sugar-coated cookie. I let her smell and taste a bit, and she rated her craving at a 7.
We tapped for the craving, but there was no change. It remained a 7. We switched from the Karate Chop point to the Sore Spot with more emphasis, but no change. I let her bite a small piece again and asked her to describe what she sensed. She reported a certain pleasurable sense of melting in her mouth.
Even though I like this melting feeling in my mouth…
No change, still a 7.
I then asked her to describe this melting more exactly, asking what it felt like for her. She said, “Smooth, warm, and sweet.” And she added: “That is because my mother never nursed me.” I wanted to hook into this argument, but she refused and said it was just a joke. Nevertheless I asked her whether or not it was true. She conceded that her mother never had nursed her.
I told her to take this “joke” seriously, because maybe that is the way her unconscious tricked her. Thus we tapped on:
Even though my mother never did nurse me and even though I therefore miss this warm, smooth, and sweet sensation within my mouth…
After a whole round of the Basic Recipe, I let her taste it again. She was astonished and reported that this cookie tasted sweeter.
Another round of tapping, again tasting. Now she reported that it tasted unpleasantly sweet and she did not want to eat this cookie anymore. As a challenge I put cookies directly in front of her during the whole evening. She did not even feel a slight desire for them. At the end of this group session I asked her again to have a little taste. She did not like it at all because it was too sweet.
Carol Look has been a professional therapist for many years, and has an impressive record using EFT for addictions, weight loss, and the like. Over the years, she has identified several emotional “themes” that often contribute to addiction and weight loss, and in this case, we learn about grief.
In her article below, Carol tells us about how she addressed cravings at a workshop with a group of volunteers. Coincidentally, or maybe not, several of these volunteers had unresolved grief in their past. Once these stories are revealed by her volunteers, you can see how one traumatic event, left unresolved, can translate in to a lifetime of eating habits.
When applying EFT to several people at once, you often have to keep it global or general, and you may see that in Carol’s Setup Phrases. This article can serve as a great illustration of how emotional issues connect to cravings, but as a follow-up on any of these issues, I would focus on the actual event of the loss with each volunteer.
Brenda attended my “EFT for Anxiety Relief” class at the National Guild of Hypnotists convention. As part of the agenda, I asked for volunteers for an inclass demonstration for food cravings and underlying feelings. Brenda was one of four volunteers.
She chose a bag of M&Ms from my pile of props and rated her craving for them as an 8 on the 0-to-10 point scale.
Our first round of tapping was:
Even though I have these cravings, and I really love the way my favorite food tastes, I deeply and completely accept myself.
Each person’s 0-to-10 craving rating decreased. One woman said her craving had gone down significantly and she was now thinking of the good times she had with her father. Brenda echoed this thought and reported feeling profound grief. She had lost her father when she was eight years old and her mother couldn’t handle Brenda’s grief and crying, so she gave Brenda food to shut her up.
All four volunteers associated their eating of junk foods with losses they had experienced. Even though I feel deep grief, and I want to eat to cover it up, I deeply and completely accept myself. Even though I feel these deep losses, and I want to stuff myself with food, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway.
Even though I feel abandoned because they left me, I deeply and completely accept my feelings. The volunteers continued to unravel layers of sadness around the losses they had experienced. Brenda said that her craving for the M&Ms was going down dramatically, but her feelings of sadness were surfacing strongly. She told the class she had lost two children, a fiancé, and her favorite pet. She also reported having strong physical feelings of grief in her chest, which she described as “a bowling ball in my chest.”
Even though I use the sweets to feel better, because I love how they make me feel, I choose to feel safe and comfortable without them.
Even though I can’t get satisfied, I love myself anyway. Even though sweets are the only things that make me feel better, I deeply and completely accept myself. Brenda told the class that the “bowling ball feeling” in her chest, a heartache, was decreasing in intensity and moving down towards her solar plexus.
Even though I have suffered so many losses, I choose to feel accepting of myself and of them.
Even though I just want to be acknowledged for all my losses and how hard it’s been, I deeply and completely love and accept my feelings.
Brenda said this one really “hit” her hard. She realized that all she had wanted was to be acknowledged for all the pain that she had been through.
She told the class that everyone sees her as such a strong person and that they assume things come easily to her.
We tapped several more rounds on grief and being acknowledged.
We also tapped for Brenda’s belief that whenever she gets close to someone, “they drop dead.” Brenda said this last round released the tremendous pain she had been carrying around for so long. She heard her- self say, “You’re right. I’ve suffered enough,” and she felt free to let go of her deep grief at this point.
I talked to Brenda four weeks later to see how she was. She had been doing her own tapping during the first week but then stopped. She had not eaten any sweets since the class, including while she was on a week-long vacation in Florida. Ice cream used to be her favorite comfort food, and she hadn’t had any in four weeks. On her birthday the week before she took one bite of birthday cake and didn’t like it because it tasted too sweet! While in the class demonstration, Brenda used the bag of M&Ms as a symbol for all sweets in her life and was pleased that it had obviously worked for cake and ice cream as well. Brenda said she had not gotten on the scale yet, but that several people told her she looked as if she had lost some weight.
She is ready now to deal fully with her weight issue and reported that the tapping came at exactly the right time in her life.
There is a suggestion here that the results achieved in the workshop described above were more of a “good start” than a “miracle cure” and that Brenda should continue tapping. This is often the case when using global Setup
Phrases instead of uncovering the specific events. Here is another example of how an experience of grief or loss can eventually contribute to unhealthy eating habits. This next article by Melissa Derasmo is a must- read because it superbly illustrates how finding a core issue can collapse even the most stubborn challenges. Her process provides a very good example of how everyday people without therapy experience can find their own underlying isues.
Melissa immedately “got” that past events in her life were affecting her life in the present, so she committed herself completely without expecting any specific result right away. Once she was relieved of some baggage, she was able to tune into to the deeper issue comning forward.
Also notice the extent to which she tested her own results. Testing methods can dig up even more aspects and help you be much more thorough with EFT. As she discovers, it may be that one needs to tap on what didn’t happen as well as what did.
I was a confirmed sugar addict. Starting in my early twenties, I ate sugar at every opportunity. I would do anything I had to in order to get my “fix,” including things I would rather not admit to, like stealing money if I didn’t have any for chocolate or other sugar-rich things.
In a continuing effort to find the perfect diet, I somehow managed to discover EFT in August of 2007. I dove in and never looked back. I tapped for every single issue I could find, and I had a lot. I had inconsolable grief over my alcoholic mother dying when I was six, anger over being physically abused by a stepmother and sexually abused by her father, and then inconsolable grief over my father passing away when I was ten years old. These were big issues, but I was able to eliminate all their pain with EFT. I spent the next year working on my Personal Peace Procedure and tapping on everything I could come up with. But I still ate sugar uncontrollably.
Then on February 1, 2009, something happened that started me down the road to the answer. I was in Macy’s shopping (which was my second favorite thing to do at that time) and suddenly out of nowhere a baby started screaming and crying. Well, my reaction to that was to get out of the room as fast as possible. My husband, who was with me at the time, turned to me and said, “What is wrong with you?” And it hit me. I thought everyone runs out of the room when there’s a crying baby. I can’t tolerate hearing babies cry. But no, apparently lots of people don’t have this issue at all! And slowly the thought “bubbled up” for me—I can’t tolerate the crying baby because I am the crying baby—the baby that wasn’t taken care of—both while my mother was alive and after she died. So I went home and started to tap. This was a long session of working on every single thing I could come up with, and whether it was true or not did not matter. These thoughts were what I believed to be true.
Even though I’m so sad that my mother was too drunk to wake up and feed me…
too drunk to wake up and change my diapers…
too drunk to take care of me…
But more importantly, I realized that after she died she wasn’t there to do all the things a daughter needs in life—and as I focused on what we had missed together, the tears came flooding out:
Even though I’m so sad my mother wasn’t there to walk me to school,
tuck me in at night,
read me a story,
help me with my homework,
put my picture on the fridge,
congratulate me on my wonderful report card,
push me on the swing in the park,
listen to my heart aches,
play with me,
take me for my first bra,
make cookies with me,
tell me what a Tampax is,
help me plan my wedding,
tell me why I shouldn’t marry that idiot,
hold her first granddaughter,
tell me what a great daughter I am,
…and lots, lots more.
What happened when it was all done was quite stunning. The first thing I noticed was total silence— the voice that would constantly scream out for sugar was completely silent. So I started to test. At work I walked by my co-worker’s office and the ton of chocolate on her desk—nothing. I went by the vending machines—nothing. I went to the supermarket and walked down candy aisle—nothing. I picked up some chocolate, smelled it, had zero desire for it, put it down, and walked away. If you are a sugar addict, you will understand that that was nothing less than a miracle. The next morning I thought perhaps I had been abducted by aliens and exchanged for an addiction-free person—someone who is “normal.” I was quite unsettled about it but willing to accept that whatever happened, it was good. And while it hasn’t been a terribly long time, I remain completely addiction- free weeks later. The endless, relentless “pull” that would force me to eat is completely gone. Today I eat “normally”—I make low-calorie balanced meals and I’m perfectly okay with them. I’m happy with one serving. I can watch others eat cake, cookies, and candy without any issue at all. It doesn’t bother me. I simply don’t want what they have.
Looking back, I can see the clue my subconscious was trying to give me with the crying baby who was always there.
I didn’t understand what it meant so I just ignored it. And as I now lose weight effortlessly, I hope that others will find this information useful. It may be that one needs to tap on what didn’t happen as well as what did.
Since first collapsing the “baby crying” issue, I have now been three months without any sugar cravings and I have lost 38 pounds.
Melissa discovered both physical and sexual abuse in her past, which are very traumatic experiences that often lead to overeating. However, don’t assume that only abuse survivors can relate to her process. Believe it or not, many people have been just as traumatized by a playground humiliation or by being dumped by a first love. If it was really painful for you, it can still be affecting you, so tap on whatever memories show up.