If you’re grappling with sugar or carb cravings and weight challenges, I highly recommend that you start tapping, a simple, but powerful process.
You can learn about this remarkable technique in Nick Ortner’s new book, The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System
for Stress-Free Living. Thanks to the publisher, Hay House, I’m now presenting an excerpt so you can discover more how tapping can help you to break the hold that sugar, carbs or food has over you.
At the end of this Sugar Shock Blog post, you’ll see an audio player for the fascinating Gab with the Gurus episode with Nick Ortner.
Losing Weight and Letting Go of Fear, Guilt, and Shame around Food
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. — Thomas A. Edison
“Tapping,” is said to be a combination of
ancient Chinese acupressure and modern psychology, and works with the body’s
meridian points. Meridians, the basis of the ancient Chinese medical system of
acupuncture, are defined as energy channels that carry the vital life force, or
qi, to the organs and others systems of the body.
Running up and down either
side of the body, each meridian is associated with a different organ—stomach,
gall bladder, kidney, etc. Each meridian also has what’s called an “endpoint,”
a specific location where you can access
the energy channel on the surface of the body. This point can be manipulated
using acupuncture needles or simple touch (acupressure) to balance or unblock
the energy flow through that particular meridian.
“EFT,” or “Emotional Freedom Techniques” is a
single tapping sequence that is designed to hit all the major meridian
endpoints, and starts with the hand, then moves to the inner eyebrow, the outer
eyebrow, underneath the eye, under the nose, the chin, the collarbone, and the
side of the rib cage, then ends at the top of the head.
When you’re experiencing a negative emotional
state—angry or upset or fearful—your brain goes on alert. Your adrenaline
pumps, your muscles tense, and your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar
all rise to give you extra energy to meet the challenge; your body is preparing
you to fight or flee.
The ongoing fight-or-flight response leaves us worn down,
sick, upset, overweight, and stressed out. What tapping does, with amazing efficiency, is
halt the fight-or-flight response, or stress response, and reprogram the brain
and body to act—and react—differently.
Why Does Tapping Help with Weight
Loss? The Stress Connection
The stress response can cause a massive
cascade of events in your body, including:
- On average four times less blood flow to your digestive system.
- Lower absorption of nutrients.
- Less enzyme production in your gut. (As much as 20,000 times less!
This is one of the reasons why, when you eat a meal while you’re stressed,
you’ll often feel bloated and uncomfortable.)
- Decrease in gut flora population.
- Increase in cholesterol.
- Increase in cortisol and insulin levels.
The last item is particularly important for
weight loss, because when your cortisol is consistently elevated, it’s hard to
lose weight or build muscle. In fact, you’re more likely to gain weight, particularly around your
midsection. When you lower your stress level (and obviously it’s not just
stress about food, but lowering stress about everything and everything) your
body will respond. You’ll lose weight,
increase the absorption of nutrients, increase enzyme production (so you won’t
feel bloated), increase healthy gut flora population, lower your cholesterol,
and lower your cortisol and insulin levels. What is this magic diet? What do
you eat? Whatever you want! Just relax while you’re doing it. . . .
EFT for Food Cravings
Another problem I often turn to is food
cravings, because those are also easy to witness and measure.
Working with food cravings in front of a live
audience follows a similar trajectory every time. First, we all have some good
laughs as I introduce a bag of candy, chocolates, cookies, or other treats
people often crave. I pass around the
bag and have people pick their favorite. I have them look at it, smell it, and
do whatever else it takes to bring their craving levels up. Then I ask for a
few volunteers who want to work live onstage to reduce those cravings.
I first ask the volunteers to describe the
intensity of their craving on a 0-to-10 scale—and what, in particular, they are
feeling or noticing about the candy or chocolate. I immediately get answers
“The craving is a 10. It smells so good . . .
can I have a little bite? I love Snickers, and I’m so hungry!”
“It’s an 8. I didn’t eat much at lunch, and
this would really fill me up.”
We all have some more laughs, as it becomes
obvious that the volunteers are desperate to eat these treats!
And then we begin some very general tapping, and
we tap through the points for several rounds.
This generally dulls the edge of the
craving—that almost crazed desire for the food—and it’s what you can use
yourself whenever you’re having a craving. Start with the most general and
basic tapping to calm the body down. The
next question I usually ask is, “If there was an emotion behind this craving,
what would it be. If we don’t get to the
root of the craving, to what’s causing it in the first place, it’s likely to
come back a few hours or days later. Sure,
you can tap it down each time. But why not handle the emotion right up front
and get rid of the craving once and for all?
As people tune in to the emotions behind the
craving, that’s when the laughter often turns into tears. Many of us use food
to suppress or dampen negative emotions, events, and the overall stress in our
As my friend Carol Look likes to say, “It’s not about the food!” The food is
covering up or masking what’s really going on underneath. When you address the
underlying patterns, emotions, events, and beliefs, that’s when your
relationship with the food can shift toward something much more healthy.