By Sherry Banaka, EFT Practitioner
"Rita" (not her real name) was referred to me by a friend to see if EFT tapping could help with her cravings for carbohydrates and sweets.
After I demonstrated tapping on the basic points and explained how this changes the body’s stress response to a relaxation response, we began a round using the Basic Recipe on the texture of fresh bread, and then a round on the visual aspect of fresh-baked bread with butter glistening on it.
Rita’s beginning SUD level of intensity number rating was 5 out of 10, but it went up to 9 out of 10 when she recalled a memory of eating a whole bag of macaroons at age 8, which made her so sick she threw up.
We tapped a round using an extended Setup Statement and Reminder Phrases of eating the whole bag of macaroons and throwing up.
Rita’s SUD level went down to about 7, and she wanted to know why we weren’t tapping on some positives.
I explained the importance of clearing the negatives first, before tapping on the positives could be effective. I then asked Rita how she feels when she has the craving, and she said she feels out of control. She has to not buy any of these foods or she has to throw them out, otherwise she eats way too much in one sitting, after which she feels a sugar spike and gets lethargic.
Rita said she knows this is bad for her health and wants to stop, but keeps eating anyway. She has the image of the little angel on one shoulder and the little devil on the other, and she feels the devil is winning.
We tapped another round, again using the Basic Recipe, with an extended Setup Statement and Reminder Phrases combining the aspects of feeling out of control, eating too much, sugar spikes and lethargy, bad for my health but can’t stop, the devil is winning.
"Even though I feel out of control when I eat too much sugar, I deeply and completely accept myself..."
I then transitioned to a reframe that not buying the carbohydrates and/or throwing them out is actually a strategy and is evidence of making progress. As we tapped on the aspects of having a strategy and its evidence of having some control, I added another reframe: When Rita feels a craving, it can be a trigger or reminder that she does have some control and can use tapping to make her control stronger.
After this round of tapping, Rita reported a SUD level of 1 or 2 and said she was impressed with the process and felt positive about her ability to exercise control and not overeat carbohydrates and sweets
In the second session with Rita, she said her cravings had subsided for a few days but had returned about 4 days ago.
We tapped one round using the Basic Recipe and the Setup Statement:
“Even though I have these cravings, I deeply and completely love and accept myself...”
With the Reminder Phrase:
After one round, Rita’s SUD level dropped from 10 to 9. Rita then said it felt like a pendulum swinging from having control over the cravings to not having control.
I asked Rita where in her body she felt the cravings. She said from her mouth to her stomach and it felt like “hand-to-mouth gratification.” I asked if this had an emotion, what would it be, and Rita answered it would be an “angry beast.” I asked if it had a color, what would that be, and Rita answered, “orange-red.”
We tapped a round using the Basic Recipe and an extended Setup Statement and Reminder Phrases combining all these aspects. Rita’s SUD rating went to “5 or 6.” Rita then said she felt like there was a closed door and she had concerns about exposure. Her concerns were SUD 10, and Rita said she didn’t want to explore what was behind the closed door, especially since we knew each other and had the same circle of acquaintances.
I explained that, since the image of a closed door came to mind, it was probably relevant, but we didn’t have to explore what might be behind the door; we could just tap on the closed door without knowing what was behind it.
As we began tapping a round on the closed door, Rita remembered being hospitalized for a serious health condition at age 6 or 7.
It was humiliating, embarrassing, and scary because she had to undergo a lot of tests, and she was given a lot of enemas and a special diet. Rita then remembered a core belief: She had made a decision to eat more to stay healthy and never have to be hospitalized again.
Rita then gained too much weight and had had problems with her weight ever since, resulting in a negative body image.
We tapped a round using an extended and flowing Setup Statement and Reminder Phrases, combining all these aspects. Rita’s SUD level went from 5-6 to 2-3.
We then tapped a round on a reframe of the decision to eat more to avoid another hospitalization as being a strategy to protect herself and keep herself healthy.
I then added an extended, flowing Setup Statement with Reminder Phrases about honoring herself for developing that old strategy, honoring it for protecting her, not needing it any longer, letting it go, and replacing it with a new, healthier strategy.
After that round of tapping, I asked Rita how she felt about the decision to eat more, and she reported her SUD level was 1-0.
I then asked her how she felt about her cravings, and she said, “Right now, I feel no desire to eat carbs.”
I asked her to focus on that statement and tell me how true it felt on the VOC scale (after explaining it), and Rita said her VOC score was 10.
She also said she feels “a new perspective emerging from the truth of the relationship to the hospitalization,” and the “angry, red beast is ridiculous to have now.”