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Control Cravings: Use the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

Updated on October 14, 2015

Use EFT to Control and Banish Cravings

Maybe it's soft drinks, maybe it's chocolate, maybe it's cheese, maybe it's hot chips, maybe it's a cigarette? You probably have at least one thing that you crave almost irrationally.

We often feel that we have no control over things that we crave. However, the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) not only treats the craving but also the underlying emotions that drive the craving, often achieving results when nothing else works. With persistence, EFT not only reduces the craving each time but can eventually eliminate the cravings altogether.

Once you learn EFT, you'll have control over your cravings – the most important first step in permanent change.

About the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) have taken Einstein's discoveries (that everything is energy, including the human body) and married them with the ancient tradition of acupuncture.

The success of EFT lies in the balancing of the body's subtle energies that flow through the body, in much the same way as blood flows through veins. This balancing is done with an elegant sort of emotional acupuncture. Instead of using needles, specific points on the body are stimulated by tapping with the fingertips.

EFT is so simple that it can be easily learned by anyone and self-applied. Some cases are more complex, however, and may require assistance from an experienced EFT Practitioner.

How do you use EFT to control your cravings?

EFT is done by using your fingertips to tap on easily found acupressure points on the body. These points are shown below with a more detailed description here. The points are the same on both sides of the face and body.

Please note that the points used here are considered a 'shortcut' method to the original Basic Recipe.

The tapping is done with the same firmness as you might drum your fingers on the desk. Use the middle three fingers of either hand when tapping so that you don't need to be worried about the exact location of the points. Using both hands, tap on each side at the same time.

The tapping is combined with a focusing phrase that keeps your mind on the problem you want to work with, in this case, the craving. When we focus on the problem and tap on the acupressure points, the energy system in our body is balanced creating change in our behaviour and emotions.

In this case we will use a focusing phrase for your craving such as: "this craving for chocolate" or "this craving for a cigarette" or "this craving for cola". The more specific you are about what you crave the better.

EFT Step-by-Step

Before starting the procedure, take a reading of how much you currently crave your fix so that you can tell if there is any change. You do this by picking a number on a scale from 0 - 10, where 0 is "don't want it" and 10 is "must have now!". If you are unsure of the number then guess, as this will usually be the correct number. Write the number down so that you can compare it after applying the procedure.

  1. On a scale of 0-10, where 10 is the strongest, how high is your craving? Write down this number.
  2. Start and continue tapping on the Karate Chop point while saying these phrases. (I'll use 'chocolate' as an example but substitute 'chocolate' for the specific item or substance you crave):

    "Even though I crave this chocolate really badly, I accept myself."

    "Even though I know this chocolate is not healthy for me but I deserve the treat, I accept my behaviour."

    "Even though I'd feel deprived if I couldn't have this chocolate, I accept myself."

  3. Continue on through the other tapping points repeating your reminder phrase:

    Head: "This craving for chocolate"

    Eyebrows: "This craving for chocolate"

    Side of Eyes: "This craving for chocolate"

    Under Eyes: "This craving for chocolate"

    Under Nose: "This craving for chocolate"

    Chin Point: "This craving for chocolate"

    Collarbones: "This craving for chocolate"

    Under Arms: "This craving for chocolate"

    Inside Wrists: "This craving for chocolate"

    Repeat the sequence 3 or 4 times.

  4. Take another reading of the level of craving on a scale of 0-10 and compare this to the questions (a), (b), and (c) below:

  5. Is the new number lower than the one you wrote down in Step 1 i.e. has the craving reduced? Great! Repeat the steps 1-4 until the number is at zero or doesn't go any lower.
  6. (a)Is the number the same but the craving has changed in some way? Awesome! Make up a new focusing phrase that is even more specific about what you crave e.g. "the way chocolate melts in my mouth" or "the salty taste of chips". Now repeat steps 1-4.
  7. (a)Is the new number the same or higher than the number you wrote down in Step 1 i.e. has the craving intensified in some way? STAY CALM. While you might think you have done something wrong, you have not. You are actually getting closer to the resolving the real issue behind the craving. Please read the Advanced Notes below before repeating the procedure.

Advanced Notes

Questions to explore the emotional drivers

If, after a round of tapping, the craving has intensified then its time to put on your Detective's hat and delve deeper into the problem. There is a deeper emotional issue related to the craving that you need to find. To identify the emotions behind the craving, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What feeling does the substance you crave allow you to suppress?
  • What are you anxious/stressed about?
  • Have you rewarded yourself with this substance in the past?
  • How would you feel if you couldn't have this?
  • What expectations would you take on if you overcame this addiction?
  • What feeling does the substance surpress?
If you have trouble coming up with something, try guessing what this could be about as this will usually be the right answer.

Now that you have some answers, make up a new focusing phrase to describe the underlying feeling e.g. "this work anxiety craving", or "being alone craving", or "this need to be in control feeling", or "this is my only reward". Repeat Steps 1 - 4 with this new focusing phrase.

Again, evaluate your results at the end of the round of tapping and proceed from there.

Using this procedure will often achieve lasting results when nothing else has worked!

Healing the Cycle of Addiction with EFT

5 Audio CDs + FREE Bonus CD!

For a more details approch to Overcoming Addiction with EFT I highly recommend Healing the Cycle of Addiction that includes almost 7 hours of audio discussion and practical applications of EFT with EFT Masters Carol Look and David Rourke. Excellent for practitioners and lay people. Listen, tap along, and borrow benefits.

Sugar Cravings: Additional Information

Correcting your diet for your individual biochemistry

There is sometimes an additional reason for sugar cravings beyond emotional drivers. If the balance of carbohydrates to proteins in a meal is not right for your individual metabolic type then you will crave something sweet after a meal.

You may already have experience with this feelings. It's not uncommon for westerners to experience cravings for something sweet after an Asian meal which often has lots of rice. The carbohydrate balance is too high and this puts your insulin levels out of balance giving you the craving for something sweet. This can often happen with pasta as well.

Getting the right balance of protein and carbohydrates in every meal can have a critical affect on your health and well-being including depression, diabetes, and many other chronic conditions. Metabolic typing is the reason that I will not eat cereal for breakfast.

The books below provide more information about Metabolic Typing.

There's much more to EFT

EFT is the most successful health innovation in the last 100 years and works for every emotional and physical issue you can name including:

trauma or abuse, stress or anxiety, PTSD, fears or phobias, depression, addiction, allergies, ADD/ADHD, anger management, headaches, back pains, or breathing difficulties

Even though EFT appears simple, correctly and artfully applied EFT often gets results when nothing else has worked.

Find out more about EFT and Tap4Health.

As you experience the benefits of this lens, please express your appreciation by clicking 5-Stars at the top of the page. You might also leave a brief note below about your experience.


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