Read time: 5 min.
Issue 06 * 06 January 2024

Tapping for Food Cravings

Goldster’s Advanced EFT and NLP Practitioner Jen Shackleton advises on how to avoid comfort eating and prevent food bingeing during the depths of January.

Bethan Cole

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01 Understanding Food Cravings

We all know that feeling. The depths of winter – it’s gloomy and we’re feeling low. This is how food cravings start, we reach for the chocolates, unhealthy snacks, cheese and biscuits and we just can’t stop until we finish the packet. And then we feel profoundly ill. We’ve all done it.

“There are different things I would do as a practitioner if I was working with a client, “ says Goldster’s Jen Shackleton, “food cravings are complex. Often binge eating can be triggered by a particular emotion: feeling rejected or lonely or insecure about something. We need to identify what those feelings are and where they came from.”

02 A Complex Relationship

Jen identifies that many of us have a complex relationship with food and that EFT and NLP can be used in different ways to help us with this. We need to recognise that our eating habits change when we experience different emotions. We need to tune into these specific emotions when we tap. By reducing the intensity of the emotion (by tapping), we will find ourselves able to respond differently and to take more control of our resulting behaviour.

03 Scientific Evidence that Tapping Works

“Tapping will also reduce food cravings as evidenced by the research of Dr Peta Stapleton of Bond University,” explains Jen. “During a four-week program, fifteen obese adult patients were taught tapping techniques that they self-administered. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans (FMRI) were used to record their brains’ responses when shown images of different food at the beginning and at the end of the program. After four weeks of EFT, the brain’s neural pathways had ‘rewired’ and the activation previously seen in response to certain foods had ceased, as had their desire for those foods.”

So one solution to this problem is to tackle the emotional side of food cravings, if it’s part of a bigger picture, and then to use the physical technique of tapping. “When working with a Practitioner, there are further ways in which EFT can be used to help with food cravings,” continues Jen, “for example, Dr Roger Callahan developed an Addictions Protocol in which acupressure points are tapped in a particular sequence to reduce cravings.”

04 NLP Visualisation

One technique that Jen uses a lot for overcoming unhealthy eating habits is NLP visualisation. “I ask my client to imagine the food they are craving: then to imagine having too much of it or to imagine it mixed up with disgusting things. This changes how the brain is running those programmes about those foods.”

She gives the example of a lady she treated who was addicted to wine gums. She asked her to imagine a big bucket of wine gums, getting bigger and bigger and then to imagine a spoonful of wine gums mixed in with horrible things. A year or so later the lady contacted her and she had completely got over her addiction to wine gums.

“You have to be really careful how you use these techniques,” concludes Jen, “tapping can help with underlying emotional issues and physical cravings too.”

With Goldster, help is at hand.