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Experience Healing with the Emotional Freedom Techniques by Andrea Amador

As children we’re just like sponges, taking everything in and believing all that we’re told. If you were used to living with people who were constantly finding fault with themselves, you, or others, you may have learned to speak to yourself with disdain or feel ashamed. It’s these assumptions and negative beliefs that something is wrong with you that triggers you to feel unsafe in so many situations.

For instance, let’s look at a person who is a closet eater. If she struggles with feelings of shame when eating in public, she most likely is replaying memories of actual events that occurred in which she felt uncomfortable eating around people. Perhaps it was a memory of a relative who thought he was doing her a favor by criticizing her body and commenting on what she ate.

Anchoring: How We Form Associations

In Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), we call this a kinesthetic ‘anchor’. Each time you are reminded of being criticized or judged, your body sends a signal to your brain flooding your body with stress chemicals designed to alert you to danger.

Here's how it works: Your ears send a signal to your brain reminding you of all the negative things that have been said. For example in the instance of the closet eater, she will remember the tone of someone’s voice when she was told, “You’re going to get as fat as a house one day if you keep eating that food.” The words you hear replayed in your head are just as powerful as when they were first spoken. When you think about sarcastic or harmful remarks that have been told to you, your body feels the impact of those words each time you think about it.

Desperately seeking to tranquilize these bad feelings, you seek to find a way to eat the food you want without being noticed. Maybe the first time you did this you were successful in stealing a cookie from the cookie jar without your parents' knowledge. By doing this or something like it, you created a new connection in your brain that eating in secret keeps you safe and in control. Yet because of the flood of stress chemicals that the negative memories create, and societal pressures to dine with others, you feel awful hiding and eating in secret.

Emotional Freedom Techniques Offers a Solution

Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a simple, do-it-yourself stress relief process based on the science of acupuncture. But instead of inserting needles into your skin, you use your fingertips and tap on different parts of your face, hands and body.

The latest scientific research shows that this tapping works because when you are under stress, your body is in a fight or flight sequence. That means that you are fully immersed in the memory of whatever is upsetting you and your brain can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality. By tapping on certain comfort spots on your body as you think about the upsetting event or thought, you send a calming signal to the brain to change the way that you think about your experience. It creates an instant relaxation response. This makes it possible to function normally again. By using EFT to question your current beliefs about yourself, your relationships and your sense of self-worth, you can begin to realize that many of the beliefs that keep you fearful and feeling shameful are not based in logic.

The good news is that you don’t have to continue to feel this way. Thousands of people use EFT on a regular basis for many things, from giving them courage in fearful situations to neutralizing painful memories to relaxing in times of stress. It can be used on anything. We all have negative experiences from our past. EFT can help neutralize them.

Andrea Amador is The Juicy Woman. She is a body image/self-esteem expert, professional certified empowerment coach and master NLP practitioner who creates customized confidence building and stress relief programs for women and girls. For more information, visit TheJuicyWoman.com or call 425-1661.

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