Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tapping Away Cravings

Does tapping really work? From the time of their inception in the 1980s, tapping systems have been controversial in scientific circles. Also known by the umbrella term "energy psychology," these techniques are based around systematic tapping of meridians or acupoints while focusing on a particular issue, malady, or problem. Fans report remarkable successes with tapping systems like Thought Field Therapy (TFT), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Mental Field Therapy/Technique (MFT), and others. But critics say there have been few peer-reviewed studies supporting their effectiveness.

Recently, though, that has begun to change. For instance, the abstract for David Feinstein's paper "Energy Psychology: A review of the preliminary evidence" states that "energy psychology has reached the minimum threshold for being designated as an evidence-based treatment." In other words, there is now enough evidence that it works to take it seriously.

There is still the need for much more tapping research. In the meantime, individuals have many ways they can evaluate these techniques for themselves. The tapping system I use is Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt's Mental Field Technique, or MFT, and I am still learning about ways it can work for me.

The most recent way I used MFT was in dealing with some food cravings. Though I have used the technique for a few years now, my cravings on this night were so strong that I really didn't expect tapping to quell them. But I went through the process anyway – it only takes a couple of minutes – and darned if it didn't work. As I began tapping the first of nine spots in the MFT sequence, the craving was still strong and I fully expected to head to the cupboard for a snack after I was done. But by the time I finished with the ninth spot, my craving had simply evaporated. I felt indifferent to food, and didn't need anything more to eat that night.

It was a great reminder for me that this really is an effective and worthwhile technique. Tomorrow night, we'll be teaching a class about tapping and will go into more detail about how it works and how to do it. That's at 6:30 p.m. at the Jutila Center in Hancock, $10 at the door. If you live in the area, please join us.