Applying Emotional Freedom Techniques
to Addiction Treatment
Emotional Freedom Techniques
The brain runs the body through a series of electrical stimuli that tell the nerves, muscles, bones, and organs what to do and how to do it. Many of these are simple impulses that run naturally, without us having to think them into action. Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT for short, work as somewhat of a reset button, according to the experiences of Jef Gazely, a licensed therapist with multiple specialties.
“EFT… is kind of like calling up a tech person and saying ‘how do I fix this’ and they say ‘reboot the computer,’” Gazely said. While it may seem too good to be true, there are many instances in the tech world where a simple reboot can do the trick. The same can be done with the brain, given that it is, in many ways, like a computer. The practice behind EFT is centered around accupoints that act as small electrical factories, as Gazely puts it, throughout the body. Meridians, or rivers of energy, travel from point to point throughout the body.
The goal with EFT is to quickly remove sudden, unexpected urges that rise up and cause us to relapse. In our previous video, Gazely cited an experience he had with a chair that reminded him of smoking with his father. This experience caused him to go out and buy a pack of cigarettes. So instead of doing a diagnostic on the problem, so to speak, EFT instead causes a reboot which, according to Gazely’s experience, eradicates the urges.
Applying EFT to Addiction
Addiction takes hold of every aspect of a person’s life, rewires the brain, and enslaves the afflicted to its will. There are many cases where addiction is brought on by traumatic events, or catastrophic loss. In these events, people often suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which can act as a catalyst for an addiction.
Beginners guides to EFT include steps on how to properly use EFT for virtually any problem, including phobias and even headaches. The first step is to identify the problem you wish to work on, in this case we would use addiction to a substance. The next step is to identify the words you can use to represent that problem. Words like addiction, substance abuse, and dependence can represent our predicament.
Next we have to rate the problem, and the easiest rating system is 0-10; Zero being no problem at all, 10 being the worse it has ever been. At this point we would be using this rating system to identify how bad our urges to use or drink are. Next we can begin what is called the tapping process, which Gazely talks about when it comes to urges. The tapping process involves tapping or pinching various accupoints that inhabit the body with reassuring words to remove the urge.
Identifying Your Addiction
The big take away from this process is the concept of identifying the problem. If you feel yourself suddenly filled with the appetite for drugs and or alcohol again that means someone or something has set off a trigger in your mind. Simply by identifying what that trigger was can help to deter the relapse. It is always important to know the enemy as much as you know yourself in order to fight back.
In our last video we went into great detail about triggers and how they can affect recovery. While we may be able to identify a majority of our triggers right off the bat, there are many that we don’t know about, or even can’t know about until they are present. This is where EFT can be so effective. These immediate and unknown triggers threaten our recovery, and can send us back into the throws of addiction. Taking the time to identify them and focus on the precise trigger that brought on the sudden urge to is can mean the difference between sobriety and relapse.