// Release resistance to exercise with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)
by Maggie Adkins
‘I wanted to exercise. I knew I should exercise. But I just couldn’t make myself do it. This had gone on for months when I met Maggie Adkins. After chatting for only ten minutes or so, Maggie assured me that EFT could help release what was holding me back from making the life choices I wanted to make. I was sceptical to say the least, but decided to make an appointment with her. I was amazed when, after only one telephone session with Maggie, I was motivated and excited to get to the gym. My resistance melted as Maggie guided me through several issues with EFT.
One major issue was that I felt like a failure because I could not keep an exercise program going for more than three months at a time. Maggie helped me see that I had unrealistic ideas about myself and my body. Until our session, I had no idea of how very hard I had been on myself. My super critical voice sabotaged just about everything good I wanted to do for myself. Once we uncovered what Maggie called my ‘false beliefs’ about why I had to be so perfect, it was easy for EFT to help me get back on track. I can’t tell you what a diff erence this has made for me in every area of my life.
I now have the motivation to exercise both at home and the gym because I am not comparing myself to others and always coming up as a failure. In the past, wanting perfection made it impossible for me to keep going – it was all just too hard. I now enjoy the actual exercise as well as how much better I feel and look.’
First things first – what is EFT, and how does it work? EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques and involves focusing on a negative belief, trauma or event and then stimulating release points on the body by gentle tapping. It is often called ‘acupuncture without the needles.’ By tapping on the body’s energy system, balance is restored and negative emotions are released.
Joan’s story may be surprising to some, but it is quite common. EFT does not involve drugs of any kind, can be learned by young and old alike and often works when nothing else does. What also separates EFT from many other techniques is that people are taught how to do this technique for themselves in the moment, when it is needed. They do not have to repeatedly go to a therapist in order to find relief.
When Joan came to me about her resistance to exercise, it was easy to determine that she had unrealistic goals for herself. We fi rst talked about her belief that she had to be perfect. As we determined the life situations that created this need for perfection, it became easy to use EFT to release the past and shift into more appropriate goals for her. Joan, like many others, was responding to someone else’s idea of how she had to look and be rather than her own. When we released the need for approval from others and she created her own approval of herself, it seemed like her whole world shifted.
While Joan had her own specific challenges regarding physical activity, there can be many reasons for resistance to exercise. One of the most common is what I call the ‘Why bother’ syndrome. If a client has previously attempted an exercise regime which has not achieved the desired results, that client will often ask the all-important question, ‘Why would I bother going through all that again when I already know that I will get to a point where I can’t keep going and I’ll feel like a failure and hate myself?’. ‘Why bother’ syndrome can arise in relation to various aspects of our lives. It can happen with diets, weight loss and exercise programs as well as career, relationship, self esteem and many other issues.
Some clients feel acute embarrassment about;
• how much they weigh
• how their body looks
• their inability to keep up with others in an exercise class
• real or imagined expectations of their personal trainer.
All of these conditions can turn someone away from the very things that would help them achieve increased self esteem and more joy – a good exercise and nutrition program that is right for them. Fortunately, these conditions, and more, can be treated with EFT.
One of the biggest surprises people have when learning about EFT is the ease with which cravings or urges for food and drink can be decreased. A favourite EFT group demonstration of mine involves giving everyone a piece of chocolate and then leading them through an EFT routine to release the urge to eat that chocolate. First they smell the chocolate. Next, in order to heighten their craving for the chocolate before they do EFT, they taste the chocolate. During one session, after only fi ve minutes of doing EFT, one participant stated that he could not remember not wanting chocolate before. His craving was totally gone. Not only can cravings be eliminated, after doing EFT for a few minutes, clients are often asked to smell and taste the chocolate. More than 50 per cent – and sometimes as many as 80 per cent – of the group typically says that it does not smell or taste as good as it did prior to EFT.
Using EFT on cravings is a first step to releasing addiction. It is also important when working with addiction to eliminate whatever is actually creating the urge to begin with. It is easy to think the addiction is the problem, whereas in fact, it is the distraction from the problem. At the core of addiction is almost always a ‘feeling’ that the client does not want to experience. High on the list of these feelings are negative and false beliefs about themselves and the world. Sometimes with addictions there is a specific pattern involved. Many smokers, for example, want to smoke after a meal or fi rst thing in the morning. If the client has an addiction, it is wise to work with more than simple cravings and to initially have the guidance of a skilled EFT practitioner.
EFT is not limited to fitness training and addiction, but can also be used to overcome anxiety, panic attacks, depression, relationship issues and many other emotional issues. It can be used to help fitness trainers and other small business owners obtain greater success and income from their business. There is a mantra in the world of EFT which goes ‘Try it on everything!’
EFT is the fastest growing energy psychology technique in the world today and for good reason. It is powerful yet gentle, it can be learned by young and old alike and the best part – it often works when nothing else does.
|Want to know more?|
|For more information about Maggie and EFT visit www.maggieadkins.com.au
Network is willing to publish more articles on this and other alternative health and wellbeing strategies if there is sufficient member interest. Email the editor Oliver Kitchingman at email@example.com to let us know your thoughts.
Maggie is one of only 29 EFT Masters in the world. She conducts all levels of EFT training throughout Australia and organises EFT Extravaganza, Australia’s most comprehensive EFT conference. Maggie is passionate about discovering what empowers her and then sharing it with others. For more information visit www.maggieadkins.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org
NETWORK MAGAZINE • WINTER 2010 • PP52-53