The Science Behind ThinStead
Energy Psychology modalities, like EFT, which involve “tapping” are based on the same concepts that acupuncture is based upon. Acupuncture (from which acupressure is derived) has been used by Chinese traditional medicine (TCM) practitioners for more than 2,000 years. The first known text to describe acupuncture, The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic, is generally thought to date back somewhere between 200 and 475 BC. Acupuncture and TCM are still widely practiced throughout the world today, and are based on an intricate system of energy meridians which carry chi energy throughout the human body.
Furthermore, biopsies of these acupuncture points show higher concentrations of nerves and blood vessels as compared to non-acupuncture points, suggesting they play a unique role in the body. Stimulating these points is known to release opioid compounds (endorphins) in the brain that have pain reducing, mood enhancing and immune boosting effects on the body. Energy psychology modalities, like EFT, which make use of these meridians and points have been demonstrated to be very effective in treating anxiety and other emotional disorders.
In 2003, doctors Joaquín Andrade, M.D. and David Feinstein, Ph.D. published a paper reporting the results of over two dozen studies involving 29,000 participants in clinics throughout South America, and found EFT and other energy medicine modalities to be as, or more effective, than cognitive behavioral therapy in treating anxiety disorders. In the largest of these studies conducted over a 5 year period, 5,000 patients were randomly assigned to either the experimental group which received tapping therapy, or the control group which received cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication. The participants all presented with anxiety disorders including diagnoses of; panic, phobias, OCD, PTSD, and eating and addiction disorders. Doctors Andrade and Feinstein discovered that tapping therapy was more effective than CBT and medication in relieving participants symptoms, and that at a one year follow up to the study, the tapping group was found to be substantially less prone to relapse than the control group. In a related study, the doctors found that the length of treatment required was substantially shorter in the tapping group than with the CBT/medication group (an average of 3 sessions, versus an average of 15 sessions). Results were measured via independent rater assessment, brain imaging and neurotransmitter profiles.
But the most amazing findings, in my opinion, were the results of the brain scans conducted on participants before, during and after treatment. Andrade and Feinstein measured the brain waves of participants using EEGs to assess the ratios of alpha, beta and theta waves in various areas of the brain. The brainwaves of anxiety patients are known to have distinctive brainwave ratios. What was interesting is that the brainwaves of the tapping group showed a tendency to normalize during treatment, while the medication group did not, even while both groups were experiencing a lessening of symptoms. This suggests that the medication was simply “masking” symptoms rather than addressing the underlying brain imbalance. And even more amazingly, at a one-year follow-up, the brain wave ratios of the participants receiving the CBT based treatment were more likely to have returned to their pre-treatment ratios than they were for the participants who received the tapping treatments – meaning that the results of the tapping treatment were more permanent.
To most of us in the energy psychology field, the healing potential of EFT and energy psychology is obvious. And while the American mainstream medical establishment has historically been slow to get on board the energy psychology bandwagon compared to the rest of the world, there are signs that is changing. A joint Harvard-MIT clinical study published in the November 2008 issue of Behavioral Brain Research, reported that acupuncture was statistically more successful in relieving pain than a placebo procedure. The study utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography scans to measure the release of opioids in the brain. Radiologist Bruce Rosen of Harvard Medical School found that stimulating acupuncture points affects areas in the brain directly associated with pain, mood and cravings. He suggests that may be why numerous studies have found it to be helpful in treating depression, eating issues and addictions. Harvard Medical School has even begun to see its value, and has offered courses in Structural Acupuncture for Physicians.
There is ample medical evidence for the stimulation of acupuncture points causing positive changes not only in the body, but in the limbic and cortical areas of the brain as well. And although the exact mechanism of emotional relief provided by EFT is as yet unknown, there are many hypotheses. One thought is that focusing on a troubling emotion while stimulating acupuncture points sends afferent signals to those areas of the brain responsible for anxiety and our fight or flight response, and dampens the physiological response to emotional stimuli.
But in the end, I don’t much care about whether the medical establishment catches up with those of us using energy psychology. Science is always quick to dismiss something when they don’t know HOW it works. But the success stories of the millions of people who have been helped by using EFT and Thought Field Therapy over the last 30 to 40 years are enough for me. Anyone who uses EFT knows that it works powerfully to quickly release negative emotions.
By using EFT I’ve been able to cure my anxiety, eliminate my emotional eating and bingeing behavior, and live a better, happier life in general. So I know it works from personal experience. I think it’s one of the most amazing healing modalities on the planet right now, and I would encourage everyone to learn it. There are free EFT manuals out there on the web that will teach you the mechanics if that’s all you want. What I have done with ThinStead is simply take my years of personal experience and study, and condense them down to create a step-by-step plan to root out the emotional causes of overeating and enable readers to lose weight for good.
The book is jam packed with instructions for tapping and mental and written exercises that take you through the gamut of human emotions (anger, sadness, depression, boredom, guilt, low self-esteem, childhood trauma, our yearning for love and affection, and more) which could be causing your weight problem. There are also tips for getting over your dislike for exercise, nutritional guidance, and even advice for how to get more enjoyment out of life.
On the outside, it may just look like a book about achieving permanent weight loss. But I believe the real gift of ThinStead is peace. Real inner peace. And it’s my mission to share that gift of peace with others.
I wish you peace on your journey!