Patricia Lynn Belkowitz, M.Msc., C.Ht., EFT

The body’s impulse for pleasure is never wrong. We are wired to seek experiences of joy and happiness in a physical form. It’s the way the body expresses well-being. Our desire for comfort is a form of yearning. Sometimes, we don’t know how to find that comfort. When we don’t have the ability to choose healthy ways to achieve that pleasure and contentment, we create destructive pleasure habits. Whether it’s to relax and chill out, get a boost or just feel good, we often turn to chemical stimulants.

“In an average week, Americans drink 1 billion cups of coffee, 3.4 million cups of tea, 4.5 billion sugared or caffeinated soft drinks, 2.3 billion alcoholic drinks; smoke 8.25 billion cigarettes and consume 400,000 tons of sugar, and 20 million pounds of chocolate. On top of this we take 20 million antidepressants, puff our way through 25 million joints, and pop 1 million tabs of Ecstasy.” Counselor Magazine “New Therapeutic Approaches: Alternative Treatments for Addictions” published 5/31/2003

Cass and Holford reported those statistics in Natural Highs (2002). In this report, they write about the impact and effectiveness of alternative, holistic strategies. It is obvious there is a need for a new way of overcoming life’s challenges.

Current research in neuroscience shows that throughout our lives, we continue to change the way we think, and therefore, we change our beliefs.  We can change the way we behave. And we can make that change without feeling anxious or sad or deprived! In my practice, I use two modalities to achieve change; hypnosis and EFT. Using the powerful mind-body connection, we can expect to see a shift in perspective and actions. These connections are supported through numerous scientific disciplines including: psychoneuroimmunology, epigenetics, interpersonal neurobiology, and neuroplasticity.

Hypnotherapy allows for the resolution of the issues that created the addictive behavior in the first place. Through behavior and perception modification, people learn to cope better and develop an improved sense of self-esteem and confidence. We are able to learn new beliefs and boundaries. We can let go of destructive behaviors and the need for mood-altering substances. With behavioral epigenetics, healing takes place on a cellular level. When we change our thoughts, we change our bodies. By achieving a relaxed state, we become receptive to new ideas and suggestions that are beneficial to us. We begin to see ourselves in a new way. We dream our world into being.

Self-hypnosis can also help boost a person’s motivation to change through self-suggestion. It can help us to connect to internal strengths we may have forgotten, as well as provide self-control. Self-hypnosis has been endorsed for stress reduction by addiction counselors, therapists, psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists. The efficacy of hypnosis is no longer a question of belief.

Since addiction is a multi-faceted problem, Energy Psychology in the form of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) or meridian tapping, can address both causes and effects of the addiction. For instance, cravings are often caused by a desire to reduce anxiety. When we understand the trigger which causes the craving, there is no longer a need to relieve it through the addictive behavior. We learn to make a different choice.

We need to re-invent ourselves and we’re not sure we want to do that. “I can’t live with it and I can’t live without it”. EFT can be used to reinforce and focus upon the positive benefits. It can also be used to eliminate the fears and any perceived sense of loss or deprivation associated with giving up the addiction.

No one likes change. When an addict has to face change, denial and resistance are the best forms of defense. Using the Choices Method of EFT, we are able to shift our focus to the solution rather than the problem.

Freedom from addiction is life-affirming pleasure. Pleasure is a good thing. It’s a natural high!