Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. I am super excited to share with you today an interview with Lauren Fonvielle. She is an EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner. EFT is also referred to as tapping and this is a technique which utilizes the body's energy meridian points. You essentially stimulate these meridian points by tapping on them lightly with your fingertips, literally tapping into your body's own energy and healing power. This can be an incredibly effective tool on your weight loss journey, particularly as it relates to food cravings and urges. As we know, cravings and urges are very much an emotional and physical experience and by using the EFT technique or tapping, we can help ourselves process through those emotions and the experience of the craving in the body just a little bit more effectively. So without any further ado, here is the interview with Lauren.
Alright everyone, welcome back to the podcast this week. Today we have a wonderful guest with us. We have Lauren Fonville, Lauren is an integrative energy practitioner specializing in EFT tapping for stress, anxiety and trauma. She guides her clients on a journey of self healing and fully believes that we all have the answers within sometimes we just need a little help accessing them. That's exactly what she helps her clients do. So here's Lauren.
Lauren - “Hello, hello. I'm so excited to be here with you today.”
Michelle - “ I'm so happy to talk about this today. But why don't we start by having you tell us just a little bit about yourself? And why tapping?”
Lauren - Yeah, absolutely. So as you said, I am an energy practitioner and I really specialize in EFT tapping. I use a variety of different modalities as well and that's really because of my journey and what has ultimately brought me to tapping. So several years back, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety and stress and was feeling very overwhelmed. I ended up signing up for yoga teacher training and through that process and being around other Yogi's I was eventually introduced to Reiki. Just being in that world I eventually found EFT and I've utilized each and every one of these practices to help me with my own anxiety and stress, but I truly feel like EFT was a real game changer for me. Because of that, I started using it with my clients and it's brought them great results. So yeah, that's a little bit of how I got to where I am.
Michelle - And I'm sure everybody is wondering at this point, like what exactly is EFT?
Lauren - Yeah, so EFT stands for emotional freedom technique and I like to say that it really helps you do just that. It helps you find freedom from your emotions and when I describe what it is to somebody who has never heard of it before, I often compare it to acupuncture simply because people are much more familiar with acupuncture. So when you go to an acupuncturist, you know they take those little needles and they put them in at certain points on the body. With tapping, instead of putting little needles in, we are using acupressure and we are gently tapping on certain points of the body and in doing so you are helping to clear the meridians. The meridians are how energy moves through the body. So that's part of it. The other part is that as you're tapping, you're simultaneously acknowledging the emotions that you're feeling in doing so, all sorts of magical things can start to happen when you hold the space for really how you're feeling in the moment, which I feel like we as humans don't do enough. We don't really allow ourselves to feel the emotions enough because they're scary, right? Sometimes it can be intense when you're dealing with emotions like sadness, frustration, anger, those are things we don't typically enjoy feeling. So, we try to suppress it and this is a practice that really allows you to invite that in to move through it to feel better. There's also a lot of science behind it, you know, because I know that it can sound really kind of out there, though this idea of tapping on tapping on yourself can, can help you feel better. It really has been shown to help with a wide variety of conditions, from anxieties and stress and overwhelm to physical conditions like physical pain. I've worked with several clients that have fibromyalgia, it really does just help you feel better. So I always just tell people to go into it with an open mind and you have nothing to lose in giving it a try and seeing if it's a modality that can work for you.
Michelle - I love everything that you said there because for those who listen to my podcast on a regular basis, or who are involved with my weight loss coaching programs, what we talk about more than anything else, is the need to feel your feelings. Because when it comes to the people and the women in particular in my sphere, our way of dealing with those uncomfortable emotions that we like to suppress, is to eat them. Right? And so once we are able to, to learn how to move through those feelings, the emotional eating and the overeating, stops. So have you seen a role for EFT in, in weight loss like particularly as it relates to emotional eating or, or urges?
Lauren - Yes, 100%. It's exactly what you said, it allows you to really acknowledge the thoughts that I say, particularly as women, we just have going on in our head over and over and over again, it gives you some time to say that stuff out loud. Sometimes when you do the simple act of saying something out loud that you've been thinking over and over again it feels really true but, when you're thinking it, when you take the time to tap and say it out loud, all of a sudden, it can suddenly get to this point where like, wait a second, that's not true! That's ridiculous, you know, his new awareness can happen. It can be as quick as just tapping on a few points and saying it out loud to trigger it. But, you know, sometimes it takes more kind of peeling back the layers to get to the root of it but, tapping does help you recognize that. It's really a great tool to use, particularly in the moment if you're someone who's dealing with cravings. You feel like you need that chocolate at the moment, if you take a few minutes to tap on that desire and that craving, you will more than likely be able to reduce it to a point where maybe I don't really need it anymore. So it can be very, very powerful.
Michelle - So how would that look? Could you walk us through what that would look like if you were experiencing an intense craving for chocolate? Or in my case It's usually cheese or something you know, like that? What would you do to walk yourself through that with the tapping?
Lauren - Well, the first thing I would say is, how intense is the craving? The first question I would ask is how intense is the craving on a scale of 0 to 10? Being the most intense, just simply to give yourself a range, right? Give yourself an indicator so that you can kind of check back in, where you know where you're starting from. Right? Exactly, you know where you're starting from. Then you can see where you're at and see if it's helping you at all along the way. If I was working with someone, right, so if you and I are working in a one on one capacity, and you're telling me this, we would just start tapping. We could start with a sentence like, even though I really want that chocolate, I really want it bad. That's just how it is right now. I really want that chocolate, I really, really want that chocolate and you can just tap using those simple words. I really, really want that chocolate and tap on all of the points and then do a round of tapping and see - Do I still feel just as intense as it did a few moments ago? If so, how do you think eating that chocolate is going to make you feel? Right? Maybe, the answer could be different for different people. Maybe it's going to make me feel calmer. Maybe it's going to maybe you don't even know, you know, but you can just start to get curious about it. Like why do I really want it and tap on those words. So tapping really is this process of connecting the dots from one thing to the other? Or you may be tapping, like I really want that chocolate and maybe think of a time that you had that chocolate in the past and maybe it was a good experience. Maybe it was a bad experience, but a memory randomly pops up then you can tap on that memory, even if you don't think it's related, because what often happens with tapping is that something that feels like a random memory will come to mind. Right? Really, it's not so random. There's some sort of connection there, even if you don't know exactly what that is, and tapping can help to reveal that.
Michelle - Right? I remember when we were talking previously, Lauren, you told me a story about a woman and Coke. Can you share that story with us? Because that fits with what you're just saying
Lauren - Absolutely, absolutely! So there was this woman who loved her Coca Cola, right? She would drink. I don't remember how many cans of Coke she would drink a day, but she really enjoyed Coke. So they have the coke right there and open it up and you know the sound that a soda makes and the fizz or whatever. And it's like, oh, you know, when you hear that, when you really want it, you know, you start salivating for that Coke.She really wanted that coke. So then she was asked to take a sip of the soda and she took a sip of the soda. You know when you drink soda and you get that burning feeling? She's like, ah, feels so good. You know she's loving the coke. So the practitioner continues to ask her questions about it. How long have you had this love for Coke? Do you have any memory of drinking, drinking your first Coke? She ended up having this memory of her and her grandmother sitting on the porch sewing, drinking Coca Cola on summer days. So through the tapping experience, it came to be, that she was equating drinking the coke with this connection with her grandmother and feeling loved. Once that came to be, there was this aha moment for her and then she went back to - How bad do you want the soda? Now after she had this realization? She's like, I don't really want it. And the Dr. says okay, well take a sip of it anyway and see how it feels and then she takes a sip.You can see the look on her face like Oh! it bothers me, like the burning sensation. So, what she loved about it before, the carbonation, was now bothersome to her. It seemed too intense now. So it's really interesting how that can happen once you have these kind of aha moments connected, you know, the food or the drink with the memory of the past.
Michelle - Because when she understood that the Coke was just the coke and not her grandmother's love she realized that maybe she didn't really enjoy it as much as she thought she did. Fascinating. You mentioned at the start of all of this, that there's actually a fair amount of science behind EFT. Can you share some of that with us?
Lauren - Yes, so when we are tapping on the points, what's happening is that a message is being sent to the amygdala in the brain. The amygdala is the part of the brain that controls fight or flight. I always like to remind people - that part of our brain, is there to protect us, right? And then remember, our brain is there to serve us so when we are in a situation where we do need to fight back or run you know, but in this day and age when we're dealing with anxiety and stress on a huge level, that amygdala is going off when it doesn't need to be extending cortisol into the body, right? So when you're tapping on these points, what's happening is a message is being sent to the amygdala and it's telling the amygdala - Hey, you don't need to be in fight or flight right now! It has been shown in a group tapping session, the study was done by Peter Stapleton. That tapping reduces the production of cortisol in the body by up to 43%.
Michelle - Wow.
Lauren - And that number, you know, it's a really big number. I just love that it's so simple, just tapping and breathing is going to help you reduce that cortisol in your body. When you're not in fight or flight, then you can make those better sound, good decisions, because when you're in that fight or flight mode, it's panic mode, and sometimes you can't even think straight. You can't even think straight because that alarm center is going off and it's pumping your body full of cortisol. So it's a great tool to help reduce that and help you feel in control and calmer again.
Michelle - Right? Amazing! So, on the podcast, we're always talking about the difference between the primitive brain and the prefrontal cortex and when it comes to food, we're always wanting to make decisions with our prefrontal cortex, but when you are allowing that primitive brain to be in charge, meaning, you know, it's in fight or flight mode and suppressing, our higher functions. We talk a lot about different strategies of bringing ourselves back and allowing that thinking part of our brain to make better decisions for us. So it sounds like EFT or tapping is just one more way that you can do that, to put your thinking brain back in charge. That's amazing.
Lauren - Yeah, that's another tool for the toolbox.
Michelle - Another tool for the toolbox. We can never have too many. That's true! You're mentioning, tapping on points, are there specific points that we tap on?
Lauren - Yes, there are specific points and I can go through them if you'd like me to go through them. And I can also provide you with a PDF that you can put in the notes that people can, when they're listening to us, they can click and see it, because I know some people are more visual that others.
Michelle - Yeah, that would be great. Well, we'll attach that to the show notes for sure. But if we can talk about them briefly now that would be great.
Lauren - Yeah! So the first point is on the pinky side of the hand, and it can be either hand, so I'm a righty, so I tend to use my right hand to tap, and I'm tapping on the pinky side of my left hand. So that's the first point and I will say, before going through all of these, if you're going to stop and tap with us, which I recommend you do, just be mindful of, if there's one point that you really gravitate towards, if there's one point, you're like, oh, yeah, I really like that one. Because if you take anything away from this, it could simply be to just tap on that point and breathe when you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed out, and it can make you feel better. Some of these points that we're going to go through are points that we naturally will touch during the day and we might not even realize that we're touching them.
Michelle - So even just this one already, as I'm doing this, I realized I don't consciously tap it, but I will frequently massage the outside of my pinky when I'm nervous. Something I naturally do, how interesting.
Lauren - Okay, so the next point is right in the top of the head, the center of the head. So if you take your kids to the doctor and they're measuring how tall they are, and when that stick comes down to like, hit him in the head, it's right in that center spot, that's where you want to be tapping. Then the next point is at the start of the eyebrows. For this one, you can be tapping with both hands but you don't have to. You could tap with one hand, but a lot of my clients will say that they feel uneven if they're not doing both at the same time.
Michelle - I can understand that. Yeah.
Lauren - Then we go to the side of the eyes and then the next one is under the eyes. Then we go under the nose, then onto the chin crease and then the collarbone. So for the collarbone, you can use two hands here and you go where the center of your neck is and you go down an inch and then over an inch and a half. So you're really on the fleshy part underneath the collarbone. Okay, so you can use two hands, one on each side, or you can bring your hands to the center of your chest, really spread your thumb and index finger apart and just use that one hand and you're going to be tapping on both of those points. So it's really just your preference, what feels the best. Then we're going to go underneath the arm. So for women, it's really the center of the bra strap. And for men, I would say I guess like two and a half, three inches from the armpit. And then the last point is on the top of the hand between the pinky and the ring finger and that's it! That's called a round of tapping, if there's any point that you don't particularly like and it's bothersome for whatever reason, you can skip it, you don't have to do it, there's no wrong way of tapping. So you want to make sure that you're comfortable.
Michelle - Then if there is a spot that you feel particularly drawn to, it's okay to, to spend more time there?
Lauren - Absolutely. Yeah.
Michelle - Okay. So that's what you do. You go through this round of tapping, and we'll provide that PDF so that people can reference the spots as well.Then what are you doing while you're tapping?
Lauren - So while you're tapping, is when you start doing some talking. So when you're working with a practitioner, the practitioner is going to be peppering you with questions to kind of ask you what's going on. What's bothering you and then the practitioner will use those words to create sentences and guide you through the process. So I would say a sentence If you would repeat that sentence and we tap on each of the points, you can also go on YouTube, there are tons and tons of tapping videos that are available to you. I have some on my YouTube channel, you could search any topic and find one. They definitely can be helpful, but I will say, EFT is most effective when you're using your own words, because it's important that the words that you're using really resonate with you. You know you the best and you know how you're feeling. So using your own words is really the way to go. If you're just starting out, it can be as simple as possible. So just focus on what's the most intense emotion that you’re feeling right now.Maybe it's anger and you could just say I'm so angry, I'm so angry, use the same sentence and tap on all of the points saying I'm so angry. Then notice, does that anger shift at all? Did any other thoughts come up? If it did, then use that new thought as the new sentence. It really is just like one thing leads to the next and it kind of unfolds naturally.
Michelle - That makes a lot of sense. So if we go back to that, that example of the urge for the chocolate or the chocolate craving, what we often do inside my programs is we talk about allowing the urge, is the language that we use. It's really just kind of sitting down and really feeling what it feels like to want the chocolate and notice what that physically feels like in your body and sort of what thoughts or other emotions are kind of creeping in as you sit with that experience. Would it make sense to do tapping through that process?
Lauren - Yes, 100%, I would encourage that! You could just be saying, If the thought is I really, I really want that chocolate, I really want it and I feel it in my chest, like, you know, you're longing for that chocolate, this is where I feel it. You can just say those words, whatever is coming to your mind, just say those words and tap on it. Then pause and notice if things are any different. If it is a little bit less than just keep going. If it feels even more intense. Know that that can happen, right? Because when we are focused on something, when we are allowing ourselves to feel something and really hone in on it, the feeling can get a little bit more intense, that does not mean that tapping doesn't work for you. It actually means tapping does work for you. You just need to keep tapping. So don't let that discourage you, if you are someone who's trying this and you're like, well, now I want it even more.
Michelle - Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, actually. Right! It makes a lot of sense that in some cases, you would feel it a little bit more. Because you're paying attention to it. That makes a lot of sense.
Lauren - Especially because the thing you've been, you know, so used to repressing or suppressing and running away from or throwing yourself into something else to avoid feeling it. Yeah, you may feel that intensity rise.
Michelle - Amazing. Can you tell us a little bit about how you use tapping in your own life on a daily basis? Do you have a routine around it? Is it something that you incorporate every day? Or is it more something that you just do in reaction to situations you find yourself in or emotions that you're feeling?
Lauren- Yes, I do incorporate it every day because I believe that this is one of those tools that you want to really practice. The more you practice it, the easier it's going to be to implement when you have those situations arise that are causing you pain or distress. It doesn't have to be a lot, you don't have to. I know when starting any kind of habit, it can be daunting. If you can, I always suggest adding it on to something you are already doing. So if you're taking a shower every morning, while the shampoo is in your hair, take a few minutes to tap on the points and do some breathing. If you are someone who likes to meditate, or even if you're someone who struggles with meditation, I would encourage you to tap for a few minutes before meditating because I find that allowing yourself to acknowledge all of those thoughts that are going through your head, which are often creeping up when you're trying to meditate, that saying them out loud and giving them that attention allows them to kind of move on. So I find it to be a bit easier to sink into meditation when I tap for a few minutes beforehand.
Michelle - Okay, fair enough. I'm going to do that for sure because I have an early morning meditation practice. That's when I prefer to do it, but what often happens is like my to do list or, you know, all of the things that are going to make me busy throughout the rest of the day start piling in. And I get this thought, like, you know what, maybe I should skip it today and just get to it because there's so many things. Then I feel like the stress kind of comes up and it takes me a fair bit of effort, you know, to sit down and get to it. So I am going to experiment with that. For sure.
Lauren - Yeah, keep me posted. I would love to hear even if you just tap and say like, I've so much to do. I don't even know if I have time to do this, you know, all of those thoughts that are coming up, just tap and say them and see if that helps.
Michelle - Right. And in terms of tapping for stress, specifically, do you have any additional tips for tapping for stress? I find like for a lot of my women, stress eating is a huge thing for all of us. So are there any other ways that we can incorporate to navigate stressful times or deal with, you know, stress management, I think is useful.
Lauren - Yeah, I think when we talk about stress, specifically, I think a lot of people carry it in different places physically. So if I'm to pose the question of, when you feel stressed out, where do you feel it in your body, most people have an immediate response to that. For me, it's in my neck and in my jaw, and in my shoulders. So noticing and taking a moment to notice the sensations in your body sometimes starting there can be the easiest place to start when you're new to this. Noticing the level of tension that you feel in your body and tapping on that tapping on the tightness you feel in your shoulders, or in your back wherever it may be and see if you can reduce that because when the body is calmer then the mind will be calmer. So that is definitely something I would recommend if you're someone who's dealing with stress.
Michelle - Amazing. Is it the same process for chronic pain? Because I hear a lot of that too. A lot of us that struggle with our weight and overeating have chronic pain issues underlying a lot of that as well. Is it the same process where you just focus on what you're feeling in your body? And go through that cycle of tapping?
Lauren - Yes. I actually just had a session on Monday with a woman who has fibromyalgia and she was having a pretty bad flare up in her knees. So much so, that she really hadn't been moving around a lot because the pain in her knees was so bad. She was skeptical, this was an EFT workshop. so she was new to this and I totally understand people being skeptical because I was skeptical when I was first introduced to this. but she volunteered for the demo. When we're talking about physical pain, you want to get as specific as possible, specific with the location of it. So if we're talking about one knee, they say the right knee, the center of the knee or wherever it is to get as specific as possible with the location. Then also with the type of pain. Is it a pulsing pain? Is it a throbbing pain? Is it a pointed pain? Specificity is important! That's in all aspects of tapping, but particularly with pain.
So we tapped on how it was this throbbing pain and then we talked about how long she'd been dealing with this for. It was for years and how having this pain makes her feel, you know, it's really limiting. It's really frustrating. We're tapping on all of these different aspects of the pain. Then we paused and I asked her to check back in and I think she rated it at like an eight. It was pretty high. Then we paused again and I asked her where she's at and she's just like the look on her face. I was telling her I wish I had a picture of that. She had this stunned kind of look like oh my gosh, it really does feel better. She's like this is freaking me out and I was like, It's okay, let's not get freaked out by that. I will say that to people because we are humans, and I'm the same way right? Like you want to figure out why this is working? Like this feels so weird. How is this working? Why is it working? And so I tried to remind her, it's okay to be curious about that, but don't let that overshadow the fact that you are just feeling better. Let's just accept and honor the fact that you're feeling better right now.She's just like, I just don't even understand this is happening and so I guess for three days she'd been in some significant pain and then she's like, I think I can go wash the dishes now because she felt like good enough that she could just stand. I mean, it's an honor for me to be able to guide people through the process. That's really it. I'm just a guide and you're doing all the work, you know. As the practitioner, it's my job to really help pick out what seems the most intense that you're sharing with me and then kind of go down that path and see where, where it leads us. The path that we went down really just helped her to find that relief from her pain.
Michelle - Then just to go back to science, because I'm actually really, really curious. When you're tapping on one of these points in your body and you're focusing on the pain and that experience of the pain. What is actually happening in your body when you're doing the tapping?
Lauren - I think there's probably several things that are happening, but you're really rewiring your brain. You're rewiring your brain to how it's responding to the pain. You're reducing the amount of cortisol in your body. And you would probably know better than me if there is a correlation between cortisol and pain. I don't know. But I think it's just like, reframing your thoughts. In reframing your thoughts that can also impact how you're physically feeling. So it's not that my answer isn't super technical, but I just know that it works. I'm just so excited about it. Like seeing the client's results were phenomenal. And knowing that this simple technique, because sometimes we were like, Oh, that just seems too easy, right? Tapping on myself is going to help my pain? That seems ridiculous. Then yeah and then it works.
Michelle - My science brain would go there, too. It's like, why? If it's so simple, then why aren't more people doing it? Because I get that question with my methods and coaching for weight loss as well. Is EFT a new thing?
Lauren - No, it's not. I think it's becoming more known. It was developed by a therapist who was working with a client who had severe fear of the water and they kind of naturally came upon this whole tapping. By tapping on the points, her fear of the water was gone. So then this whole thing evolved.
Michelle - Yeah and there's no doubt that it works.I find it fascinating. So thank you so much for sharing this with us today. If people are interested in learning more about tapping or you, Is there a place that they can go to find out more?
Lauren - Yes, absolutely. So I have a masterclass that is up on my website. So if you are interested in seeing the whole workshop and learning more details about it, you can go to mindshiftwithlauren.com/masterclass. My website is just mindshiftwithLauren. I would love to have you there. I do send out videos each week. So if you're interested, you can just go on there and sign up and stay in the know on all things tapping.
Michelle - That sounds amazing and we'll put your website in the show notes. Lauren, thank you so much. Any last parting words of wisdom for us?
Lauren - I would just say, just trust yourself. Trust your intuition. Tap. Just keep tapping. Tap away. Tap tap away.
Michelle - I love it. Thank you so much.
Lauren - Yeah, thank you so much for having me. This has been so much fun.
Michelle - Alright, Lauren, thank you so much for that incredible interview. If you'd like to know more about how to manage cravings and urges, a great place to practice this is inside our Nourish Yourself Body and Mind group coaching program. This is really a program where we give you all the tools that you need to lose weight and keep it off for good. And of course as we know, dealing with cravings and urges is one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to losing weight, developing healthy habits, healing our relationship with food and living a healthier life in general. And so if you're interested in learning more about this program, just head on over to www.nourishyourselfbodyandmind.com to find out more. If you have experience working with tapping or have given it a try on the basis of this podcast, I would love to hear your experiences. just head on over to find me on social media at Wayzahealth on both Facebook and Instagram. Or feel free to send me an email anytime at [email protected] Thank you so much for listening today and I look forward to talking to you again next week.