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Book Reviews: Two from The Tapping Solution

June 2, 2016

[Now that my dissertation is done and defended, I’m on to tackle my really large backlog of ARCs…]

Jessica Ortner, The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or “tapping”) is one of the stranger things I’ve encountered in the years since I started exploring self-help literature. The simplest way I can define it is to borrow from Nick Ortner of The Tapping Solution, who calls it a “combination of acupressure and talk therapy.” Admittedly, it looks utterly bizarre when you first see it. But, to my surprise, tapping has turned into one of the most powerful tools in my spiritual practice. I’ve used it to explore painful memories and to ease stress, and have gained perspective on troubling emotions and even physical pain.

Nick Ortner and his sister Jessica have done a great deal to promote tapping through their organization, The Tapping Solution (there is also a book and a documentary with the same name). Jessica Ortner has written a book aimed primarily at women, The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence (published originally in May 2014), even though I think men would find it useful as well. Like Geneen Roth, Ortner’s point is that to truly get at a weight issue, you need to address the underlying thoughts and emotions associated with it. As she says, “weight loss is not the key to happiness; it’s the other way around” (loc. 2691 in my ARC). In other words, while the book focuses on weight and body image issues, it is really about getting in touch with the emotions and beliefs that lead many of us to continue to overeat and criticize ourselves.

The book breaks down the various ways in which we self-sabotage, and Ortner provides “tapping scripts” to help address these emotions. In Ortner’s personal experience, and that of her clients, once beliefs and emotions are addressed, people are more likely to engage in self-care and to exercise, as they are no longer associating negativity with the subject of weight loss. If I have a quibble with the book, it is that Ortner spends too much time breaking down the scientific research done on EFT, as it comes off as if she is trying too hard to convince the reader with “Science!” that EFT is helpful.

I greatly appreciate Ortner’s enthusiasm and openness, which comes through in the book. She also has a fun podcast, Adventures in Happiness, which is worth checking out.

Source: ARC from NetGalley

Christine Wheeler, The Tapping Solution for Teenage Girls

Christine Wheeler is the author of the first Tapping Solution book not written by an Ortner, and I purchased this one immediately for my daughter. Her book explains tapping in an accessible way for young women, and she has also included commentary from a teenage girl, Cassidy, that helps make the book age appropriate. Wheeler covers most of the emotional drama that teenagers encounter, such as body image, bullying, romance, sexuality, parental divorce, and anxiety. She also has a useful grid method to outline emotions that I may start using for myself. I highly recommend this book.

Source: ARC from NetGalley, copy I purchased from Amazon

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