Christa gives us a massive treat with this week’s podcast by welcoming Jessica Ortner to the show! Jessica Ortner is a Stress Reduction and Weight Loss Coach, New York Times’ best-seller and producer of the documentary, “The Tapping Solution.”
To celebrate Jessica’s contribution to our Fitlandia community, Christa is offering a 20% discount for the next round of the No Fools Detox. Go to the Fitlandia Store website, put the No Fools Detox in your cart, and enter the code “Jessica20” at checkout to receive your discount. The next round launches on May 15th with only 12 spots available so make sure to not miss out on this deal as you learn the techniques to help you succeed on your health and fitness journey.
When Jessica was introduced to tapping by her brother, Nick Ortner, she was absolutely blown away by its effectiveness. An “over thinker” since childhood, Jessica describes how she struggled to use positive affirmations and other techniques to shift her brain’s way of thinking. Like many of us, the anxiety and worry that clouded her mind not only affected her brain but she felt it throughout her whole body. Since tapping helps to relieve the physical symptoms associated with anxiety, Jessica found that it worked to quiet her mind but also to calm her body and reduce the corresponding physical stress. She and her brother became proficient in using tapping and eventually filmed a documentary where they brought in experts and followed ten people to chronicle their success using this technique. This video documentary has been widely used by tapping followers to demonstrate how it is done and to teach and inspire others.
Jessica explains, “Tapping is a stress relieving technique to do while focusing on what’s causing you anxiety while tapping on acupuncture points”.
Our ancestors needed to have that flight or fight response to stay alive; producing physical strength and increased cortisol. Then we evolved, and although our fears are normal everyday things like our jobs and family life, our bodies continue to react in the same way as our ancestors did – with a physical reaction. Our heart begins to race, we start sweating, our stomach might start to turn and our whole body will be in a stressed state. Although our mind will usually start to rationalize with a positive outlook, it is the body’s natural reaction is to keep us safe, so the physical symptoms remain. “We are wired to have a negative bias to keep us safe”, Jessica explains. We need to train both our body and our mind that it’s safe to relax but first we must get clear on what is causing the stress and access the pressure points at the same time to help us relax.
When we tap on these acupressure points, it calms us physically. Naturally, we do things with our hands when we’re anxious anyways. For example, when we’re tense and press our fingers in between the eyes at the top of the nose or on our temples, we do this to comfort ourselves. Now we’re using these points and stimulating them by tapping and while doing so, we focus on a thought, it sends a calming signal to our brain that tells us it’s okay to relax.
From the age of 14, Jessica struggled with her weight. She was “brainwashed” by believing the only way to lose weight was by diet and exercise. She was caught in an endless cycle of Yo-Yo Dieting and what she calls a “Pattern of Panic”. The panic state would be caused by an unflattering photograph or an upcoming event that would propel her to start another fad diet or exercise program. She would follow a strict set of rules about what to eat and actions to follow but this structure was exhausting and Jessica would always find herself resorting back to her old self-sabotaging and rebellious behavior. She explains, “The panic does make us take action but it is never sustainable. You don’t have to be in a state of panic to make changes like many of us have been taught to believe. It’s when we completely accept ourselves that change becomes sustainable.”
Jessica had an epiphany when she realized that she had achieved success with her tapping education and her books, but this success did not carry over to her struggle with her weight. It was then she realized that she had been using tapping for everything except weight loss.
“When you make weight the excuse to not be happy, sometimes we don’t want to let go of that excuse. Doing new things is still scary, expansion doesn’t have to be so terrifying that you freeze but there’s a level of vulnerability when you do something new. When you hold onto an excuse your whole life there comes a moment when you begin to sabotage yourself because success becomes scarier than failure”.
Jessica concluded that her weight was not the boundary but more importantly it was her self-loathing and condemnation she had about her body image. She shares two important concepts:
- It’s easy to take care of something you value. The more you hate on your body the more stuck you are in that. Many times, we think of food as a reward but when you value yourself, you’ll pay a lot more attention to what your body needs. It’s okay to indulge in wine or chocolate on occasion but to do it in a loving nurturing way and not to escape an emotion.
- Diets have a time frame – 30 days for example, but what happens on day 31? Its makes much more sense to be on an “experiment”. The difference between a diet and an experiment is that an experiment is continual and flexible, but a diet has an end date or an “I’m exhausted date”. It takes experimentation to get your body adjusted off the inflammatory foods while working on the mind so that you can make healthy choices moving forward. Our bodies are continually aging and changing, and we need to adapt and learn what works for our bodies every single day. Every body is different; what works for one person may not work for someone else.
“If you’re waiting for someone to give you the answer for your perfect body, you’re never going to get there”. Jessica says, “You have to go within.”
Jessica points out its important to know that foods are designed to be addictive so we need not blame ourselves entirely. There’s a physical component of course but we’re sometimes looking for comfort or a familiar connection that makes us think we need to eat or have that daily glass or bottle of wine. Our brains are wired to have a positive outcome – to take care of us now; that is why we sometimes act in ways that bring a negative outcome even when that was not our intention. These acts which we think are going to be enjoyable, often create the opposite result.
Jessica offers a great quote by fellow tapping practitioner, Brad Yates, “Self-sabotage is simply misguided self-love”.
When people understand where they’re at and can be present in that stress, they can use techniques like tapping to free themselves of their negative behaviors. “It’s easy to focus on what’s not working but when we make it fun we can make it last; happiness is an adventure”, Jessica exclaims. We must intentionally reverse our brain’s natural reactions to make positive, sustainable changes.
Christa recommends an awesome book on this subject, Presence-Process-Healing-Journey-Awareness, by Michael Brown.
Steps to Transform with Tapping
Jessica leads us in a tapping demonstration (view the video for a visual instruction).
- Tap on a craving
- Think about what makes your mouth water (salty chips, sugary chocolate, wine?)
- Let the craving intensify and notice where you feel the craving (mouth, chest, stomach?)
- Rate the craving level from 1-10, with 10 being the highest most intense level
- Set-up Statement: helps neutralize judgement. “This is how I feel and it’s okay”
The Tapping Points
Side of the hand (doesn’t matter what side of hand)
Eyebrow (right on the bone on the inside where the hair begins)
Side of the eye (on bone)
Under eye (follow bone underneath eye)
Underneath lip (at crease between lip and chin)
U-shaped bone on collar bone (tapping with whole hand on your chest also stimulates that point)
Underneath the arm (hand with underneath the armpit, at bra strap for ladies)
Top of the head
Begin with the side of the hand and make an affirmation statement like:
“Even though I’m craving this wine, I accept myself and how I feel. Even though I really want this wine because it’s been a long day, I accept myself and how I feel. Even though I’m really craving this wine, that is okay.”
Continue to give a voice to the craving.
Eyebrow – This craving for this wine.
Side of the eye – This craving in my chest.
Underneath the eye – This intense desire for wine.
Nose – I really want it right now.
Chin – I’m craving this wine.
Collar bone – My whole body wants this wine.
Underneath the arm – This intense craving is so strong.
Head – I’m fighting this craving I feel like I am losing, I really want this wine. It’s been a long day and I really want this wine.
Repeat and affirm reasoning
Side of hand – It’s been a long day.
Eyebrow – I have a lot to think about and have a lot on my plate right now.
Side of the eye – I give myself permission to relax.
Nose – With or without the wine.
Chin – I give myself permission to relax.
Collar bone- Even though it’s been a long day.
Head – I give Permission to relax now and to take a break.
Take a deep breath in and while tuning in to your solar plexus notice has this craving shifted and do you feel still the same tension? Most often, the craving is reduced or lifted completely!
When you’re in a relaxed, focused state, that’s when you can access all the wisdom you already possess. Through tapping you can access that connection you have with foods or alcohol which many of us are usually just not aware of those patterns. From where you are you can’t see it, but when you’re relaxed and not in a panic state you’ll recognize and understand what drives your cravings and learn how to not allow them to control your behavior.
What an informative and exciting interview! Be sure to check out Jessica’s website (including guided tapping meditations for morning and night) her book, Tapping-Solution-Weight-Loss-Confidence and also her Adventures in Happiness podcast on iTunes.