Gary Craig, the creator of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), developed this tapping exercise and noticed that people were getting wonderful healing results by doing this process 2-5 times a day. It can greatly reduce anxiety and bring a sense of deep relaxation.
Perhaps you have noticed that when you feel fearful or stressed or anxious or angry, your breathing is shallower than if you were feeling relaxed. When faced with a traumatic or shocking experience, or any experience we don't want to accept, we often hold our breath as a way to say "NO" to the incoming data. It is basically a defense mechanism that many of us develop, often on an unconscious level.
When we do this tapping exercise, often our body will simply release the unconsciously-held trauma and we just feel better. That's a wonderful experience! Sometimes, as a result of doing this exercise, we will be in touch with some long-forgotten (or repressed) emotional issue because it is time to bring healing to it. Either way, we benefit greatly by doing this exercise regularly.
Here are the steps as outlined by Gary Craig:
- Inhale 2 or 3 maximum deep breaths. Take your time and don't hyperventilate. This step is to stretch out your lungs.
- Take another deep breath. This time, gauge the deepness of your breath on a 0-10 scale where 0 is very shallow and 10 is your estimate of your maximum capacity. There's no right or wrong answer in this estimation, and its purpose is so that you can assess how different your breathing is after you completed this exercise.
- Do several rounds of EFT with Setup phrases such as:
"Even though I have this constricted breathing..."
"Even though I can only fill my lungs to an 8..."
"Even though I am not supposed to breathe in more deeply..."
"Even though it is safer to breathe shallowly..." and so on.
- In between each round, take another deep breath and note the depth of your breath. Most likely, you will notice a higher number (your breathing is deeper.)
- Sometimes, during this process, memories or limiting beliefs rise to the surface, giving you some information as to why you are not breathing deeply. You can also inquiry within yourself: "What feeling does this constricted breath remind me of?", "In what situations do I breathe this way?", "When in the past did I breathe this way?", "If there was an emotional reason for this constricted breath, what might it be?" Often, the answers will give you a big clue to an important unresolved emotional issue.
I have made an EFT audio recording for you to try this technique. To listen to it, click on this link: The Constricted Breathing Technique (10:42).
If you are not familiar with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), you can find a brief introduction to this powerful self-healing technique in my "EFT Tapping Points" web page.
Again, be mindful that when emotional issue comes up, take it as an opportunity to resolve and bring healing to this issue! Please seek appropriate help when you need it. You deserve healing!