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Serious Diseases

Asthma Relief

His asthma breathing got easier while they learned how to tap

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Hi Everyone,

Many things to look for in this detailed message by Deborah Mitnick.

  • Several useful pointers on making EFT presentations.
  • The importance of looking for underlying aspects.
  • The link between physical and emotional issues.

Hugs, Gary

by Deborah Mitnick, LCSW-C

Hello EFT.

I'm teaching a four-session "Introduction to EFT" class and thought I'd share what the first meeting was like this week. The purpose of telling you about this is to provide another suggestion as to how to integrate the basic EFT information with some quick hands-on skills for your students, clients, or other professionals.

Each of the four weekly sessions is 90 minutes. The students realize that our scope is limited and that this class is meant as an education process and not psychotherapy. They know that my job is to teach them the basics, but that the time is too limited for me to do in-depth work with any student. The students want to learn how to tap on their own phobias, traumas and physical issues.

My hunch is that this class will meet its goals.

In previous first-sessions of classes to non-clinicians, I've spent a lot of time giving information on the background of EFT, the theory of acupuncture and the energy meridians of the body, and I've taught the tapping points. But in all previous classes, I've had the luxury of knowing that there were six 90-minute sessions, rather than the four we have now.

I decided to change the format this time. I briefly introduced myself, asked the students what attracted them to the workshop, and showed Gary's Introduction to EFT video. I told them I wanted to do a demonstration with one person while the other students tapped along for their own issues.

"Ken" volunteered, but I'm sure it was not just out of curiosity! He was having a severe asthma attack and could barely catch his breath! On the 0-10 Subjective Units of Distress Scale (SUDS), he said he was a 10 on "constricted breathing." He said that he had just come from his doctor's office and had been given a new steroid treatment, but he didn't think he'd notice results from that for at least six hours.

I asked him if he needed to use his inhaler, but he said he'd rather try EFT. Since Ken had only known about EFT for 20 minutes (enough time for my personal introduction and for watching the video), I had some concern that if he had a positive result with the tapping, he might attribute our work to the steroid medication (the "Apex Problem"). I asked him if he thought the steroids could possibly help in the next 10 minutes. He said there was no way that the medication would kick in that fast. He'd be convinced about tapping if his breathing improved that quickly!

What a perfect hands-on teaching opportunity this presented, as well as an opportunity to give this man some real relief! I asked the class to tap on the same points I directed Ken to use and told them they'd learn enough just by doing that to try this method on themselves when they got home.

I told Ken to take full responsibility for his physical and emotional well being. I reminded him that we had just met and I did not know what was best for him. I told him that if there was anything I asked him to do that was not comfortable for him, he should tell me. If he needed his inhaler, he should use it. He agreed to these conditions.

To check the degree of constriction, I asked Ken to take a deep breath. He couldn't do it, but coughed violently instead.

I instructed him (and the class) to tap the side of the hand and for Ken to say, "Even though I have this constricted breath, I want to deeply and completely accept myself." I instructed the other students to do the tapping and think about one of their own goals for the class. (Because Ken was in immediate distress, I didn't want to take any extra time to get the students more focused on specific goals at that moment.)

Ken and I tapped the entire Basic Recipe so that I could demonstrate it for the rest of the class. I could hear that his breathing was less labored, so I allowed my focus to move to the rest of the class. I looked around the room and saw that all of the students were successfully following along. Twice during the rest of the session, I walked around the room and coached the other students on the correct locations for some of the tapping points. (By the way, Ken's breathing was clearly better after we had tapped the first six tapping points in the first round, but I continued through the Basic Recipe because my goal was to teach them the whole process. Had this been an individual session with just Ken, we would have been close to being finished by this point!)

When I asked Ken what his SUDS was then, he looked amazed and said he was now a "six" on the scale! I told the class that EFT sometimes takes persistence and that there may be more than one round for each challenge.

I explained about the need to modify the affirmation to acknowledge to the unconscious that some change had occurred. Ken then tapped for "Even though I still have some of this constricted breath, I want to deeply and completely accept myself." After the three repetitions of that affirmation and another full Basic Recipe, his SUDS was a "three."

GC Comment: More details on the "Constricted Breathing Technique" are given on our Steps toward becoming The Ultimate Therapist tape set

Although his breathing was better, he suddenly looked upset. My hunch was that an emotional issue had emerged for him.

I asked, "If there were an emotional reason for the remaining constricted breath, what would it be?" With no hesitation at all, he told me that he wished he could feel less stilted in his relationships with his grown children.

So we tapped for, "Even though I have a constricted relationship with my kids, I want to deeply and completely accept myself." For the second and third repetitions of this affirmation, I had him repeat some forgiveness statements and "doing the best I can with my resources and history" statements. And after the Basic Recipe was completed, his "constricted breath" SUDS was a "one."

Adding the emotional component here gave me the opportunity to help the class understand the connection between physical and emotional issues. There was a lot of head nodding at this point as I talked (as everyone continued to tap each point) about aches and pains that are held in place by emotional issues.

Now, back to my work with Ken. Two rounds of "Floor-to-Ceiling Eye Rolls" and his breathing was totally clear.

Ken was impressed! He said he's never found such fast relief from any asthma attack. He also said he learned how to tap for himself through my demonstration and planned to use the techniques before we meet again at the class next week

When I asked the other students for their reactions, observations, and assessments, they were all amazed at Ken's results, but more than that, most noticed that they were feeling more relaxed and less concerned about the issues they had been privately tapping for. I don't know yet what anyone else tapped for, but I'll find out next week.

So, what have I learned from this? I learned that I don't have to take people through the tapping points in a hypothetical "dry run." They can just jump in and tap on a real issue, following my modeling.

I learned that these students didn't care that they didn't get "theory." They got relief and that's what they came for.

I learned that while I'm having people tap on a sequence of meridians, I can present a lot of information to them about tapping, even while they are saying their reminder phrases. For example, while they were tapping under their eyes, I had them continue at that spot while I told them the purpose of the reminder phrase was to keep them "tuned in" to the problem.

When they laughed at how silly it looked the first time they tapped under the arm, I encouraged them to say their reminder phrases while I acknowledged how weird this method looks. I talked about how some people are skeptical and some say that positive results are only a "placebo effect," but in order for it to be a placebo, they'd have to believe it works and most people don't!

So, they're tapping under their arms, getting the desired results, Ken's breathing is improving, and I'm also informally getting to teach all of the information I wanted them to have in the first session.

And we're tapping for the entire duration of the class. There is no time when I "just lecture."

For the newcomers on this EFT list, I'd like you to know that I might have been lucky to have a good outcome with Ken. Usually I'd choose to demonstrate with a whole group and hope that a majority of the students would get the result they were looking for. I think it's a bit risky to choose just one student for such a demonstration, but I decided to take that risk in this situation.

As the class adjourned, the students came up to me and told me they were excited by what they had learned for themselves, what they had witnessed for Ken, and what they hoped to achieve in the next three sessions. Many of them told me that they are now "believers," even though they came to the class with hesitancy and a degree of skepticism. One person referred a client to me for phone sessions.

I feel good about what I accomplished in this brief session!


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