Every EFT practitioner does it and rarely any of them talk about it. It's the most important aspect of successful Tapping and yet it's probably the most little known aspect.
What is it?
Breath work is a vital part of the Emotional Freedom Techniques. When working with clients or tapping through an issue on your own, it is helpful to focus on breath at some key points in the process:
1. Before beginning a session - Any practitioner worth their salt should start out a client in a relaxed and yet mindful position. Taking a few moments to focus on the breath and bring you into the present moment - and inside the experience of your body - sets the stage for a beautiful session.
2. In between tapping rounds - Stopping to breathe after each round of tapping settles you into your body and helps you relax into the issue you are addressing. Trauma cannot live in a relaxed body. Evening out the breath and grounding the body through slow deep breathing, helps to focus on the issue at hand as you tap. Breathing can relax the strongly reactive parts of the negative experience on which you are focusing your tapping.
3. When evaluating the level of activation - You should always be assigning your level of activation some concrete value. Generally this is done by using a number scale 1-10 before, during, and after your tapping rounds to determine how much the issue you are working on is affecting you in the moment. This helps you to have a firm understanding of how well the tapping is working. Taking a few long, deep breaths as you check into your body to determine this level of activation, raises your body awareness and helps you gain a better assessment of your progress through the issue.
4. At the conclusion of a session - Often my clients are not aware that they have finished our work together until they take that final deep breath and thoroughly check in with their body and their progress. Breathing "settles" the work into your body and opens up the mind to useful self-reflection.
If you are new to opening to yourself to body awareness, here are a few tips for using your breath effectively during a tapping session:
To start and end the session, breathe deep into your belly. Imagine your in breath filling your whole abdomen with positive energy and your out breath emptying your abdomen of any negativity.
Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Take some time at the start of the session to really focus on your in and out breaths. Relax your tongue in the bottom of your mouth and see how much tension and stress you can breathe out of your body before you begin to tap.
Try a full body scan to see where the tension is in your body and then give the more tense areas some deep, loving breaths. Relieve the tension as you focus on each area. Imagine the tension leaving your body with each out breath.
If your breath is quick or shallow, intentionally slow it down by counting to 4 or 6 on each in breath and out breath.
If you have struggled to release an issue with tapping, breathing may be the key! Lots of studies show that focusing on our breathing and learning to even it out is one of the best ways to relax the body and relieve stress. I have often started to tap on an issue and found that I no longer need to, after simply breathing through it before the start of my tapping session!
Tap well and breathe deeply, my friends!