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Articles & Ideas


If the client starts shaking...

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated.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,

Maggie Adkins has many years of EFT experience and is a seasoned pro at giving EFT workshops. As you will see, however, even the pros run into clients who respond in a surprising manner. Please note Maggie's use of a form of the Constricted Breathing Technique (demonstrated in our video set EFT-Beyond the Basics (formerly Steps Toward Becoming The Ultimate Therapist )).

Hugs, Gary

By Maggie Adkins

I have traveled a lot in the last 6 years and one of the ways I have created EFT clients and workshops while on the road is to give free talks and demonstrations. It has worked very well for me over the years.

I defined phobia, for the sake of the demonstration, as a fear that has no basis in a person's actual physical experience. Part of my definition of phobia is that you have no idea of why you have the fear -- or terror.

At this particular demonstration, several people volunteered. Nancy said she had a fear of heights. I asked a second time if anyone's fear had any experiential basis. I made it clear that if they had any actual experiences that might have resulted in this fear, in my definition, that is not a phobia. Everyone, including Nancy, said no.

We went through one complete round with everyone tapping on their particular phobia. As I was asking for people to check their Intensity Meters, Nancy fell to the floor, her arms and legs shaking more and more with each passing second.

This is the part I'm not sure I should own in public. However, I must admit that my first thought was, "D___n, she is ruining my demonstration."

I immediately came to my senses, fell to my knees beside her and asked her, "Has this ever happened before?" She said it had happened many times before.

I then asked her if she had any idea of why she was shaking. She told me that when she did the tapping it brought up all the times her mother had thrown her down the stairs as a child. I would never have worked on an issue like this in a short group demonstration! But there we were.

I asked her how long it usually took for the shaking to stop. She told me it took anywhere from 3 hours to a few days.

I suggested that the rest of the group have their tea and cookies and that Nancy and I go off to a private room.

Once in a private setting, I realized I had no idea of what to do. And I remembered being told, "If you don't know what else to do, do Constricted Breathing."

I asked her if I could tap for her because she was shaking so badly she would not have been able to tap on herself. She shook her head yes, and I picked up her hand, began tapping the Karate Chop point and asked her to repeat what I said,

"Even though I have this constricted breathing, I deeply and profoundly accept myself."

To tell you the truth, I felt a bit like God's fool because I had no idea whether this would work or not. This is where I remembered Gary's advice to trust your intuition and be willing to be God's fool, and I just kept tapping. Constricted breathing is the only thing that came to my awareness and I trusted it.

I tapped on each point, saying, "constricted breathing," suggesting she take nice deep breaths - no force, just easy and as deep as she could. I made the sound of release, "ahhhh," as I was tapping. On each point, I said, "constricted breathing."

Stopping the shaking was all I cared about in the moment, so an intensity meter was not necessary. Success would be obvious.

After just one round, the shaking subsided. Within 3 rounds, it was totally gone. I don't know who was more relieved, Nancy or me.

Obviously this was not the first time she had experienced the shaking. However, it was the first time it had stopped before several hours or even a few days. We had only tapped for about 12 minutes.

(Note from Maggie: When doing Constricted Breathing, sometimes the breathing gets more shallow after the first round, then breaks free the next round. I'm not a doctor and can't give you medical advice, and my own experience is that it is not something to be concerned about. I just keep tapping and it has always cleared into deeper and softer breaths. Doing this technique in a room full of people can quickly change the energy of that room. Another point I want to make about the Constricted Breathing technique is that, if you are stuck in an issue you are working on, you can switch to Constricted Breathing - I always do at least 3 rounds if I'm using it this way -- and then go back to the original issue. It can help un-stick the original issue or bring in other aspects of that issue that need work. I'd love to know about your experiences using Constricted Breathing in this way for a book I am writing.)

After the shaking stopped, I knew we weren't finished. I asked Nancy if she was afraid the shaking would come back. Her response was a huge up and down shake of her head and an emphatic "Yes."

This time we used the intensity meter - I asked her if it was a ten and I think she said it was more like 10,000.

Starting with the Karate Chop point, and this time with Nancy tapping on herself, we began with

"Even though I have this fear - this terror - the shaking will come back, I deeply and completely accept myself."

We went through all the points saying, "afraid it will come back," and sometimes saying, "terrified that shaking will come back." We tapped on that until it was a zero, which actually took longer than it took for the original shaking to stop..

I feel that no matter what kind of issue a client has, it is always wise to ask if they have a fear the issue or pain or situation will come back. My experience of this has been very powerful and very important.

Maggie Adkins


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.