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Mary could go up and down the stairs, but every step was a challenge. That was not helped either by asthma and overweight.. See what happened for her. 

Mary was visiting a Cancer Support group where I as helping. We'd had a first session about a lung pain. Since that issue was cleared, MAry was curious and ready to "try it on everything".

We started this second session focussing on asthma. I asked her how she felt at that moment: "Asthma is OK when I'm sitting. But going on the stairs gets to me, I can't cope with the breathlessness." Stairs were available in the building, so off we went. EFT works at its best when we're right IN the issue. So using the stairs would allow us to get Mary's feeling up so we could work on them and clear them out.

First we stood at the bottom of the stairway, and tapped on the anxiety at the idea of having to go up the stairs. Then we went up the stairs once, tapping all along. She was surprised to realise that asthma was already not as bad as expected. We tapped this "little remaining of asthma" away before she went up and down the stairs again, still tapping. The 3rd time was much easier. We had to stop there as this was happening in the premises of a Cancer support group where we both volunteer and people were coming in, probably wondering what this was all about and it wasn't helping us to focus on the issue.

Back in the room, we kept tapping on Mary's words : "the stairs are a killer". When I asked her to rate her feeling on a scale from 0 (all is fine) to 10 (I can't cope with it), she said it had been a 10 before the first round, and was now a 3. So we kept going :

even though stairs are a killer, I'm open to the possibility that I can run up and down the stairs with very little asthma, like I just did, or even without asthma.

As the feeling eased out, we started on the positive side, with sentences like :

maybe I can actually breathe when I'm on the stairs. They might not be a killer after all... without stairs, I couldn't go upstairs; come to think of it, stairs are quite useful... maybe I could be safe on the stairs.

The feeling now gone, and based on her wording ("a killer") I asked her if she could remember a fall in stairs as a child. Her answer was very clear : "I actually have an outrageous phobia of stairs". As it turned out, 2 events were related to this.

  • Event 1: she moved in an apartment 6 years before, with a very steep stairway. She learned that before she moved in, a woman who lived one floor up from her apartment had been found dead at the bottom of the stairs (remember Mary's sentence : "the stairs are a killer"?). The woman was an alcoholic and could have fell in violent circumstances. Mary did not witness it, and didn't even have any details about the event. Still she felt dreadful thinking about it. She believed her fear of stairs came from the knowledge that this even happened. She was terrified her 8 year old daughter would get killed the same way.
  • Event 2: when she was 8, she got confused on an escalator in a store. Her mother was coming down on one escalator, and Mary kept taking the wrong escalator to get to her mother. She was terrified and felt lost.


We tapped away both events, using a visualisation of the first accident, and the Matrix Reimprinting technique for the escalator incident. We cleared the fears associated with each event, included the dread of the stairs for her daughter and the confusion she kept from the escalator incident. When recalling the escalator incident after the tapping, she couldn't visualise herself terrified at 8 any more. Instead, she remembered herself as a child being happily reunited with her mother : "This little girl looks like she won the lotto"!

There is no discussion that we can't change what happened, but nobody said we couldn't change what we feel about what happened. It's really our feelings which are getting us in trouble, running in our subconscious mind and keeping us unsafe even though the event is long gone and hasn't necessarily affected our safety. That's why it's never "too late" to use EFT on past events.

At the end of the session, when I asked her to think about her fear though, her first answer was: "It will always be there anyway". Mary was so used to having this phobia that it felt too unusual in a way to let go of it all together. If you've read a few other EFT stories, you know that this resistance to change, even to good change, is quite common. As we tapped it away, Mary commented that the phobia was actually more of a small anxiety now. She was ready to move on.


She left with a little homework : tap on the remaining dread if required, and tap going up and down the stairs, until she felt completely comfortable.


2 months follow-up:

Mary is perfectly happy with her daughter or herself going up and down the stairs. Stairs don't trigger any emotional reaction any more and the asthma is much better too. Definitely one big issue sorted out for her!