Magic Buttons = Mindfulness Breathing + EFT Tapping

Overview of the science with links to pages of research studies at the bottom of this page.

“Belly Button Breathing” (kid-speak for diaphragmatic Mindful Breathing) and EFT Tapping are evidence-based mindfulness strategies have been shown to calm the fear center (amygdala) in the brain and nervous system, so that the frontal lobe can be engaged more fully. The frontal lobe is where higher thinking and self-monitoring occurs in the brain.

When the amygdala (fear center) is fired up in the brain, the nervous system goes into “Fight, Flight or Freeze” mode. Also referred to as “survival mode,” our Sympathetic Nervous System kicks in when we feel threatened or in danger.

So the brain and body allocate resources for survival. Resources needed for learning, thinking, and performing at our best, are put on hold.

Please watch the following video, by “Mind the Bump” of Australia, for a full understanding.

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At the touch of a button, EFT Tapping and/or Mindful Belly Button Breathing can calm the Amygdala, letting the Frontal Lobe do what it does best… learn, remember, feel good, behave and perform at our best.

As these self-regulation strategies become a normal part of each child’s daily life, short and long-term mental health and physical health outcomes can be dramatically improved. At the same time, problems can be prevented on a day-to-day basis.

Below is a brief review of each of these “Magic Button” strategies, with links to pages filled with links to pages of evidence-based studies confirming their efficacy.

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Magic Button #1:
"Belly Button Breathing"

Belly Button Breathing and EFT Tapping for kids in Maven & the Magic Buttons

“Belly Button Breathing” is our child-friendly term for deep, diaphragmatic breathing aka mindfulness breathing. Unfortunately, many children are breathing shallowly by the time they are 5 years old. And it gets more shallow when they are under stress. Being mindful of breathing using the belly, naturally deepens the breath.

Although common sense tells us that breathing deeply is good for the brain and body, due to the increased oxygen intake, there are many emotional benefits too. Deep breathing is the key to processing overwhelming feelings – both physical and emotional – so they pass quickly. This is true resilience.

Many “evidence-based” studies clearly demonstrate the positive effects of mindfulness deep breathing… on learning, behavior, anxiety, depression, stress, sports performance and a wide variety of mental health and physical health issues.

Click here for an extensive listing of research studies on Diaphragmatic Breathing

#2 -10: "EFT Tapping" aka
"Emotional Freedom Techniques"

School nurse teaches EFT Tapping to kids in grades k-4 with Mimi Stevens book

EFT Tapping (aka “Emotional Freedom Technique”) is a mindfulness strategy that empowers us to calm the fear center of the brain (the amygdala) and discharge negative emotions associated with negative memories stored in the subconscious mind.

The stored energy associated with such memories and feelings causes a disruption of the overall flow of energy throughout the mind and body. This disruption gets expressed as mental and/or physical discomfort, such as anxiety, stress, pain, overwhelm, etc.

Tapping on a series of acupressure points as we talk about the problem in certain ways, is a simple, methodical, and self-empowering tool for releasing the emotional charge that contributes to these disruptions. We then become more able to experience the present moment aka Mindfulness.

Although EFT Tapping utilizes the same Meridian System used for Acupuncture, EFT Tapping does NOT require the use of needles. We can simply tap our fingertips on the meridian points to stimulate and restore the healthy flow of energy through the meridians.

Click here for an extensive listing of research studies on EFT Tapping, many with links to the original papers.

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