How to Reduce Stress & Become Calm with the EMDR Butterfly Hug

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The Butterfly Hug was First Used with Survivors of Hurricane Pauline in Mexico in 1998

The Butterfly Hug is an easy-to-learn means of improving your well-being by wrapping your arms around yourself and tapping.

So, let’s find to more about this very calming simple method, also known as ‘Butterly Tapping’. It can help when you feel anxious, agitated, or overwhelmed to deliver emotional healing to yourself. We’ll begin by answering your most asked questions:

What is Butterfly Hug Used for? What is Butterfly Tapping Used for?

The butterfly hug technique is used to reduce stress, lower your anxiety, and calm you. Also, some people find that it grounds them, bringing them back to the present moment. As Eckart Tolle suggests in his book ‘The Power of Now’, living in the present. Not the past or the future, but the here and now.

This Butterfly Hug method of therapy is a way to administer Dual Attention Stimulation (DAS). And research has proven that bilateral stimulation can help induce calm, reduce stress, and enhance mindfulness.

What is EMDR? And What is EMDR Tapping?

EMDR stands for ‘Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy’. It is a form of psychotherapy recommended by the World Health Organisation as a first-line treatment for PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And the original idea was founded by Luciana Artigas & Ignacio Jarero and you can read about their original research.

In a session, a ‘patient’ may be asked to recall traumatic memories whilst watching the therapist move a pencil continuously because this creates the Rapid Eye Movement (REM), like when they are sleeping.

An example of EMDR tapping is the butterfly tapping technique. A form of self-love and self-soothing by giving yourself butterfly taps, also known as butterfly hugs.

Little girl with her arms around herself does the butterfly hug
Try it. Hug yourself!


How Do You Give Yourself a Butterfly Hug? Simple version.

  1. Take a deep breath.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Cross your forearms across your chest.
  4. Interlock your thumbs to form ‘butterfly wings’.
  5. Place your palms against your chest.
  6. Alternating your hands, start tapping.
  7. Pretend that clouds are passing by.

How Do You Use the Butterfly Method? Detailed version.

  1. Find a quiet place that is safe and take a deep breath.
  2. Close your eyes. You can keep them partially open. Because the idea is to enable you to focus on yourself and not the distractions around you.
  3. Cross your forearms across your chest to make a large ‘X’ with your palms now facing you.
  4. Interlock your thumbs to form ‘butterfly wings’ with your hands.
  5. Now place your palms against your chest, with your thumbs interlocked. Your middle fingers should be just below your collar bones and your fingers as vertical as possible.
  6. Alternating your hands, start tapping at the rate of about 1 per second, like the wings of a butterfly, for about 3-minutes. Also, breathe abdominally throughout.
  7. Focus your mind on pretending that clouds are passing by.

So, now you can reduce stress, remain calm, and practise self-care with this proven method – The Butterfly Hug.

Demonstrating the Butterfly Hug

Now, watch this short video to see the Butterfly Tapping Technique being demonstrated:

Links to YouTube with MBM Darren demonstrating the Butterfly Tapping Technique for reducing stress
Watch Darren demonstrate the Butterfly Tapping Technique


Thank you for reading and watching. Please give yourself an anxiety hug.

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