Pompage, a technique for channeling emotions

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Robert Maurer


Pompage, a technique for channeling emotions

Sometimes we have the feeling of being on the verge of exploding, like a balloon that inflates with any disappointment, fear, anguish or worry. The pompage technique can help us in these cases.

Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.

Last update: December 08, 2021

The pompage technique, or emotional decompression, is used in case of intense stress and sustained over time.

People are like fragile balloons blowing up as they accumulate worries, sadness and discomfort that the noise of everyday life and the adverse whim of life cause. Eventually the load is so immense that we end up bursting, not knowing how else to react.

Aesop used to say that it is better to eat a piece of stale bread in peace than a banquet surrounded by anxiety. It is true, however we are forced to move in environments where the agitation is maximum, the pressures a constant and the existential dissonances an eternal leitmotiv.

There comes a time when uncertainty, nervousness and confusion build up more and more. We are "swollen" with silent sufferings that prevent us from reacting and even from being ourselves.

We need tools, new approaches to deal with that emotional burden. This technique can help us do this.

Many of the unexpressed emotions build up within us, increasing general discomfort and suffering. The pumping or decompression technique allows you to channel and understand these internal realities.

The pompage technique or emotional decompression: what does it consist of?

Ariel Leve is an American journalist famous for writing the book An Abbreviated Life. In this text brings back his memories, and especially his childhood.

In the 70s he lived in an apartment in Manhattan, where Andy Warhol and other celebrities of the time often threw their wild night parties. She spent those nights locked in her room, scared and unable to sleep.

To this was added having to live with a mother (a renowned artist) with a narcissistic, fickle, carefree and even violent character. The suffering of those years made her accumulate a series of emotions that acted to the detriment of her physical and mental health.

He was also aware of how this negative and erratic mood also "infected" his social circle. All that accumulation of adverse experiences, complex emotions and memories was a sign of trauma.

Same as thousands of people drag around the world due to similar experiences. The pompage technique, or emotional decompression, can be helpful in these cases.

Channel to release

It is often said that the fundamental law of the universe responds to a principle: energy is neither created nor destroyed, it is transformed. This sentence was actually formulated by Antoine Lavoisier and, although it applies to the field of thermodynamics, it is also useful in the world of emotions.

Pompage is therefore a very useful resource in the context of post-traumatic stress. Work such as that done by trauma expert Dr. Stephen Regel endorses the effectiveness of this resource in psychotherapy.

It consists of working on emotions, paying attention to mental patterns, release what is not useful to us and then leave room for well-being.

The repressed emotional energy that we accumulate over the years is buried in the basement of our mind. That emotional dust ends up making us sick without us noticing.

Visualization and association: name what hurts

The pompage technique requires you to perform an exercise of visualiztation. The complexity of the internal pressure generated by emotional pain lies in the fear of looking within.

However, it can be easier by doing a simple exercise mediated by deep relaxation. This consists of the following steps:

  • Close your eyes and relax. Breathe deeply and, when relaxed, visualize a maze that you can enter gradually, calmly.
  • Everything that is a source of worry and pain will be found in it. Let your mind flow to lead you to those complex and even painful dimensions. Get in touch with them.
  • Describe them and say what sensations they cause. Translate into words the first ones that come to mind even if they have no special meaning (pain, fear, darkness, etc.). Also, don't hesitate to vent those emotions in tears if need be.

The pompage technique involves the release of hidden feelings and emotions on the outside to heal them and turn them into healthier states.

The key to emotional decompression is not fighting resistance and accepting emotions as they are, as they come to us.

Pompage technique: understanding and transforming to let go

When emotions are released, it is common to suffer from an emotional breakdown. All the accumulated energy is released and we feel overwhelmed. There is an excess of sadness and even anger.

The pumping technique requires us to again eliminate and work on those emotions. It is not enough to remove them, you have to understand them and transform them in the following way:

  • Finding the causes of pain, distress and worry. Write them down if it helps.
  • Now is the time to transform those emotions. What we feel cannot just disappear. Let us recall the law of thermodynamics already mentioned: no one can magically make their anguish or guilt evaporate. We need to reconstruct thoughts and transform emotions, bringing them to more relaxed and harmonious states.
  • The right way to do this is to reframe ideas, speak compassionately to each other, and apply a more rational and less emotional approach.
  • Reformulate harmful thought patterns and attitudes, make guilt go away, quench resentment, forgive others and yourself if necessary. Some situations cannot be changed or controlled, but we can control our reactions.


The pompage technique, or emotional decompression, is a useful and effective resource that we can all use. It is almost like a fire capable of extinguishing all unpleasant sensations associated with repressed emotions.

However, it is not without a certain complexity and therefore it is always advisable to use the support of a specialized professional.

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