panic attacks
panic attacks

What are panic attacks? Can natural therapies help?

What is a panic attack?

A panic attack is an “exaggeration of your body’s normal response” to:

  1. Stress
  2. Fear
  3. Excitement

Millions of people suffer from panic attacks every year, they often come on at very short notice with no apparent reason but can also have triggers, such as social gatherings, seeing a certain animal etc. They can cause a number of different emotions and symptoms including;

  1. Pounding heartbeat
  2. Chest pains
  3. Unable to breathe
  4. Feeling faint
  5. Sweating
  6. Nausea
  7. Shaking limbs
  8. Unable to leave the house
  9. Unable to speak
  10. Dizziness

EFT; Emotional Freedom technique (tapping)

EFT is an easy to learn, self-help technique that can be used at the time of the attack, either by the person themselves or even a friend. A short sequence of, easy to learn, tapping points on the head, face, body and hands, can help to calm down the attack and regain control.

EFT works in a similar way to acupuncture but instead of using needles to connect to the meridian lines we use fingers to tap. This can then reduce anxiety by correcting the bioelectrical short-circuiting without adverse effects. EFT is a tool for “reprogramming” your circuitry”

Research has shown that EFT significantly increases positive emotions, and decreases negative emotional states, especially anxiety as it specifically targets the amygdala and hippocampus, the parts of your brain that help you decide whether or not something is a threat. Although EFT is easy to learn and use, and there is a lot of good information online,  if the condition to be treated is long-standing or severe it might be a good idea to get in touch with a qualified EFT practitioner to help to get started.

Essential Oils

Essential oils can be used in a number of different ways to help anxiety and panic attacks.

  1. The easiest and quickest way to get the oils into the system is by inhalation. This can be done by adding a few drops to a tissue and inhaling 4-6 times. Then if possible place the tissue on the chest area, the warmth of the skin will keep the aroma activated.
  2. Apply to the skin in an oil or cream, MUST NOT be used neat directly onto the skin. This would work quicker if massaged into the chest/neck area or the feet.
  3. 4-6 drops of essential oils in the bath and a long soak can help to induce relaxation and reduce anxiety. This method could be a good as a preventative measure and maybe good as a daily routine.
  4. An electric or water type room diffuser is another good way to get the oil’s benefits into the system, generally, 3-4 drops is needed.

Essential oils for stress and anxiety?

  1. Lavender
  2. Bergamot
  3. Geranium
  4. Clary-sage
  5. Chamomile
  6. Ylang Ylang

These oils can be used on their own but can be used in a blend to enhance the benefits. There are many books on the market. My personal favourite and the book I use myself and recommend to client’s, is The Fragrant Pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood. This book is very easy to follow and is very comprehensive.

Massage Therapy

Massage with or without essential oils can help the body relax, and let go of anxious and fearful thoughts. Relieving the physical symptoms of anxiety including;

  1. Muscle pain
  2. Tension
  3. Headache
  4. Nausea

This can in time if done regularly help to reduce anxiety fight-or-flight reaction that could be responsible for causing fearful thoughts, reactions and anxiety. This would be beneficial given by a qualified therapist who could target certain areas for stress and anxiety but if a friend or partner or even your child could massage your back this can help.


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