What is a panic attack?
Physical symptoms of a panic attack can sometimes become so bad that the person suffering them may think that they are dying or “going mad”. A medical examination may reveal that nothing is wrong, but these sensations are very real to the sufferer. In approximately 30% of cases, the condition completely takes over a person’s life and places severe restrictions on what they can or can’t do.
Symptoms experienced by sufferers do vary from person to person, but generally panic attacks will cause one or more of the following symptoms to appear:
– Tightness in the abdomen
– Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
– Pain in the Chest
– Dizziness or feeling feint
– Dry Mouth
– Feeling extremely hot or cold
– Numbness or tingling throughout the body
There can also be psychological symptoms which include:
– Difficulty sleeping
– Inability to concentrate
– Feelings of not being in control
– Becoming irritable / angry easily
– A lack of energy
– Feeling worried or uneasy all the time
How can hypnotherapy help panic attack sufferers?
Anxiety is an internal attack. When our body is attacked externally we have the fight or flight response available to us, but with anxiety this is not possible hence the energy is directed elsewhere and symptoms can manifest. Hypnosis is a technique that is able to access folders within a person’s subconscious mind. Hypnotherapy, which is hypnosis used in a clinical way, can help with panic attacks because all the anxiety and stress that triggers a panic attack has its roots in the subconscious.
As well as emotional functions within the subconscious, physical functions are regulated also by this area of the brain. Functions such as the breathing rate and the heart rate are controlled by the subconscious.
Both the emotional and physical aspects of this condition are within the subconscious. Through the ability of the trained hypnotherapist to access the subconscious by using various techniques, hypnosis can greatly help panic attack sufferers.
At Bodyscope Health we will work to break the cycle of increased physical feelings that cause anxiety and to also reduce the individual’s psychological symptoms. There are a number of techniques that I use in combination when working with a client suffering with panic attacks:
- Self Hypnosis – Techniques are taught to the client so they can then take themselves into a deeply relaxed state. These include breathing techniques to slow their rapid breathing and to calm down their racing heart. This slowing down of the breathing allows the lungs to work more efficiently and increases oxygen flow to the brain, which in turn restores a more logical thought processes.
- Guided Imagery – I teach guided imagery so that it can be used at the onset of a panic attack, preventing the attack to become full blown.
- Regression Hypnotherapy – The subconscious mind is accessed while the client is in trance. Here the onset of the disorder and the original reason are located. It is usually found that the time when this disorder initially occurs, is when the person is aged between the one and six years old. The fear they suffer then develops into an ongoing fear of the particular situation and in full blown proportions. By visiting the original memory and interpreting it as an adult, the correct interpretation can be made where the irrational fear is removed.
- Subconscious Reassurance – The greatest fear that a panic attack sufferer has is the fear of having another panic attack. Their subconscious warns them that they are in ‘danger’ when in fact they aren’t at all. The subconscious mind needs to be reassured that they have other logical ways of keeping safe. When this happens it subsequently releases the fear response.