Scottsdale Acupuncture


Having Panic Attacks? Try Acupuncture!

Posted Saturday, August 1st, 2015 by

panic attack, acupuncture, scottsdale

Do you, or someone you know, suffer with panic attacks? Are you looking for natural solutions instead of relying on over-the-counter and prescription medications (some of which can be dangerously addictive)? Did you know that acupuncture and Chinese herbs are effective at treating panic attacks?

At Above & Beyond Acupuncture, we work with patients experiencing a variety of emotional challenges including anxiety, stress, depression, grief and panic attacks. Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture and Chinese herbs, can help to reduce and possibly eliminate these imbalances holistically, without the need for pharmaceutical drugs.

There is a subset of the population that suffers with panic attacks on a (semi) regular basis, so we wanted to take some time to write about what panic attacks are, list some symptoms and possible causes, and discuss how acupuncture can provide relief.

What are panic attacks? defines a panic attack as a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear. A person will experience their heart pounding and a feeling like they can’t breathe. In certain circumstances, they may even feel like they are dying or going crazy. Left untreated, panic attacks can lead to panic disorder and other problems. They may even cause a person to withdraw from normal activities. [Link]

A panic attack can take place without cause and may be experienced at random times in a person’s life. It can happen under duress or during times of rest and relaxation, which leads people to be unsettled, as they can lack specific triggers to identify when one is about to take place.

What are some symptoms of panic attacks?

While there is some subjectivity to what each person might experience when suffering with panic attacks, there are common indicators that most people experience. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) lists the following symptoms that are associated with panic attacks: [Link]

• Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
• Sweating
• Trembling or shaking
• Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
• Feelings of choking
• Chest pain or discomfort
• Nausea or abdominal distress
• Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
• Chills or heat sensations
• Numbness or tingling sensations
• Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (being detached from oneself)
• Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
• Fear of dying

It is important to note that some people experience and report only a few of the symptoms listed above, which can be due to a variety of reasons and circumstances. Regardless of the number of symptoms, panic attacks are serious and should be treated by a medical professional.

What are some causes of panic attacks?

The Mayo Clinic reports that currently, there is no known cause of panic attacks or panic disorder. They do state that there are certain factors that may play a role which include: [Link]

• Genetic predisposition
• Major stress (either acute of chronic)
• Temperament that is more sensitive to stress or prone to negative emotions
• Certain changes in the way parts of your brain function

Can acupuncture treat panic attacks?

Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture and Chinese herbs, has been in use for thousands of years treating a variety of physical and emotional issues. The basis of this medicine is natural and holistic, as it views the body as a whole and treats it as such. Panic attacks, like any other ailment, are viewed as a disharmony by a licensed acupuncturist. They can be resolved by using different treatment methods.

In a previous blog post titled “Feeling Stressed Out? Try Acupuncture!” we discussed the effect acupuncture has on the body’s nervous system. One remarkable feature that acupuncture performs is its ability to affect the nervous system, which is comprised of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. The sympathetic nervous system is directly responsible for a person’s capability to respond to stress and either fight or take flight.

One of the primary issues observed in people with panic attacks is that they may be permanently stuck in fight or flight mode; this directly inhibits their ability to rest. Acupuncture has a calming (and at times sedating) effect on the nervous system, allowing the body to transition over to be directed by the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the system that is responsible for resting and relaxing, providing the body an opportunity to calm down and return to balance.

Living with panic attacks can be extremely challenging for those experiencing the symptoms, as well as their loved ones. If you, or someone you know, suffers with panic attacks, we strongly suggest that you seek professional assistance as soon as possible.

If you are in the Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe or Phoenix areas and would like to use acupuncture to help treat panic attacks, please give us a call or use the online scheduler to book your appointment.