Tips to get through a panic attack

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(Alex Dimitriu MD/ Third Age) — Suddenly overcome by fear, trembling, sweating, head pounding; heart racing? Don’t panic! Relax – and breathe. A focus on slow, deep breathing can help you get through a panic attack.

My comments follow research reported in the April 2018 edition of Psychophysiology by Trinity College Dublin, demonstrating a direct, neurophysiological link between respiration and the brain. The study indicates respiration can prompt release of a chemical messenger, noadrenaline, in the brain, and this chemical apparently plays an important role in enhancing the brain’s overall health.

Physicians have long known that the relaxation, visualization – and breathing – techniques taught in Yoga and used in meditation help many patients manage their anxiety, including panic disorder.

The study finding that breathing effects changes in brain chemistry goes a long way toward supporting claims of Yoga practitioners about how regulation of respiration benefits the mind, reducing stress and improving cognition and attention. (…)

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