By Faye Martins
Do Yoga techniques for panic attacks really work? Studies have shown that one session of Yoga has the ability to boost the feel-good neurotransmitters that calm the nervous system and create feelings of well-being. Although most tests have involved depression or anxiety, experts speculate that the practice can also help people who suffer from panic attacks.
What is a panic attack?
According to the American Psychological Association, a panic attack is an episode of fear that comes out of nowhere and has no obvious cause. More severe than normal anxiety, it symptoms may include any of the following: racing heartbeat, nausea, shaking, dizziness, hot flashes or chills, tingling in toes and fingers, difficulty with breathing and feelings of terror.
Often arising during periods of transition, panic attacks trigger the same adrenaline rush as “fight or flight” response. The disorder results from a variety of factors that range from genetic to biological; symptoms usually respond to a combination of behavioral therapy and medication. Relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises and visualization, have the potential to manage panic attacks and prevent future episodes.
How can Yoga help?
• Experts say that most people who suffer from panic attacks have slightly faster heart rates than their peers, and anxiety worsens the condition. Yoga teaches breathing techniques that calm the nervous system and supply the body with freshly oxygenated blood. Knowing how to breathe properly reassures sufferers by giving them a sense of control over their symptoms and reducing the chance of future occurrences.
• Yoga asanas burn off negative energy and put practitioners in touch with their physical bodies and emotions. By reducing the flow of adrenaline and managing the involuntary functions of the parasympathetic nervous system, Yoga reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and clears energetic blockages.
• Another bonus is Yoga’s philosophy emphasizing and promoting healthy, balanced life styles. Clean living, exercise, breathing techniques, and meditation discourage negative thinking and provide a sense of connection with a greater power.
Two Yogic Techniques for Prevention and Relief from Panic Attacks
Bridge Posture: This asana releases tension in the back of the body from your heels to you shoulders.
Bhastrika Pranayama: This technique can help anyone maintain control over erratic breathing.
Regardless of their triggers, panic attacks take a toll on physical and emotional health. Yoga, the ancient art designed to unite the mind, body, and spirit, seems to be a perfect fit for the skills needed to deal with the consequences and prevent the occurrence.
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