Episode 5: The Panic Attack

Panic Attack Aversion

In this stressful period in history, we tend to look back and yearn for that simpler time when smart phones, internet and global info-tainment didn’t exist. Although millennials can’t fathom what I’m on about, everyone over the age of 35 will. It was actually bliss to be disconnected from everything and incommunicado occasionally. The more ‘connected’ we have become, the greater the likelihood that we will eventually experience a panic attack when it all hits the fan. This is because our adrenals have been kicked up into high gear so that we can ‘outrun’ that beast known as ‘Lost Productivity’ and spew out a few more widgets for the boss. As a consequence of this, we all become top-lung breathers, taking shallow breaths all day long. This type of breathing causes a negative feedback loop to occur with the breathing center in our brain, which then sends a signal to the heart to increase it’s rate, which in turn, sends a signal back to the lungs via the brain to breath faster. Have you ever seen how a baby on its back breaths? When it is placed on its back, it will automatically revert to abdominal breathing (where the belly rises and falls). This is actually a physiological mechanism that occurs in adults as well. In one of my past videos on Yoga Pranayama Breathing:

I illustrate how to take deeper breaths, increase your lung capacity and up-regulate your ‘rest-digest’ (parasympathetic) nervous system. However, there is also a simpler way to access this nervous system so that panic attacks can be avoided. All you have to do is the following pose:
Viparita Karani (inverted lake pose)

IMG_0523When you are on your back like this, you will automatically revert to abdominal breathing. This will short circuit that panic attack. Just stay in this pose for about 5 min. Although I’ve called this series “2 Min Health Intervention” I don’t think an extra 3 min is a stretch. Stay tuned for next week’s episode where we talk about Probiotics and Gut Health.







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