It’s important to realise that panic and anxiety attacks share many symptoms with heart attacks, but they have different causes and are treated quite differently.
Common Symptoms: You may feel one or more of the following – light-headedness or dizziness, tingling and chills (especially in the arms and hands), palpitations, rapid heart beats, difficulty breathing – as if an elephant is sitting on your chest, nausea, abdominal pain, and tense or rigid muscles (to name just a few).
Distinguishing Symptoms: the primary differentiation is the duration of these symptoms. If you are having a heart attack the symptoms usually don’t stay around for hours… you experience the symptoms, then you have an attack which usually leaves behind some weakness. In the case of panic and anxiety attacks the symptoms increase in severity, and then can continue for a few hours, but once the attack passes the symptoms also pass and there are no further problems… until the next attack.
Sometimes people are reluctant to accept that they don’t have a heart condition, even after their doctor has run exhaustive tests because it seems as though a physical condition is easier to deal with than stress, plus there is still a lingering sense of shame at the idea of being overwhelmed by stress.
Here’s the reality, though: when you treat the wrong problem, you don’t get better. At Bing’s Natural Health we can help you deal with both the symptoms and the physical imbalances behind these attacks. By treating energy blockages (acupuncture), encouraging your body to relax (massage), helping re-balance your body chemically (Chinese herbs) and by simply encouraging you to take time for yourself (coming to your appointment as well as finding ways to pamper yourself at home) you can drastically reduce and eliminate both the symptoms and the internal cause of your panic and anxiety attacks.
It won’t happen overnight, and you may need to make changes to other aspects of your life, but things will improve if you take your health seriously. Talking to your practitioner is also an important part of the solution. We all know the saying that a problem shared is a problem halved, and it can be an enormous relief to unload on someone who is outside the problem, understanding, yet totally trustworthy.
Could you be having a panic or anxiety attack, or do you really have a heart condition?
Paula was afraid. She was convinced that she was experiencing all the symptoms of a heart attack, but her medical tests all came back negative. When I asked her about her stress levels she said, “I don’t have any stress in my life, everything is calm. I must be having heart attacks.”
She was so adamant that she had a heart problem (despite evidence to the contrary) that she wouldn’t look at any other options and that made it really hard to treat. Even though we achieved some progress through acupuncture and herbs, the treatments would have been much more effective if she had been willing to acknowledge that she might be wrong and the doctors might be right.
Simon knew he was suffering from panic and anxiety attacks. They came on when he had to go to functions and woo clients, or when he had deadlines he was struggling to meet. He’d feel faint, dizzy, and short of breath and often get migraines.
Simon came to us because his psychologist thought that our interventions would complement hers. By stimulating his liver with acupuncture and herbs, his symptoms have improved significantly. He knows what to do when the symptoms come on, so he’s no longer afraid that he is having a heart attack, and he also knows the circumstances that trigger his attacks, so he can take preventative action.