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Katharina  Star, Ph.D.

CAM Practices for Panic and Anxiety

By November 29, 2012

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As mentioned here on the blog last month, the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for the treatment of anxiety disorders has continued to rise. Many people with panic disorder are turning to these unconventional products and practices to help relieve anxiety and panic attacks. CAM practices are meant to "complement" the more traditional forms of treatment, such as prescribed medication and psychotherapy.

Are you interested in learning more about CAM for anxiety disorders? Start here with this Overview of CAM for Panic Disorder.

Some of the most popular forms of CAM include aromatherapy, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and mindfulness meditation. All of these practices are currently being used to assist in the management of panic disorder symptoms. Other types of CAM that are growing in popularity for the treatment of  medical and mental health conditions, include guided imagery, yoga therapy, and Reiki. Learn more about this techniques and how they can be incorporated into a treatment plan for panic disorder:

  • Hypnotherapy: With this technique, a person is brought into a trance-like state. While under hypnosis, one usually feels very relaxed and is highly open to suggestibility. A hypnotherapist can assist in a client in getting past limiting thoughts and overcoming unwanted behaviors. Hypnotherapy may be able to help with managing panic and anxiety symptoms.
  • Guided imagery: This skill involves a deep relaxation in which the client is directed to imagine themselves in a peaceful, calming, and serene setting. By envisioning oneself in a relaxing place, one's body and mind may be able to react like they are actually experiencing this tranquil scene. Guided imagery can be done with the assistance of a therapist, the use of an audio recording, or by practicing a sample script.
  • Yoga therapy: Yoga incorporates meditation, affirmations, movements, and relaxation to create personal balance and wellbeing. Yoga therapy uses these different aspects of yoga to prevent, manage, and heal different illnesses.
  • Reiki: Using this healing technique, a Reiki Master clears and balances energies throughout the client's body. Reiki, which translates to mean "universal life energy," is based off the concept that the human body is made up of energy. At times, this energy can become blocked, leading to different conditions. Reiki helps bring equilibrium back, creating harmony on physical, emotional, and mental levels.

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