Dealing with anxiety attacks is nothing to sneeze at. As a matter of fact, they can be downright scary for the person experiencing one and for those around them.
While I’ve never had any anxiety attacks, one of my clients who was a case study for me in aromatherapy school had them quite often. I didn’t have any trusted information so I looked at organizations who are researching this disorder and also shedding light on the myths and realities.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has an amazing website with explanations of a number of disorders, myths vs. reality, peer-to-peer support groups and a therapist directory.
It’s not just you. The ADAA says this about Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD):
GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, in any given year. Women are twice as likely to be affected.
The disorder comes on gradually and can begin across the life cycle, though the risk is highest between childhood and middle age. Although the exact cause of GAD is unknown, there is evidence that biological factors, family background, and life experiences, particularly stressful ones, play a role.
My client, Christine, is undergoing treatment for generalized anxiety disorder (also known as panic attacks) and sees her physician regularly. At times, Christine feels like she can’t breathe and feels like she is having a heart attack. There have been months where she couldn’t leave her house because that triggers an attack. When these anxiety attacks happen, she calls the local EMT to ensure she isn’t in any real physical danger. She has called them as many as four times in one day.
Could Aromatherapy Help With Anxiety?
When Christine came to me, she was at the height of the severity. She asked me if I had anything to help her. I researched her medications to ensure that essential oils would not interfere with their effectiveness and created an aromatherapy blend in a rollerball for her to use daily.
At this point, I didn’t know if the blend would make any difference at all in the amount, length or severity of her panic attacks. Again, I wasn’t familiar with GAD, but I know how effective aromatherapy is and it’s an excellent natural therapy for anxiety.
Initially, Christine used the rollerball four times a day; in the morning, at lunchtime, late afternoon and at bedtime as well as anytime she felt she needed it. Was it a crutch? Yes and no.
From the start, Christine said that she could feel a difference shortly after she used the blend. She felt calmer and “like I could take on the world”. But her old habits – and they were habits – took over and she would still call the EMT a few times each week. But the number of times that she called them was decreasing which was a good start.
The only other thing that I could do for her – I am not a counselor or doctor – was to talk her through deep breathing exercises when she was panicking. Deep breathing calms your heart rate and gets oxygen into your cells which is extremely important when you are experiencing a panic attack.
Nearly a year later, this is what Christine says about aromatherapy – and holistic life coaching – helping her:
I’ve had anxiety for over 10 years. At the time I met Melissa I hadn’t left my house in almost a year and was constantly calling EMS. Melissa made me an essential oil roller ball blend to try. It made me feel calmer and more in control, but did not have the side effects of feeling tired and foggy that the fast acting meds did. It gave me the breathing room I needed for Melissa’s coaching to work on my negative thoughts and anxious habits so I could start making progress. I’m now going out regularly and have started driving again. I’m still on my preventative medication, but I have not needed my fast acting medication in two months. I use my roller ball blend when my anxiety spikes, or when I’m pushing my boundaries further to continue to overcome my anxiety. Aromatherapy and Melissa’s coaching has given me my life back!
Will aromatherapy cure your anxiety attacks? No. It can help you to calm yourself as the essential oils have properties that support balance and tranquility in your body. So many essential oils are calming and relaxing and while this isn’t the only thing to help with anxiety, it makes a huge difference.
Please – if you see yourself in this post, see your doctor right away. There is help available. Aromatherapy is a wonderful complementary tool in your healthcare toolkit to take charge of your overall well-being.
Through doing research for Christine’s circumstances, I created an essential oil blend to address anxiety and depression called Peace Ease Aromatherapy Roller Ball. I create custom blends based on your specific concerns, but Peace Ease is a wonderful way to get started if you’re simply feeling anxious. We all have moments of anxiety – we all do – it’s not just you!
How can I help you today? I’d love to talk with you, especially when I am at the fairs and festivals. If you need a consultation, I work mainly through Skype or on the phone, so you don’t even have to leave your home if you don’t want to. My aromatherapy studio is open as well, so we can work together there, if you prefer.
Please let me show you how you can easily take charge of your overall well-being. Call or email or fill out a contact form today.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any product mentioned is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional for any health issue.