If you've ever had a panic attack you know they're like a tidal wave of terror. They bring in their wake breathlessness and a pounding heart. You may feel light-headed with a strong need to fall down, or your stomach may be in an uproar. You may go numb or tingle like mad. You may flash from hot to cold to hot again.
There are the (relatively) mild panic attacks -- although if you are the person having one it may not seem mild at all. And then there are the big brutes. Panic attacks may eventually transform into full-blown phobias like agoraphobia, a fear of open places.
Some people grit their teeth and white-knuckle their way through a panic attack. Some doctors prescribe antidepressants or recommend cognitive behavioral therapy.
Dr. Andrew Weil has another approach to dissolving panic attacks, even preventing them from arising.
"Following the practices of a healthy lifestyle can help, including eating well and getting regular exercise. Using mind-body approaches and relaxation techniques to reduce stress and anxiety can also help keep you centered and minimize the impact of panic attacks."