Panic & Anxiety Attacks & My Natural Healing Quest

I have debated about writing about this. Not knowing where to start or how to truly describe my feelings. I also don’t want my blog to be a diary full of whining but more a journal of experiences and learning. But that is what this is.

Since I started my new job in November of 2014 I have been having panic and anxiety attacks. Some so severe, with crying, shaking, racing heart, sweaty palms, hyperventilating, and the mortal terror that comes along with it. Some attacks are not as bad, more of just adrenaline rush. You can google the symptoms of both, I don’t really want to go into that here.

So after a month or so of just trying to push through these things I finally started calling in sick to my new job because the attacks were getting bad. I finally went to the doctor. I haven’t been shy with this situation with family or friends, I want them to know. The doctor prescribed Paxil and Xanax. I used to suffer from depression, anxiety, and insomnia. I took all sorts of drugs to help me be calm, sleep, get through the day. This ended more 6 years ago when I that I didn’t want to drug myself to get through life. I quit that job and stopped taking all those medications. That’s why I am working toward a sustainable life, so I can be happy and have a happy life. I want my days to be filled with things I want to do, not feel I have to do. I have decided not to take the meds this doctor prescribed. But I don’t want to quit this job either because in all honesty, it isn’t a bad job.

Instead, I want to treat the cause of these attacks, not the symptoms. I want to work through the issue and be able to work this job as it will allow me the time and funds to pursue my other goals. I am going to learn meditation, yoga (as long as I can get around the vertigo), Reiki, essential oils, herbs, and aromatherapy. I know nothing about most of this, a little about Reiki. So part of my blog is going to include my learning about these other things. I hope that it helps you, I know it will help me.

To start off, I have a great friend who is a Reiki Master. Years ago she began to teach me, but she had to move out of state and when she left I stopped practicing. She has recently moved back to Colorado so hopefully we can get back to that. If you don’t know, Reiki is the practice of using gentle touch therapy to use the energy flow from the Earth to the person in hopes of promoting the healing of spirit, mind, and body. This is an incredibly brief and simplistic definition, so don’t take it as gospel. Again, I stopped practicing so don’t remember a whole lot.

My friend, my Reiki Master, would always ‘smudge’ the space we were using with a combination of white sage, cedar, and sweetgrass dried herbs in an abalone shell. Several weeks ago I also purchased these items to start building my collection. That and the act of a routine helps me deal with the attacks. As I relearn my Reiki, I will also start practicing meditation. I will burn these same herbs for that.

I realized that scents really help calm me. I thought aromatherapy might be the way to go. I bought a sage smudge mist from Ja’mi Products so I don’t always fill my office with smoke. Sometimes I spray that instead. I also remembered that I had essential oils and a diffuser. But the oils were really old, mostly evaporated. I needed to get new ones but because I am new to this I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of money. After doing some research I ordered from Eden Gardens. There are many things in life where you get what you pay for, but so far Eden Gardens seems like a good company with a good product.

Because my initial reason for learning this was due to the panic and anxiety attacks I wanted to start off with oils for stress relief and relaxation. I started by ordering those essential oil blends from Eden. The stress relief oil is a ‘blend of bergamot, blood orange, grapefruit, patchouli, and ylang ylang is fruity, earthy and floral.’ The relaxation oil is a blend of chamomile, geranium, lavender, mandarin, marjoram, and patchouli is sweet, floral, citrusy and earthy.’ They are both super strong and I think starting off with a blend was a bad idea since I don’t know what I like and don’t like. I think it is the patchouli oil. I’m not a fan. I only tried one of them, I don’t remember which one, and didn’t like it. So they are in a plastic baggie to mask the smell in my little oil cabinet.

So I went back and ordered clary sage, lavender, tea tree, cedarwood, and lemongrass. All scents I know I like. I also ordered a carrier oil because I read somewhere that those are needed to dilute the oils for some uses. I ordered hemp seed oil. Yesterday I used the clary sage in the diffuser. I put 10 drops in the water. It smelled good, relaxing, but was overwhelming. I think I will try 5 drops next time.

What little research and discussion I have done with friends I know that oils and herbs have many uses. I hope to learn as much as possible about this, not only to help with the panic and anxiety attacks, but other areas of life. To be healthy and happy in general. Another great friend gave me some valerian root which is a natural relaxant. That is my issue with medications for depression. Most of them take weeks to build up in your system to work, then if they don’t it takes weeks to try something new. And then if you stop taking them it takes weeks to feel normal again, if you ever felt that way at all.

I am excited about learning this. As far as the job goes, I decided to work 30 hours a week for now. I work 6 hour shifts, makes going to work much easier. Plus I work from home, so no biggie. Have a great day!