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The New Epidemic: Anxiety, Panic & Depression
By Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, SRN, CPH
Clinical Medical Hypnotist
President & Program Designer, Sarasota Medical & Sports Hypnosis Institute

The number of people suffering from panic, anxiety, agoraphobia, and the like has reached more than epidemic proportions. If we add to this number, those people suffering additional anxiety due to a specific disease process such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, circulatory disturbances, and pain-related disorders such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, & the like, one wonders if anyone is left anxiety-free.

The anxiety/panic epidemic is not just a national problem, but one of international proportion. The large majority of those suffering with these disorders are holding full-time jobs, many at Executive and managerial levels and are experiencing a relatively high degree of workplace stress. Many are taking medications of some sort, from tranquillizers to anti-depressants, & sleeping pills. Others are addicted to other substances including alcohol, cigarettes, sugar, and drugs, both legal and illegal.

Most people with anxiety/panic disorder have very similar complaints from free floating anxiety to full-blown anxiety attacks, making them prisoners of their own lives. Many complain of poor concentration and memory recall, and tend to be absent from work quite frequently, and few can remember the last time they felt well, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Managing anxiety and panic is like anything else. There are many facets to be considered, and once these are defined, a workable program needs to be put in place, and then worked on with persistence!

Holistic Key #1: Food Stress

Most people pay very little attention to what they put into their bodies in the form of food or drink, or the combination thereof. In fact, most bodies don't know what to expect. Sometimes they get breakfast, sometimes they don't. Many days they are loaded with junk, and other days they're put on some sort of a diet. Now, I can hear the yelps...."I eat low-fat." "I never snack between meals." " I count my calories very closely." For many people this is true, but even for those who follow some sort of regime, research shows we still may be eating incorrectly for our own body needs. 75% of the population carry a gene known as Profactor H, or the caveman gene. This hereditary factor guides the way our body responds to certain foods, especially high carbohydrate foods. by over producing the hormone insulin. Insulin is a fat-storer, and we either over produce this hormone or build a resistance to it, our bodies store our intake as fat, even if we are eating a low fat diet.

In reality, if a diet is too low-fat, the body will actually store even more. If we have a tendency towards this Profactor, we need to be careful about which carbohydrate foods we chose, how often we eat them, and the amounts at each meal. We need to be aware of the balance between our intake of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Once the balance is in place the body can start burning fat, which is the ideal biochemical state. This holds true even if a person is not over-weight, as is sometimes the case in panic and anxiety disorders. It is also important to note that Profactor H is the underlying link to the major killers; heart disease, adult onset diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, certain cancers including breast, ovarian and uterine, and is a link to smoking and yo-yo weight gain.

People with a tendency to Profactor H, or hyperinsulinemia have a particular personality profile which includes anxiety, panic, agoraphobia, emotional instability, depression, PMS, and many other uncomfortable body feelings. Many turn to cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol to try to calm this feeling that they describe as "stress." This feeling is actually a drop in blood sugar, or what is known as food-induced hyperinsulinemia. For people with an active"body symptom policing system" in place, this blood sugar drop is very frightening. The body answers this hypoglycemic response with an outpouring of other stress hormones including adrenalin and cortisol, among others. These neurological stimulators increase the already present body sensations, and fear sets in. This frightening cycle intensifies, and many choose to completely alter their lives in a sad attempt to manage this biochemical reaction.

Once one learns to manage food-induced hyperinsulinemia, the body sensations are reduced greatly. The next step is to understand how to reinterpret the sensations, so they can actually work for the individual, instead of hindering his progress.

Working with Body Sensations, Thoughts and Emotions

The body communicates with us through our body feelings or sensations. Whenever we feel tension , that is an attempt of the body to let us know it is under physical stress. Most of us never pay any attention to this body communication, especially on low levels. We do pay lots of attention once the sensations begin screaming at us, such as neck spasms, backache, indigestion, heart palpitations, dizziness, headaches, to name a few. By this time the stress chemicals in the body are very high, and seriously interfering with our ability to function on all levels. We can learn to manage this by learning various techniques which retrain the brain to release the stress chemicals on low levels subconsciously.

"Interactive Hypnosis" is a variety of techniques which put the individual in charge of managing his own body chemistry. When we teach our brain to be aware and release low stressors, we do not need to be alerted. The brain becomes an excellent employee, doing it's job for us. We can also train the brain to notice and release negative chemical producing thoughts and emotions which appear and which are not currently needed for our functioning. These techniques are very powerful, and allows the mind to clear itself and be available for the work at hand. These tools have been utilized by top athletes, executives, and those interested in accelerated learning.

Most people suffering from anxiety, panic, depression, sleep disorders, poor concentration, memory, and pain, have what is known as "run away brain syndrome." The mind is continuously running all by itself with no guidance or direction. This is very stress-chemical producing, and a person in this state has little chance of moving towards a worthwhile goal. They are basically caught in the stress cycle which is self-fulfilling. To make matters worse, the brain sees this "syndrome" as the goal, and works hard to keep it going.

Anyone can learn self-hypnosis, as it is a natural process. When one learns to relax very deeply utilizing special techniques, and then introduces personalized metaphors, the subconscious mind accepts these as real. "Interactive Self-Hypnosis" utilizes sensory imaging techniques to move one past obstacles or the perceived problem, and on to greener pastures. These techniques are health producing, as the body works to manufacture healing chemicals when the person places himself in this state. These chemicals actually boost the immune system, and work to reverse or control an active disease process.

We know that 60-90% of disease processes are stress related. By learning to manage anxiety and panic holistically, you have the power to move your mind/body from an illness mode to one of high level health So, we could say that 60-90% of your health outcomes are up to you!

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, SRN, CPH is a Clinical Medical Hypnotist, President & Program Designer for Sarasota Medical & Sports Hypnosis Institute located in Sarasota, FL & online at http://www.sugar-addiction.com. She specializes in stress, anxiety & panic issues, as well as high level performance & the food-connection to mind function.

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