Anxiety and Panic Attacks – is EFT effective?

I’ve talked about this a bit on my website Anxiety2calm. In a nutshell I have seen people have good results, and the great thing is that all the info is available free online or in books so you don’t need to waste too much money trying. I recommend giving it a bash. Despite what they say about quick results I’d persevere…tap around all the issues you can think of related to mood, self esteem,anxiety etc etc and anything that seems relevant, even if you don’t know why it seems relevant. Be open to success…you never know…..

Of course what works for some doesn’t work for others, and many people are very negative about meridian therapies because they don’t get the quick results promised. If you decide to go for it give it a serious attempt, be organised and systematic and regularly practice for at least a few weeks. With complicated disorders it can be the case of coming across the right thing to tap on before you make real progress. Time to turn detective!

My personal experience with EFT and TFT is that they cleared up various aspects of my anxiety…for example I used to wake sweating in the night, I tapped on it one night and it has never happened again, it used to happen regularly. I think you should also be prepared for the idea that your issue may have layers, so as you tap you may discover underlying issues. Be ready to tap on these and speak to a professional about them if they are serious. A good idea to have friend on standby to talk about stuff. I for one discovered a deep feeling of inadequacy and
self hatred that I had to deal with.

Instant cure? Probably for some simple phobias only. Potential cure if practiced properly? Yes.
Hope this has been of some help.
Good Luck!!!

Appear on a Channel 4 special about Phobias.

Hi, I have been asked by Objective Productions to help them find some people with phobias to appear on a fourthcoming TV show. The first programme is all about fear of flying and will involve having treatment by a specialist who knows his stuff! Their advert goes like this:

Do you have a
fear of flying?
Have you never been on a plane?
Or got on but had to abandon the flight before take-off?
Or only just managed the journey one way, and had to return overland?
Has your fear prevented or disrupted holidays with friends and family?
Or cost you promotion at work?
Have you tried everything, but nothing’s succeeded?
We may be able to help.
Objective Productions are making a new factual programme for Channel 4.
Using new, highly successful techniques, our expert can help you train your mind to overcome your phobia.
We are aware that this is a sensitive subject but also know that this could be a life changing opportunity for those who have an established phobia of flying. We’re looking for people to take part in filming over a long weekend in the South East of England.
To find out more, please call Alex (0207 202 2412), Helen (0207 202 2422) or Michelle (0207 202 2470) as soon as possible
or e-mail

Test Anxiety Exam Anxiety

During the examination period at school or college and assessments at work is one of the worst times to feel anxiety. Obviously because so much of your life is riding on just a few hours of hopefully peak performance.

Remember that a little bit of anxiety is actually quite useful at motivating you and sharpening up your brain, however if the anxiety is distracting you, causing you panic and nausea, sending your mind racing in the wrong direction the you have to act against it.

Firstly let’s consider the pro’s and cons of taking drugs. “Recreational” drugs such as Cannabis should be avoided completely; although they may relax they can also hamper the ability to function properly. Many people who have test anxiety have specifically math test anxiety and trying to do sums when stoned is hard!

Likewise, unless your problem is extreme your doctor is unlikely to proscribe benzodiazepines like Valium. The suppression of your Central nervous System would have a negative effect on your performance. Beta Blockers are a more likely option as they don’t cross the blood brain barrier. They act on the release of adrenalin and calm your nerves physically (although not mentally).

Drugs are good when time is limited, but ultimately you should assess if you have an anxiety disorder such as GAD which is causing your test anxiety. Are you anxious inb other situations, low in confidence and generally nervous? Also people with social anxiety tend to find exams a trial as they are stuck in a room with many other people, and can feel out of control. In all these cases check out the advice here and speak to your doctor.

Whether you are getting anxiety in tests at school, college, work or anywhere else the most important advice is to tel someone!!!! They can help, and you are not the first. You will be glad you did!!

Good Luck

Sedona Method, Byron Katie, is it all CBT?

I was wondering when thumbing through Hale Dwoskin’s Sedona Method and Byron Katie’s Loving What Is if there is any more to these treatments than just re-packaged Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Such recycling is not uncommon by American marketing gurus turned Life coaches (for me Journey Therapy was not much more than a re-invention of hypnosis). For sure some people, and not just Americans (!), have seen the massive financial benefits at targeting miracle cures for anxiety disorders, depression, agoraphobia, insomnia, OCD etc etc.

Firstly we should remember that there is nothing wrong with miracle cures accept for when they don’t work at all. That is why I am increasingly suspicious of some programmes, for sale online for vast sums, which can not be externally verified at all. The grandiose claims they make are not repeated across the net. The thing is that many people who get over mental health issues get on with their lives and don’t stop to visit their old chat rooms and tell others how they recovered. But some do. And as I said the lack of independent verification is to say the least worrying.

I chose Byron Katie and the Sedona Method today because they are two that I do believe in. On the face of it their techniques have much to do with CBT, questioning the negative thought processes that lead to anxiety and depression. But in fact they go much deeper. Firstly their questionative processes are more long winded and more thorough than those that tend to be used in CBT, and secondly they go more into the core of ourselves, instead of being purely symptomatic treatments. Being something of a cross between psychotherapy and cognitive therapy and dealing with the underlying issues that I believe are important for many. They are worth a look.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Only the most arrogant, self important, or deeply self centered people are not at all shy. The rest of us tend to think twice about speaking in front of groups of new people and get sweaty palms. Of course teachers and others who speak in front of groups get completely used to it and it become second nature. For some people though interacting with others whether individuals or groups can be absolutely terrifying. The symptoms are not dissimilar to other anxiety disorders (for a symptoms list click here.)

The results of having a social phobia or social phobia disorder can be widespread depending on severity. Feeling unable to interact with colleagues can of course harm a career, also forming lasting relationships with potential partners and making friends can also be hard.

What can be done about it?

The typical treatment is normally a combination of drugs and Cognitive behavioral Therapy. Which can quickly change behavior and relieve the anxiety.
Drugs will normally be of the SSRI type.

Relaxation techniques are probably not going to be particularly helpful but therapies which uncover some underlying cause (if there is one) may well help or even solve the problem.

Why not check out Social Fear for more info!

Anxiety Herbs

Herbs for Anxiety? Nice idea huh, maybe if you take some harmless, side effect free herbs all your problems will melt away! Well, some people swear by it, and as I am about to add a herbs section to Anxiety 2 Calm I thought I’d do a bit of investigation.

As ever, when it comes to complimentary or alternative medicine there is a mind-blowing array of choices and advice that is so conflicting that at first it can seem that there is no true answer. The problem is that a lack of research means a lack of generally accepted dosage instructions or evidence of efficacy.

The unscientific nature of herbal healthcare is actually something of a bonus! Doctors with their statistics and their labels see everything in black and white and end up with a lot of self fulfilling prophecies, placebo effect, disappointment and lack of understanding. With herbs you take what you are going to take and see if it does anything. If you do a bit of research and buy from reputable outlets you are unlikely to come to any harm and it might just work.

Some of the best herbs for anxiety are Kava Kava and Valerian.

Kava Kava was banned for sometime due to a health scare but it proved completely unfounded. One brand had become contaminated and the issue was blown out of proportion by authorities in the USA. It was a bit like banning sweets across the world because because one batch of chewing gum in France got contaminated. Some believe the pharmaceutical Industry was behind it, as they were scared both by Kava Kava’s efficacy and popularity when it came to treating anxiety. Read more about that here.

Valerian is said to be “Nature’s Valium”. Personally I found it made me pretty spacey but why not give it a bash? It’s not addictive, cheap, and readily available!

Anxiety and Panic – Get Eclectic

What do I mean by the eclectic approach (Sorry if this is patronising for those of you that know what eclectic means!) Well, I mean take your anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, OCD, depression, whatever labels you have given yourself, and throw everything at them, including the kitchen sink.

Here is an alphabetical list of some of the things I tried:

Alexander Technique
Breathing Techniques
Crystal Healing
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Emotional Freedom Technique
Sedona Method
The Work of Byron Katie
Thought Field Therapy

Zero Balancing

Anyway, you get the point. I tried hundreds of things. You don’t need to therapy shop as I did, but you do need to target certain discrete areas, namely the symptoms, the underlying beliefs, and the root. Ideally you would combine CBT (with or without drugs) with some kind of regression or EMDR, with the Sedona Method or The Work of Byron Katie for your underlying beliefs, and a meridian tapping therapy like EFT or TFT to top it off.

And why not top it off with getting in shape and moving to a diet that is low in carbohydrate, high in goodness, with plenty of Omega 3s and B Vitamins.

A bit of faith also helps from Armenian Christian to Zorasterism, faith, if you can find it (and remember you can’t fake faith!) will help.

Anyway, be eclectic, fight on all fronts and give your all to every battle. With heavy determination and a lightening wallet how can you lose?

Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Phobias – What’s Best?

I put this question once to my doctor who gave the reply that when it comes to anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias the best thing is “…whatever works”. To this day that was the most profoundly intelligent thing a doctor has ever said to me on the subject of anxiety.

I was surprised to hear it because normally doctors, along with the rest of the mainstream medical and psychological professions, rely on Cognitive behavioral Therapy (CBT). What’s wrong with that you may ask, after all CBT has a success rate that, when combined with medication reaches the 80% level. Few other therapies are even statistically proven, let alone that successful.

So what then is my problem with CBT? Well, it relies upon “feeling the fear and doing it anyway”. Again, that’s fine; at least you will be doing stuff and living your life, and with time the fear will lessen and may well disappear. It can be a cure. The problem is that if there is an underlying cause (and CBT seems to state that underlying causes are Freudian Bulls**t) then it may rear it’s ugly head in another area of life be that anxiety elsewhere, depression, or a new phobia.

So CBT should be avoided? No, no way. Everyone, and I mean everyone should have CBT. Even if they have no anxiety or phobias or depression they could still benefit from thinking more positively and rationally. I just think people should take a more eclectic approach in order to tackle their issues once and for all. CBT will help get your life in order quickly.

More about the eclectic approach tomorrow, but for now why not check out the Exposure Can Be Fun section of Anxiety 2 Calm.

Anxiety and Panic Attacks – Just Bad Labels

Have you ever considered how we label ourselves in this society. We are desperate to fit ourselves into categories of social class or musical taste. Things are no different in the field of mental health and psychological wellbeing. When we take a label like “agoraphobia” we tend to live up to it, taking on all the stress the label implies and accepting its limitations on our life almost unquestioningly. The end result is that we feel worse, that we have this talisman permanently hanging round our necks as if we had HIV or terminal cancer (now there’s a label that is only leading the patient in one direction!)

What we need to do is change our internal language, the constant dialogue we have with our self, from “having” to “feeling”. Instead of “I have anxiety” we should say “I am feeling anxious” (if it’s happening now) or “I felt anxious” (if it happened in the past). This change is important because we move away from labels and permanent states towards emotions which pass, as emotions always do. For more on this refer to the Labels section of the free anti-anxiety programme at

Anxiety and feelings of Unreality

Often people who have anxiety or panic disorders say that the strange feeling of unreality, depersonalization, spaciness, or dreaminess are the most frightening. Of course these feelings are not as violent as the throat clenching horror of a full blown panic or anxiety attack. Feelings of unreality are considered frightening for a different reason.

After you have had a panic attack or two you probably know what to expect. That doesn’t mean it becomes any less nasty necessarily, but at least you know where you are. Feelings of unreality on the other hand don’t seem to have a definite start or finish, you don’t know when they will go away. What’s more they don’t feel like anxiety, they feel like you are going completely mad!

And that is the scary thought. Is this Schizophrenia? Bipolar? What’s going on?

What is going on? Well, you are feeling spacey and it doesn’t matter half as much as you think it does. Like the rest of anxiety and panic, if you worry about it you just get more. Work on going about your normal business allowing the anxiety and feelings of unreality to be there. The sooner you accept them the sooner they will pass. Dr Clare Weekes (eminent Australian Anxiety expert now deceased) says feelings of unreality are a good sign, as they show you are dealing with the anxiety. Read here for more about her. And for a wealth of anxiety information visit Anxiety 2 Calm.