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  • Nancy Crooks

Panic Attack: Mechanical Link to the Rescue

As I was lying awake in the pre-dawn hours, wondering whether sleep would return, the phone rang. At that hour, it could only be a wrong number or a family emergency from another time zone. “What!?”, I barked into the phone. I heard a small voice. “Nance, could you come over?”

It was my neighbor, Gretchen. She has suffered a lifetime of migraines, anxiety disorder and panic attacks, which all escalated after a bitter divorce and an unrelated (and unrelenting) family tragedy. Even walking around the block triggered panic, and she avoided unfamiliar places and social situations. The EMS crews have been to her house so many times they know her by name. Several times, awakened by the sirens and flashing lights, I had peered out the window to see the firemen and EMTs stomping up to her house, milling around and then leaving. In the grip of a panic attack, it's hard to be convinced that death is not imminent. Each time, after the truck and empty ambulance pulled away, Gretchen felt exhausted and foolish. Her body had tricked her again.

One day, I had said, “Why don't you call me? I can do you as much good as they can.” By which I meant, just having someone sympathetic who will calm you down and convince you that you're not dying will be as good or better.

I dressed quickly and went over to Gretchen's. She was shaking so hard she could hardly stand, and felt nauseous. Her head felt like it was splitting, her heart was racing and she hurt all over, which wasn't surprising as her body was in full flight mode, with all muscles tensed, ready to flee. I had never seen anyone in this state before.

I sat beside her, rubbing her back lightly and speaking calmly but what I really wanted to do was treat her. Gretchen agreed to lie on her back on the sofa, and I began to test her tissues gently. Without doing the full testing, I couldn't be sure, but I found place between her head and neck that is frequently a primary lesion, and treated it with a flick of my thumbs. She said, “Oh, it always hurts there. That's right where my headaches are.” I rechecked the previous tests; they were negative.

Gretchen's breathing began to slow, and her shaking subsided. Her face started to relax, her color returned and she sat up. We visited a little bit more, and then it was time to get ready for work.

About two weeks later, we were walking together. “How's your head?”, I asked. “I haven't had any headaches”, she said. I smiled. “Did you do that?”, she asked. “Yes, I think so.” “I haven't had any anxiety, either. Last week, I went to my grandson's school for a program, and I made it through the whole thing, with all those people, and I didn't even take a Xanax!” “And even without the Xanax, you were fine?” “Yes!!, my mom and my daughter were amazed.”

“How about your stomach?”, I asked, because I knew she had digestive problems.

“Well, you know, that's better, too. Did you do that?”

“Yes, probably.”

“And you know what's weird? I've been sleeping. On Sunday night, I was watching television around 8pm and the next thing I knew, I woke up on the couch still in my clothes, still sitting up at ten o'clock. That's never happened before! And I went to bed and I slept all night. I've been sleeping MUCH better.”

“Now I just have to get rid of this auto-immune problem I'm having.”

I explained that when the body's self-healing potential is freed using Mechanical Link, it then has more resources to use to fix itself. It was entirely possible that her auto-immune disorder would resolve, now that her body didn't have to expend so much energy mounting defenses to be in flight mode continuously. And being able to sleep well, and be out of pain would all aid her in improving her health. Mechanical Link just makes life easier, so our bodies can function as they were meant to.

“Wow”, she said, “I need to get my mom to come see you.”

Name used with permission.

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