Anxiety Support

48,482 members47,733 posts


TriggerPoint profile image

OK. When Breathing During An "ANXIETY & PANIC" ?* Why Do People Forget To Mention "THE HAND" ?*


If Your Hand Isn't Moving ?* You ARE "HYPERVENTILATING".

"FOCUS" On Your Hand Being Moved By Your Breathing.

[ was anybody else taught this ? i read people telling folks to take deep breaths but nobody mentions the importance of the hand being moved on the stomach ]

I Was Also Told About The "Paper Bag Effect". [ it can be plastic too ]

I Was Taught That "NORMAL" Breathing Into A Paper or/ Plastic Bag [ notice i said normal not gasping, slow it down a bit ] Causes The Carbon Dioxide You Breathe Into Fooling The Brain Into Slowing Down Your Heart Rate.

When It Reaches A More Tolerable Rate You Should Stop !* Was Anybody Else Here Taught These Principles ?*

Just Wondering As I Never See These Suggestions In Responses.... [?]

7 Replies

I use to use the paper bag in my teen years

I never mention it because don’t nobody else mention and at that time I really didn’t know what was going on a older woman told me because I was panicking

Hi TriggerPoint, I am guilty of not mentioning the paper bag or the hand on the

stomach. Been doing deep breathing for so long that it just comes naturally to

me now. No longer use my hand, I can look down and see my abdomen going

up and down w/o any help or reminder. I don't think I've used the paper bag

but a couple times.

I think it's important that you shared these aids for those of us going through

over breathing. I will add though, that sometimes we tend to hold our breath,

I'm guilty of that myself when going up steps. That's a no no.

Thanks for sharing. xx

TriggerPoint profile image
TriggerPoint in reply to Agora1

Hey !* No Bother...I Just Se So Many Posts Where People Are Panicking & Maybe They Don't Know A Few Tricks That's All.... Hopefully I'll Start Mentioning It Too From Now On...

Us Vets...LOL...Are Used To It.....

I have read that the paper bag method is no longer recommended, I can't remember why. Yes I was taught about the hand on the stomach, but not in the setting of a panic attack-it was to practice breathing through the abdomen. I use the 4-2-4-2 breathing method to correct hyperventilation when it's happening. I get dizzy and actually feel my breathing getting wonky, so I stop and concentrate on breathing out for 4, hold for 2, breathe in for 4, hold for 2 etc....

What ?* WOW !* Controlled Breathing Just For The Sake Of Breathing Correctly ? Not In The Setting Of A Anxiety Attack ?* The Whole IDEA Of Using Your Hand On Your Stomach Is Making Sure You Aren't "HYPERVENTILATING" "During" A Panic Attack. [ you naturally know how to breathe or you wouldn't be here ] Learning That Is Great. But You USUALLY "Hyperventilate" During A Anxiety Attack. [ I Guess We Have Two Totally Different Docs ]. The "Hand On The Stomach" Is A "Focal Point" To Help You Calm Down & Reduces Light Headiness & Dizzy Spells....

The Bag ? :

People who panic or hyperventilate (i.e., breathe too rapidly) are often told to breathe into paper bags because it can help them adjust their pH balance by slightly increasing the level of carbon dioxide in their blood.

In fact, sometimes people actively recommend breathing into a paper bag to recover from a panic attack. Have you ever thought why? Is there a specific reason behind it or is this just another ‘thing’ that people do when they hyperventilate?

A panic attack strikes patients suddenly, accompanied by a feeling of intense terror and a fear of imminent danger. In most cases of panic attacks, there’s no particular, specific reason.

Although some of the commonly observed symptoms of a panic attack include a rapidly pounding heart, chest pain, dizziness etc. (which usually subside in less than 10 minutes), the one symptom that you find in (almost) every single case of a panic attack is shortness of breath, which further leads to hyperventilation (i.e., the state of breathing faster/deeper than necessary).

That's Just A Little Info On "The Bag". I've Been Looking Everywhere For The "Negative Article" On Using A "The Bag", But So Far ? NaDa.

***It's Cool Though. Different Docs Approach Methods In Different Ways I Guess..***

Triggerpoint, I was hyperventilating both in and out of the setting of a panic attack - I was dizzy for extended periods of the day while feeling totally calm and then of course, I had severe dizziness during the 2-3 panic attacks I had. I had to retrain myself to breathe through my abdomen. This advice did not come from my doctor it came from a vestibular therapist. Re: paper bag...just Google "paper bag and panic attacks" and you will see that it used to be a recommendation but no more. I think it's because using it becomes a crutch (ie. you must have one at all times and if you don't then that in itself causes anxiety, and also your CO2 levels can become dangerously high if you don't know when to quit breathing into it). You don't encounter either of these risks if you just use slow deep breathing. 😉

I Understand You Completely. The Paper Bag Is ONLY To Be Used Until YOU Feel Breathing Has Reached A "Tolerable Rate". Of Course As We Both Know Anything More Would Be Dangerous. Google-ing It Doesn't Have Any WARNINGS About The Use Of A Paper Bag & 20 Times More Reasons To Try It. I Guess It All Boils Down To What Works Best Far An Individual. [ under my response to you about "the bag" came from a copy and pasted google post, i think it was the mayo clinic, i'll have to recheck ] The "Original" Posting Of The Suggestion Was As A Mere Option In A Time Of Crisis & NEVER Intended To Be A "Crutch". The "Reasonable Tolerance Level" Of Safety Is The Responsibility Of The Doctor & The Patient. I Am Sorry You Have Gone Through All You Have & Am Glad You've Managed Control....

You may also like...