Panic disorder by definition is extreme in its effect. People think they are in extremis, having heart attacks or strokes. Emergency rooms routinely refer people with panic disorder to a psychiatrist. The latter will usually use tranquillizers rather than psychotherapy, or talking the person down from the problem. That is to say, it is recognized there is a strong physiological, rather than simply psychological basis to the problem. There are genuine neurological manifestations: A pounding heartbeat or pulse, hyperventilation, breaking into a sweat, “butterflies” or nausea, shaking, and other symptoms.
After years of working with victims of Panic Disorder, Dr. Larsen noted that daily physiological quieting measures, practiced regularly before any crisis emerges, work very well. These include deep EMG-monitored muscle relaxation, hand-warming techniques, and regulated breathing. What astonished him though, was that the LENS technique, seemingly without volitional participation produced some of the strongest self-quieting and resistance to panic that he had seen. The LENS in effect seemed to head panic attacks off at the pass.
Together with techniques such as HRV or Heart Rate Variability, the results are truly impressive to the clinician who has grappled with this exciting and challenging problem. After training people feel more intuitively poised or in balance, and if unexpected or arousing situations arise, they feel they have self-management techniques to help them react appropriately rather than overreacting.