Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

Treating anxiety physiologically

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
Get posts in your inbox:
Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Phil Greenfield with a nice list of 18 ways to tame anxiety with physiology and not psychology:

“If only ‘anxiety’ was more widely viewed as a physiological disturbance with associated psychological effects, rather than the other way around. … Anything you can do to reduce the dominance of sympathetic arousal, and encourage activation of the parasympathetic system, might well be of use in reducing symptoms of anxiety.”

That has always been the gist of my writing on this topic.

+1 for the whimsy of “nailing the toe-painting.”

Coming soon: More about the neurophysiology of deep breathing, especially whether or not longer exhalations are helpful, or indeed whether any kind of deep breathing actually has a meaningful effect on mental health. When I was preparing this item, I made the mistake of checking my assumption that slow, deep breathing is actually efficacious… and, well, you can guess what happened. “It’s complicated”! Please stay tuned for my report from the rabbit hole I fell into.

PainSci Member Login » Submit your email to unlock member content. If you can’t remember/access your registration email, please contact me. ~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher