Panic Attacks and How to Help

Anxiety or Panic attacks can occur without warning and for no obvious reason. It is common among those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and flashbacks. In extreme cases, the symptoms may be accompanied by an acute fear of dying. Although these attacks are distressing and can last from 5 minutes to over an hour, panic attacks are not life-threatening on their own. The individual basically feels out of control of himself/herself. The mind is in false ‘fight or flight’ mode, forcing the body to take over to help the victim face or run from the perceived danger, real or not. The urge is to escape at all costs and the mind is so stuck in fear that the thinking process is on hold.

Types of Traumatic Events

These include:

  • Life-threatening accidents
  • Serious medical events
  • Unexpected death of loved one/seeing dead body
  • Arson or house fire
  • Domestic violence/physical abuse
  • Sexual assault/violence
  • Natural disaster
  • Torture/mass violence

Origins and Symptoms of Panic Attacks

The cortisol and adrenaline hormones are released from the adrenal glands into the blood stream and the process begins which forms the core of a panic attack. The mind cannot distinguish the difference between a real danger from the one that occurs in the mind. If you believe it, then it is real for you at that moment. Persons affected may act and feel as if their lives are in danger. At this point, they are fully engaged and reacting as if they got to run or defend themselves, and as if they must act if they are going to survive.

Watch for these symptoms:

  • If an affected person has never experienced a panic attack before, he/she will be panicking on two different levels. The first level  symptoms includes sweating, stuttering, heavy or rapid breathing, increased heart rate, nausea and dizziness.  At the second level, he/she does not know what is going on and the individual becomes delirious which in some cases it becomes life-threatening at times. If you can pinpoint that someone is going through a panic attack, this alleviates half the problem.
  • Specific symptoms include:
  • Palpitations or chest pain/acceleration of the heart rate (rapid heartbeat)
  • Hyperventilation (over-breathing). This is different from Asthma where one can inhale, but exhaling is restricted
  • Trembling/dizziness/light-headedness/feeling faint (this is usually from hyperventilating)
  • Tingling/numbness in fingers or toes/ringing in the ears or temporary hearing loss
  • Perspiration and nausea/abdominal cramps/hot flashes or chills
  • Dry mouth/difficulty in swallowing
  • Depersonalisation (disconnected feeling)/headache. If this is the first time the individual has experienced this, seek emergency medical attention. When in doubt, it is always best to seek immediate medical attention. This is even more important if the individual has diabetes, asthma, or other medical problems.
  • The signs and symptoms of a panic attack can be similar to those of a heart attack. Do keep this in mind when assessing the situation (
  • During a panic attack, the best thing you can do for an affected individual is to be fully present with the person going through it. Be reassuring. Do not argue or tell them that they are overreacting. This is not the time for that, as it only aggravates the situation. It can be condescending and judgmental and it does not help the individual in need of basic support. Allow them to talk, or not talk at all, let them cry and shake, help them to ‘ground’ and find their peace. Tell them that they are safe and okay. Give them a jacket or blanket, keep them warm and quiet. Providing that simple form of containment helps when they feel scattered and overwhelmed.
  • Once they calm down, give them a hug if they are comfortable with it. Do not touch a person who is having a panic attack without asking and obtaining definitive permission to do so. In some cases, touching the person without asking can increase the panic and make the situation worse.
  • When situation is calmer, that is the time to work with them, to provide a few helpful tools they can use when things are difficult, if you have the training. Never judge or make derogatory statements, which are not helpful or supportive. Encourage the person to breathe. Breathing is especially difficult during a panic attack and someone experiencing it could forget to breathe properly. Tell them to take a deep breath (in) for four seconds, then breath out for four seconds, and repeat three times. Breathing helps, when done correctly.
  • The key is to help affected individuals focus on being present, reassuring them that they are safe and not alone.
  • For individuals with persistent episodes of panic attacks, it may be helpful to seek medical attention at the soonest possible time.

How Chiropractic Can Help

For individuals suffering from panic attacks, chiropractic care can help balance the nervous system which is the master system of the body of an individual and alleviate or eliminate the symptoms of panic attack. Get adjusted regularly because an aligned body is more balanced which might perhaps reduce the occurrence of panic attacks in the long run.


Your Trusted Chiropractor

Dr. Nicholas Lim, D.C., ANutr, B.Sc. (Hons)

[Dr. of Chiropractic & Nutritionist &

Treasurer of Chiropractic Association of Singapore]

WhatsApp :+65 9352 8828

Telephone : +65 6970 8152

Email :

Dehydration Is Not a Simple Matter

Whether you are outside working in the heat, or sitting in a warm dry house, becoming dehydrated in Singapore is not something you are aware of until you get thirsty. At that point, you would have already lost the necessary fluids that your body needs to be in balance.

Those who exercise a lot are generally aware of the need to drink a lot of water. It is, however, important to note that you need to do more than just replacing water. You need to replace potassium and electrolytes. These are crucial minerals for your muscles to perform well, including your heart! Also, keep in mind that you could be ‘more dehydrated’ with certain liquids, such as alcohol and spirits. They may also cause constipation.

Symptoms and Adverse Impact of Dehydration

If you experience nausea, suffer from restless leg syndrome, muscle cramps or spasms, or even irregular heartbeats, these could be symptoms of dehydration. It is also common that you could have experienced a fever or bouts of diarrhoea when dehydration occurs.


In Chiropractic, the muscles around your spine, as well as neck, shoulders and various joints, require hydration to perform optimally. Any dehydration and severe dehydration could cause severe muscle tightness and inflammation. If you come for an adjustment when you are dehydrated, you would usually feel worse before you feel better. This is because the joints are already tight to begin with due to the dehydration. Then, the priority is to ‘be hydrated’ first before the adjustment.


While many of you could have heard of Gatorade as a rehydrating drink, you really do not need all the artificial ingredients and chemicals in your body. There are brands, which are far healthier. You can also buy rehydrating packets available in health food stores to add to bottled water. Otherwise, you can just make your own!

Super-Hydrating Electrolyte Formula

Servings: 4 cups

Cook Time: 5 minutes


1 litre filtered water (see our preferred filter options below)

1/4 teaspoon iodised table salt (sodium chloride)

3/4 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)

1/4 teaspoon potassium chloride (Morton’s Lite salt)

Potassium is a mineral that is found in many foods and is needed for several functions of your body, especially the functioning of your heart.

(CAUTION: You should not use potassium chloride if you have high levels of potassium in your blood (hyperkalaemia), or if you also take a ‘potassium-sparing’ diuretic.)


  1. Combine all ingredients and stir until dissolved.
  2. Drink 1 litre daily maximum, unless otherwise directed.
  3. If you desire flavour, squeeze in lemon, lime or orange. You can puree a few berries or mint leaves (with seltzer for part of the 1 litre amount, as desired.) If you prefer some sweetness, a small amount of honey, maple syrup or stevia are options. If you are diabetic, then use natural sweet herbs like stevia.


A Simple Step to Hydrated Health

Water is essential for life. Our bodies are 70% water in composition. If we are dehydrated, it may cause serious issues like heat stroke in hot Singapore. If you suffer a lot of aches and pains, you might want to increase your fluid intake by two cups (usual seven cups) a day. Who knows, your aches and pains can improve before you see the chiropractor for adjustment which would increase the efficacy of your visits to the office.


Your Trusted Chiropractor


Dr. Nicholas Lim, D.C., ANutr, B.Sc. (Hons)

[Dr. of Chiropractic & Nutritionist &

Secretary of Chiropractic Association of Singapore]

WhatsApp :+65 9352 8828

Telephone : +65 6970 8152

Email :