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Panic attacks and sleep problems


  • Treatment of panic attacks and sleep problems with acupuncture and herbal medicine

  • After two weeks of treatment visible improvement in sleep quality

  • After five treatments the patient could sleep normally and panic attacks have ceased.

2017.2.11.  A Chinese couple came to the clinic today. Though the wife works in another TCM clinic as an assistant, she brought her husband here because a friend told her that I not only specialize in acupuncture but also in Chinese herbal medicine.

So, what was the husband’s issue?

Two years ago, his boss said something that left him completely panic-stricken, and ever since that moment he has been unable to sleep normally. He always wakes up after falling asleep for one or two minutes. He is nervous when watching TV, and is easily shocked when he hears a sudden sound. He grinds his teeth day and night, and says that his heart is often pounding, sometimes with a sharp, stinging pain in his heart.

Very strange case, isn’t it?

After he described his problem, I began to check his body. By checking his pulse, I determined that he has a deficiency of “heart blood”. According to TCM theory, the heart stores what we call “spirit”, so if someone has a deficiency of heart blood, he or she could have panic and sleep problems.  I also found that he has digestive problems. From the TCM point of view, if someone has digestive problems, he or she will also likely develop sleep issues.

While the diagnosis of his underlying problem was at first challenging, once I found the root problem, determining the appropriate treatment was simple. I gave him acupuncture and a 10-day course of Chinese herbal medicine.

In our conversation, he told me he feels driven to desperation by his condition. I told him not to worry, and that I would do my best to help him.

2017.2.25.  After two weeks, he was happy to tell me that his sleep was already much better, and he can now sleep undisturbed for a period of time. Also, his heart doesn’t pound as hard as before. Continue treatment.

2017.3.31. His sleep and panic attacks are much better, and his heart is nearly normal. Also, he no longer clenches and grinds his teeth. Continue treatment.

2017.4.19. same as 2017.3.31.

2017.4.24.  By now he can sleep normally, and his panic attacks have ceased. As his underlying condition had largely been corrected, and since he needed to go back to China, we stopped the treatment at this point.