Physiological Background

The amygdala is an almond-shaped neural structure in the anterior part of the temporal lobe of the brain. The main function of the amygdala is to control autonomic responses associated with fear, arousal, emotional responses and hormonal secretions. The amygdala has long been linked with a person's mental and emotional state and is associated with a range of conditions including anxiety and depression. Numerous research projects now suggest that the amygdala needs to be regulated in order to effectively deal with anxiety. It is connected to the workings of the unconscious mind which triggers a reaction when it senses a familiar situation that could potentially be dangerous. This mechanism is very useful for avoiding real danger but can be problematic if it over reacts.

Acute anxiety disorder manifests as a panic response whereby the body's well documented 'fight or flight' reaction occurs inappropriately. This may involve hyperactive adrenal function, blood sugar imbalance and other issues.

Panic attacks can be associated with shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pains, dizziness, sweating, temperature change, altered perception and a variety of physical sensations. Symptoms such as aches and pains, insomnia, depression, decreased libido, digestive complaints, chronic fatigue and menstrual problems can also be related.

Lack of self esteem, negative thinking, nutritional deficiencies and sensitivities, musculo-skeletal imbalance and poor breathing can all trigger anxiety.


Anxiety can arise for different reasons and it is clear from many studies that this condition may have physical as well as psychological triggers. Therefore it is important to consider a range of possible approaches including physical therapy, psychological techniques and acupuncture.