Live Science news site interviewed SMU psychology department Assistant Professor Alicia E. Meuret for an article about her research findings that the hyperventilation that comes with panic attacks can be alleviated by breathing less — not more. The Dec. 26 article “To Stave Off Panic, Don’t Take a Deep Breath” tells readers that deep breathing reduces carbon dioxide in the system, which in turn causes symptoms like dizziness and numbness.
By Stephanie Pappas
A new treatment for the feeling of suffocation that accompanies a panic attack focuses on getting patients to breathe less.
The treatment, which involves a technique for altering your breathing, is more effective at alleviating both short-term panic disorder symptoms and hyperventilation than traditional psychological therapy, and it may make people less prone to panic attacks in the first place, said study leader Alicia Meuret of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
The treatment is called capnometry-assisted respiratory training, or CART.
“In a certain way, CART was superior because it was changing the psychological symptoms and the abnormal physiological state,” Meuret told LiveScience.