As I said in an earlier post, I’m trying to be more vocal about my experiences with C-PTSD. Here’s a trick that I picked up — I can’t remember where though I suspect it was from my therapist, Vivian. It’s called the Butterfly Hug and I’ve seen it shut down panic attacks in myself and others faster than a tranquilizer.
My understanding of why it works is that the cross-hemispheric brain activity interrupts the panic signal much like in EMDR. It works faster if the arms are crossed but if you’re in a meeting or out with people and don’t want to start tapping your shoulders in front of everyone, I found that alternatively tapping my thighs under the table has a similar effect. I’ve also found that playing the guitar and singing has a similar effect. Hard to go into fight or flight when the brain is busy doing such complex activities.
I can tell this is working usually by a sense of tingling and calm at the base of my skull that happens within a minute or so. YMMV. Share it with you friends who experience high anxiety or have PTSD.