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Afraid of Flying?

Statistically, you’re probably one of the lucky ~90% who don’t suffer any anxiety getting on an airplane (aerophobia). That’s perfectly rational, the risk of death from flying is orders of magnitude lower than from driving a car.

A person would have to fly on average once a day every day for 22,000 years before they would die in a U.S. commercial airplane accident according to recent accident rates.

- Dr. Arnold Barnett, MIT

Woman in distress

Loss of Income and Wellbeing

But what if you, a loved one, or colleague is not so fortunate? Flying or even the thought of getting on a plane can trigger mild stress to a full blown panic attack in the moment. Worse, for weeks prior to departure the (irrational) fear can lower productivity, resilience, can negatively impact personal relationships, or lose critical opportunities for you and your company. You may have also even experienced a sudden, “change of plans,” because your colleague couldn’t get to the meeting. How much better would you have been if you had your “A-Team” with you?

Pharmacology Option

When taken prior to the flight Benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), clonazepam (Klonopin), and diazepam (Valium) are common options to reduce anxiety of flying. These medications decrease the person’s reflective function. At best, for some people, the drugs completely mask the symptoms of anxiety. Perhaps you’ve been on a flight with a loved one or colleague where that hasn’t been successful and they’ve suffered all the physiological symptoms anyway, suffering with sweating, hyperventilation, dizziness anyway…

A famous Stanford University study found that taking alprazolam (Xanax) increased the risk of having a panic attack by over 70% for a second flight! Furthermore, Benzodiazepines can actually make people more sensitive to flying if they haven’t received the correct dosage, and when working as intended they block the process of desensitization that would otherwise naturally take place. They significantly reduce the possibility of becoming acclimatized.

Finally there are the potential side effects: alprazolam (Xanax): drowsiness, tiredness, memory problems, trouble concentrating, nausea, upset stomach, headache and irritability etc. Some of the side effects for lorazepam (Ativan) include: confusion, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide, hyperactivity, agitation, hostility, hallucinations, drowsiness, dizziness and tiredness etc. Side effects for clonazepam (Klonopin), and diazepam (Valium) are similarly unpleasant.

Change of Setting/Accommodate Option

Another option is to simply accommodate and avoid air travel altogether, perhaps that’s viable with European business travel, but increasingly with UK businesses looking to Asia, MEA, and the US that’s simply not possible. As technology improves, virtual meetings are an option at the more transactional end of business, however, as opportunity value and seniority increases so does the likelihood that meeting face-to-face is essential.

Perhaps it’s feasible to travel first class to reduce the claustrophobia and physical stresses of economy/business, however, this is very costly; at the time of writing the cheapest BA first class roundtrip LHR-JFK is in excess of £6600. Yet again, this does not resolve the root of the problem, it simply papers over the cracks.

Complementary Care Option

What about attacking the root cause of the fear of flying altogether? Surely that’s appealing alternative to imperfect drugs which may not be effective or may result in side effects, accommodating with expensive first class travel or losing out on great business or holiday opportunities?

Subconscious mind coaching is a way to get rid of the fear of flying- it can be so effective that the individual simply lets go of the subconscious triggers for the anxiety which have been prompting their fears and can just have a “normal” plane ride. The basic principle is that the practitioner works with the individual human being to identify and understand the source(s) of their subconscious triggers, and then “move” and release them.

Successful care can result in a complete change and no further need for stress, medication or expensive accommodation. The most challenging part of this is selecting an experienced practitioner who is right for that individual.

Subconscious Mind Coaching at Irrefutable Health

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