When most people hear the term post-traumatic stress disorder, or as it is more commonly known, PTSD, they associate it asa condition solely experienced by military personnel. But in reality,PTSD can be experienced by anyone who has been through severe trauma, whether it be physical or emotional.
PTSD can occur as a result of personal experience, but not limited to, acts of violence, an injury, illness or traumatic life-altering event.This can include anything from being in a car crash, military combat, natural disasters, to witnessing or being part of a traumatic event.In the United States alone, it is estimated around 24 million people are affected by PTSD. That means there are many people who need help coping with the disorder.
Luckily, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and acupuncture in specific, offer hope. Acupuncture has been proven to be a restorative and healing treatment for PTSD patients.
Symptoms of PTSD
Some symptoms of PTSD include insomnia, anxiety, irritability, flashbacks, as well as feelings of shame, despair and hopelessness.All of these can lead to problems at work and home. It can also lead to serious health problems like clinical depression and even alcohol and drug abuse.The effects of PTSD are far-reaching and can be a lifelong battle for those afflicted with it.
How Acupuncture Helps
Acupuncture treatments for PTSD focus mainly on specific auricular points on the body. Stimulating these points can alleviate and manage the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Various natural therapies have been used to treat PTSD, but according to a study published by the University of New Mexico acupuncture has been the most effective.1
Acupuncture Treatment vs. Other Treatments
Many PTSD sufferers do not want to talk about their trauma. This is because engaging in dialogue about the topic will unearth bad memories, debilitating flashbacks and even suicidal thoughts. Because of these potential side effects many are reluctant to seek counseling. This is where acupuncture can play a key role in helping these individuals. Acupuncturists take an in-depth medical history for each patient they treat, but the questioning does not need to become as personal as that required with other counseling. This makes it easier for PTSD sufferers to feel safe and somewhat more relaxed. Also, acupuncture has been shown to provide rapid benefits to patients through faster healing, whereas psychological counseling can take many years.
Auricular Acupuncture for PTSD
Auricular acupuncture has proven to be beneficial for those suffering from PTSD. There are a multitude of auricular acupuncture points specifically focused on different areas of the brain. For instance, there is a point located at the base of the ear, where the ear lobe attaches to the side of the head labeled the limbic point. This point specifically addresses emotional life, the formation of memories, amnesia and alcohol or drug dependency. By needling this point, the patient can get relief from one or all of the aforementioned symptoms. This is quite remarkable and it makes the treatments require fewer needles.
If you or somebody you know suffers from PTSD, please consider acupuncture as part or all of the treatment protocol.
1. Acupuncture for PTSD. https://www.pacificcollege.edu