Acupuncture and PTSD
PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a physiological disorder that can result from being exposed to a traumatic event. The disorder results in several different symptoms including anxiety, irritability, insomnia and flashbacks. The effects of post-traumatic stress disorder in someone’s life can be far reaching. Feelings of hopelessness, shame and despair, problems at work or with relationships, serious health problems, depression, anxiety and drug or alcohol abuse are not uncommon. Getting help can be hard at first, but can have a great impact for helping PTSD.
My grandfather was an alcoholic and died of it, and I am sure his alcoholism stemmed from PTSD related to WWII. It had far reaching effects in my family, making PTSD an issue close to my heart that I feel lucky to treat in my office.
A recent study into the efficacy of acupuncture as an adjunctive treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has shown promising results. Researchers investigated the effects of acupuncture in adjunct to normal treatment approaches and the results showed significant improvement. Studies in the past have shown that veterans with PTSD are wary of seeking treatment for PTSD as many do not believe that mental healthcare can be effective. Researchers hope that with the increased efficacy of the adjunctive acupuncture treatment, veterans will be less reticent towards seeking treatment for PTSD.
The acupuncture treatment also saw secondary benefits for those treated as many reported a decrease in depression and pain as well as a general improvement in mental and physical well-being. PTSD can be debilitating and even more so with little or no treatment.
The Military Stress Recovery Project (MSRP) is a unique program that provides free community acupuncture to veterans and active duty soldiers with PTSD and their family members.
Treatment in a MSRP clinic is unique for several reasons. Patients are treated in a group setting, sitting in comfortable chairs. There is an environment of calm and support. The patients are treated using the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol, a series of 5 needles placed in one ear. The program is designed to address all the needs of people with PTSD.
The MSRP clinics have been very successful. Patients report stress reduction, improved mental clarity, improved energy, enhanced performance, better sleep, fewer bad dreams and headaches, less anxiety and depression, reduced anger and pain, improved general health and better relationships.
Those suffering from PTSD should consult a doctor about treatment and discuss the option of acupuncture as well because it has been proven to help. If you're interested in trying acupuncture for PTSD issues please don't hesitate to contact me or book an appointment online anytime.
Yours in Health,
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.