Acupuncture and PTSD

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat. A diagnosis of PTSD is becoming more common. After the recent events in Boston, many people may feel some of the symptoms that accompany PTSD including low energy, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, pain syndromes and an inability to function in daily and social life.
Community Acupuncture is well suited to reduce symptoms of PTSD. As you rest in your chair, your body has the opportunity to relax. Most people who receive acupuncture treatments note a reduction in stress. Your body leaves the “fight or flight” mode that it has become all too familiar with and reaches a deep state of relaxation. Your body has the chance to heal. Specific acupuncture points tailored to your specific presentation of symptoms further support your health and help you return faster to your “normal” life and “normal” self.
Along with other groups, the military has found the benefits of acupuncture in helping to reduce symptoms of PTSD. Military health care providers are using it at Camp Leatherneck in Southern Afghanistan to treat soldiers and they are seeing  remarkable results. The Concussion Restoration Care Center at Camp Leatherneck has treated more than 50 patients with acupuncture, and all of them have seen improvements in their sleep, anxiety, and frequency of headaches. Check out this video to see more about it.
Michael Hollifield, M.D., and colleagues conducted a clinical trial examining the effect of acupuncture on the symptoms of PTSD. The researchers analyzed depression, anxiety, and impairment in 73 people with a diagnosis of PTSD. The participants were assigned to receive either acupuncture or group cognitive-behavioral therapy over 12 weeks, or were assigned to a wait-list as part of the control group. The people in the control group were offered treatment or referral for treatment at the end of their participation. The researchers found that acupuncture provided treatment effects similar to group cognitive-behavioral therapy; both interventions were superior to the control group. Additionally, treatment effects of both the acupuncture and the group therapy were maintained for 3 months after the end of treatment.
If you think you might have PTSD, depression, or other mental health issues, you can take a free, anonymous screening and get more information.

Michael Hollifield, Nityamo Sinclair-Lian, Teddy D. Warner, and Richard Hammerschlag. Acupuncture for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial.. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 2007.

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