Acupuncture is a safe, holistic therapy for the management of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It's a natural treatment that alleviates stress and anxiety, depression, insomnia and other common PTSD symptoms. Many sufferers of PTSD may opt for treatment like cognitive behavior therapy, pharmaceutical prescriptions or stress-reduction techniques. However, increasingly veterans are opting to augment traditional medical health treatments with alternative and holistic therapies like massage, yoga and acupuncture.
What is PTSD?
Classified as an anxiety disorder, PTSD is a complex mental health condition. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs describes the disorder this way:
"PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault.It's normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after this type of event. ...If it's been longer than a few months and you're still having symptoms, you may have PTSD. For some people, PTSD symptoms may start later on, or they may come and go over time."
Complex PTSD — also called a "disorder of extreme stress" — results from exposure to traumatic circumstances, in combat or otherwise. People whose line of work exposes them to traumatic events or who treat trauma survivors may be at risk for secondary PTSD, also called compassion fatigue. These occupations include emergency medicine specialists, police officers, firefighters, search-and rescue personnel and disaster investigators.
The symptoms of PTSD
Acupuncture offers relief from the numerous symptoms of PTSD. Symptoms may include any combination of the following:
- Intrusive memories and flashbacks
- Hyperarousal, or being easily startled
- Insomnia or other sleep problems
- Emotional numbing
- Avoidance of trauma-related stimuli
Not only does it offer relief from specific symptoms, but improves overall health and wellness, and boost natural immunity.
Natural treatment for PTSD
Acupuncture can restore and maintain health by stimulating specific acupressure points — also called acupoints — on the body. Auricular (ear) acupuncture can aid in balancing the nervous system and also induce relaxation. Acupuncture addresses ailments related to PTSD such as mood changes, hypervigilance and mental fogginess. Acupuncture can also treat PTSD-related anxiety, panic and sleep disorders.
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