Working Through Post-traumatic Stress Disorder With Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been proven effective in treating a wide variety of ailments and recent studies have shown that post-traumatic stress disorder has now joined the long list of illnesses that acupuncture can actually treat.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese healing art that involves the stimulation of the acupuncture points located in the meridian pathways where the body’s vital energy flows. These acupuncture points are associated with the vital organ systems of the body.

Earlier reports from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) stated that acupuncture shows efficiency in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, which was then echoed by the results of a randomized controlled study conducted by a team at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Kentucky.

The University of Louisville School of Medicine team, headed by Dr. Michael Hollifield concluded that acupuncture treatments actually displayed the same results as that of a cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that is common in an environment that poses physical threats to the well being such as that in tragedies, disasters, war zones, violent assaults, and military combat, among others.

In fact, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington now requires acupuncture treatments for soldiers with mental and physical trauma. The US Air Force operates the sole acupuncture clinic in the military at the Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland where 44 Air Force, Army doctors and Navy are undergoing acupuncture trainings for emergency care in war zone hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But how exactly can acupuncture deliver beneficial results in treating post-traumatic stress disorder?

To combat post-traumatic stress disorder, acupuncture rejuvenates the acupuncture points that are associated with the brain where the emotional memories of the patient are stored thereby aiding the patient to naturally heal from the trauma.

Acupuncture has been proven as a gentle treatment that stimulates the emotions of the patient and works through the trauma without causing panic or unpleasant flashbacks on the patient. The ear acupuncture, otherwise known as auricular acupuncture is the commonly used form of acupuncture in treating post-traumatic stress disorder as it helps balance the Qi and helps the mind relax.

Studies have clearly shown that post-traumatic stress disorder acupuncture treatment is more effective when complemented with other treatment such as talk therapy, meditation, yoga, journal writing, and art therapy among others.

The acupuncture treatment helps the patient to start processing the trauma in a more relaxed and balanced state, while the other treatments will serve as support system that will provide the patient an outlet for working through the trauma and be free from the disorder for the rest of their lives.