PTSD and Acupuncture

The Veterans Administration reports that as many as 11-20% of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a physiological disorder that can result from being exposed to a traumatic event. The disorder results in several different symptoms:

  • Re-experiencing.  Some PTSD sufferers relive the traumatic event over and over. This can be in the form of bad memories, nightmares and flashbacks. Sights, sounds and smells can trigger re-experiencing the event.
  • Avoidance. Sometimes people with PTSD avoid the people, places and events that remind them of what happened.
  • Numbing.  Symptoms of numbing include trouble expressing emotions, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, and the loss of memory of parts of the traumatic event.
  • Arousal. Anger, irritability, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, feeling on guard and being easily startled or surprised are common arousal symptoms.

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.

Recently, acupuncture - and specifically auricular acupuncture - has been shown to be very successful in addressing the symptoms of PTSD. Patients are treated using the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol, a series of 5 needles placed in one ear that address the needs of people with PTSD. These highly effective 30-minute treatments soothe and reset the nervous system to help those suffering with PTSD cope. Plus, at our rate of only $20 per session, they are hopefully affordable to most people. 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.

June 27th, marks PTSD Awareness Day, and if you or a loved one struggles with this difficult condition, I urge you to give acupuncture a try. Give me a call if you have questions, and if you'd like to get on the schedule.