Scottsdale Acupuncture


Treating PTSD – Part 1

Posted Friday, June 13th, 2014 by

acupuncture for PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that a portion of the population is challenged with on a regular basis. A considerable percentage of that group is composed of veterans, yet there are many civilians who have suffered traumatic experiences that cause them to suffer from PTSD. Recent studies have shown that alternative medicine, including acupuncture and Chinese herbs, are effective treatment modalities to help alleviate the symptoms of this disorder. Due to the rising number of people who are living with PTSD we wanted to share information in regards to what it is, how it can be treated and the effectiveness of using acupuncture and Chinese herbs to alleviate the symptoms of this disorder.

What is PTSD?

The National Center for Complimentary and Alternative medicine defines post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical (or emotional) harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat. [Link]

Having exposure to any traumatic event can have lasting effects that can alter a person’s life. This can occur during any time to anyone; there is no way to fully avoid these situations. Whether as a child, adult or senior citizen, the entire population can be subject to trauma that can cause PTSD. Veterans are one group that is disproportionately affected by PTSD, due to the nature of their profession. Having experienced combat, being exposed to human suffering or enduring long and arduous deployments, their experiences can cause them to suffer from PTSD.

What are symptoms of PTSD?

Since we now have a definition for what PTSD is, it’s important to understand some of the symptoms that can afflict an individual with PTSD.

The symptoms of PTSD can potentially arise soon after the event that caused the disorder, but some individuals won’t show signs until months, possibly years, later. These effects can be present for long durations of time or they can come and go, remaining dormant for durations of time.

There are four main types of PTSD symptoms, they are: reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind you of the event, feeling numb and feeling keyed up. [Link]

The first symptom of PTSD occurs when an individual relives an event and experiences the same traumatic feelings they did during the original situation that caused the disorder. This can happen over and over again and is also known as a flashback. A trigger (a person, place, memory, sound, smell, etc.) can take place that will cause the individual to relive the event.

The second symptom of PTSD is avoiding situations that are reminiscent of the original event. Avoidance of anything that can remotely be associated with the source of the trauma can be a sign that an individual is suffering from this disorder. An example would be when a person who has been the victim of a robbery during a bank heist avoids going into a bank or depositing any money into a bank account out of fear that their money will be taken.

The third symptom of PTSD is feeling numb, having a difficult time with properly expressing feelings. This sense of numbness can be pervasive and create a disassociation with the people, places and memories. A person experiencing this type of symptom will often times lack any interest in partaking in activities, interests or hobbies that once were a source of passion and joy.

The fourth symptom of PTSD is feeling keyed up, which can lead to a host of other extreme emotions including anger and frustration. Individuals who experience this symptom will be on alert, looking around for some perceived danger/threat. Unexpected sounds, as well as surprises, can easily startle an individual who suffers with PTSD.

If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing any of these symptoms it is very important to seek help as soon as possible from a licensed professional. The practitioners at Above & Beyond Acupuncture can provide relief to those suffering with PTSD; make an appointment today to get some help.