Acupuncture and Naturopathic Medicine for PTSDAs humans remain struggling through trying experiences the brain continues to reveal clues on how it is effected by such incidents. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has recently been associated with many war veterans returning from battle. However, it can afflict anyone at any time who has undergone a traumatic mental, physical or emotional experience. Whether it is watching people die on a battlefield, sexual abuse, divorce, bullying or many other scenarios the chronic effects of PTSD can be paralyzing.

According to Dr. Larry Malerba in an article written for the Huffington Post, PTSD is “…severe trauma [that] can be likened to a stubborn energetic vortex that refuses to release the suffering individual from its pull…[it] can easily throw the bioenergetic life force into disarray.”

Those most at risk for developing PTSD include:

High risk graphic occupations such as law enforcement, firefighting or military service; traumatic event survivors resulting from such experiences as car accidents, plane crashes, natural disasters or terrorist attacks; those who have experienced one time or repeated physical or mental abuse; drug addicts; women, who are twice as likely to show signs of PTSD according to The University of Maryland Medical Center.

Symptoms of PTSD can vary between subtle and extreme presentations. They include, but are not limited to chronic manifestations of:

  • Repetitive nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Hopelessness
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Detachment
  • Anger
  • Guilt

Conventional medicine approaches PTSD through a variety of avenues which often include pharmaceutical prescriptions that accompany talk therapy. These prescriptions may include antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac. There are also benzodiazepines for anxiety like Ativan and Xanax as well as dopamine-blockers called neuroleptics. All of these medications have the potential to not only result in a wide variety of side effects that include drowsiness, “robot-like” behavior, low libido, constipation and nausea but many can become a life long crutch tamping down the root of the problem rather than clearing the body of such a cause.

Traditional medicine looks deep into the psyche of PTSD through clinical hypnosis as well as props up many aspects of the body’s system with botanical, nutraceutical and clinical nutrition protocols. In addition, acupuncture, homeopathy and a thorough detoxification program offer healing capabilities that go beyond a surface, symptomatic-only attempt. Below are a few examples of how some of these remedies may help while working side-by-side with a capable naturopathic doctor.

Acupuncture: Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials for Treatment of PTSD

A handful of studies have been performed to determine the actual effects, if any, resulting from acupuncture treatments on individuals suffering with various levels of PTSD. One study by Dr. Hollifield of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (Vol 195, Number 6, June 2007) used a prescreened mix of participants who experienced either childhood or adult trauma and had been diagnosed with PTSD. It was quoted in the research discussion that, “…the data provide initial evidence that an acupuncture treatment approach may be effective and acceptable for treating PTSD.”

China’s Department of Rehabilitation, Chengdu Military General Hospital conducted the program entitled ‘Clinical Studies on Treatment of Earthquake-Caused Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Using Electroacupuncture’. This was the perfect opportunity to study persons affected by China’s barrage of earthquakes resulting in many survivors developing PTSD. The targeted acupuncture points included: Governing vessel (GV) 20 and 24; Gall bladder (GB) 20. The conclusion of this investigation stated that, “The present study suggested that both electro-acupuncture and medication therapy may improve the symptoms of PTSD patients; the former is better than the latter in efficacy.”

War Veteran Case Study Using Homeopathy for PTSD

A case study reported in The Huffington Post cited the effects of homeopathy on ‘Jack’, a Vietnam veteran struggling with PTSD for 14 years. At the time he visited a homeopath (Dr. Larry Malerba, mentioned above) he was being treated with five powerful pharmaceuticals. “Trazadone for depression, Xanax and Restoril for sleep and anxiety, and Oxycodone and a Fentanyl patch for pain.” His history seemed near hopeless with reports of trying to run people over with his car, stabbing a man during a “flashback”, suicidal thoughts, alcohol abuse, nightmares and family upheaval. He was treated with a step-by-step protocol of homeopathic remedies to slowly peel away his deep seated vibrational imbalance however it was belladonna, the final remedy, that seemed to catapult him into rapid healing. Dr. Malerba comments, “Belladonna had been particularly helpful in his case. It was indicated, among other reasons, because it matched the attacks of rage and the intense throbbing, pulsating pains he felt in his knees.”

Naturopathic Medicine Continues to Target PTSD

Many leaps and bounds have resulted when using naturopathic medicine for treatment of PTSD. Some other approaches include:

  • Clinical hypnosis which decreases intrusive thoughts making the individual feel safer. This safe feeling resonates over time shedding the deep fears associated with many PTSD causes.
  • Relaxation techniques using biofeedback.
  • Diet adjustments including the elimination or drastic reduction of stimulants such as coffee as well as system draining alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs.
  • Nutraceutical supplementation that determines a specific, individual protocol of possible lacking nutrients especially Omega-3 fatty acids, Co-enzyme Q10, L-theanine, and melatonin.
  • Botanical medicine such as kava kava for calming, caffeine-free green tea extract for antioxidant and immune system support and holy basil for anxiety.

Acupuncture and naturopathic medicine for PTSD may be a very possible path to greater health. Always use a professional naturopathic doctor adequately trained in all of the above mentioned modalities. Potential contraindications should be discussed before any alternative treatment. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health.  To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of In-Network Insurance Companies for Acupuncture that we participate with as well as insurance companies that commonly have Out-of-Network benefits. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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