Tuesday, April 10, 2012

PTSD - An important issue to address

Happy Spring everyone! This month's blog takes us off topic a bit but it's an important issue to address.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.

PTSD symptoms can be extremely disruptive to daily life and can include depression, anger, persistent frightening thoughts and memories, sleep problems, and a feeling of numbness or detachment from life. Currently, the U.S. military is successfully treating PTSD with alternative therapies, such as acupuncture.

Although data is limited, early results demonstrate that acupuncture can reduce anxieties and cravings for alcohol and other substances. Acupuncture points are like the on and off ramps to the energy highway, and can help energy flow smoothly through one’s body to help alleviate the feelings of stress and anxieties that are predominate in PTSD patients. Additionally, acupuncture can alleviate not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but also the stress and anxiety itself.

Acupuncturists Without Borders (AWB), a group that provided relief to the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti and Katrina, the hurricane in New Orleans, launched The Military Stress Recovery Project. This organization provides free acupuncture treatments for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as their families. To learn more about AWB, go to http://www.acuwithoutborders.org/veteransprogram.php.

You can learn more about PTSD at http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd. If you think you or someone you know may have PTSD, make an appointment with a mental health professional to get a formal diagnosis.

If you know you are struggling with PTSD, I encourage you to seek out an acupuncturist/Chinese Medicine practitioner in your area. If you are a Veteran, let the practitioner know, many practices will gladly give you a reduced rate. Points of Wellness Acupuncture (www.pointsofwellness.net), located in Long Grove, IL, gives a 40% discount to Veterans for PTSD treatments.