Acupuncture and PTSD; Treatment Options

Galen December Blog 1

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate energy flow, balance, and promote healing. While the use of acupuncture in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an area of ongoing research and not universally accepted, some individuals have reported benefits from incorporating acupuncture into their PTSD treatment plans. It’s essential to approach acupuncture as part of a broader treatment plan and to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before incorporating it into your PTSD management strategy.

Medical acupuncture respects our understanding of neuromuscular anatomy and pain physiology while embracing the classical Chinese perception of a subtle circulation network of a vivifying force called Qi, or Life Energy.   Therapeutic insertion of solid needles in various combinations and patterns is the foundation of medical acupuncture. The needle patterns are based on traditional principles such as encouraging the flow of qi, through classically described acupuncture channels, modern concepts such as recruiting neuroanatomical activities in segmental distributions, or a combination of these two principles. Some ways in which acupuncture may be thought to help with PTSD include:

  • Stress Reduction: Acupuncture has been associated with the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. This can help reduce stress and induce a sense of relaxation, which may be beneficial for individuals with PTSD.
  • Regulation of the Nervous System: Some studies suggest that acupuncture may influence the autonomic nervous system, helping to regulate the body’s stress response. This regulation may contribute to a reduction in hyperarousal and anxiety associated with PTSD.
  • Improvement in Sleep: Many individuals with PTSD experience sleep disturbances. Acupuncture has been proposed as a potential treatment for improving sleep quality and reducing insomnia, which are common symptoms of PTSD.
  • Emotional Well-Being: Acupuncture is often considered a holistic approach that aims to balance the body and mind. Some people report improvements in mood, emotional well-being, and a sense of calm after acupuncture sessions.

Dr. April L. Harris at Galen Acupuncture and Osteopathic Medicine is a graduate of The Helms Medical Institute where she received her training in medical acupuncture.  She is board-certified in Family Practice and Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment with Added Qualifications in Geriatric Medicine, and she has extensive clinical experience in treating patients in the primary care, hospital, and critical care settings.  Additionally, she is trained in Neuro-Acupuncture and Constitutional Facial Acupuncture.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Harris, please call her at (785) 393-1108 or contact her here!

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