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  • Writer's pictureSharon Waltho

How can Acupuncture support PTSD?

Updated: Mar 14

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can develop after someone has witnessed or experienced a life event that they have found shocking, distressing, or disturbing. And what this might be will vary for each person, for example, it could be witnessing the effects of war for someone in the armed services, a pedestrian witnessing a car accident, or finding out distressing news about your health or a loved one. It doesn’t matter what the cause is, it is how the mind reacts to the event.

It can affect anyone from the young to the elderly irrespective of their career or where they are in life, and symptoms can start immediately, sometime after the event or be triggered by something completely unrelated.

Symptoms and their severity can vary greatly, but generally impact on everyday life and relationships. They include;

  • feeling numb and empty

  • feeling isolated

  • suicidal feelings

  • self-harming

  • self-destructive tendencies

  • problems at work

  • problems in relationships

  • avoiding people and places

  • anxiety and/or panic attacks

  • mood swings or depression

  • being easily moved to tears

  • frequent withdrawal

  • nightmares and/or flashbacks

  • insomnia

  • anger and aggression

  • feeling distrustful and suspicious

  • blaming others

  • misusing drugs, alcohol and/or food

  • gambling

  • seeking out high-risk, dangerous pursuits

There is no limit to how long these feelings will last, and they will often disappear in a relatively short space of time. However, for those people whose symptoms continue, get worse or are easily triggered, a diagnosis of PTSD may be given. But whether or not you have a diagnosis or not, if you are experiencing these symptoms, you should reach out for help and support.

The conventional treatments recommended for PTSD are medications, talking therapies or both. It is important to remember that it may take several types of treatment before improvements are seen.

Acupuncture has been found to be very successful in helping to facilitate improvements to both the physical and emotional symptoms of PTSD. As acupuncturists, we treat the whole person rather than the name of the disease. This means that relief can be experienced for many physical and emotional difficulties. Although we collate information including the symptoms you have, there is no need for you to talk in any detail about what you have seen or experienced for the acupuncture to be effective.

More information on how acupuncture can help based on research can be found via The British Acupuncture Council website under the evidence section.

So, if you are experiencing the above symptoms, or want to help someone whose life is affected, please get in touch.


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