Acupuncture Effectiveness For Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Studied
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect soldiers months or even several years following military combat, trauma, or abuse. While the majority of individuals who endure trauma are able to adjust back to life after a traumatic experience, there are some people who will continue to experience stress reactions that may worsen over time. Some of these individuals may eventually develop PTSD. Military researchers have recently conducted a study to determine if acupuncture could be an effective treatment option for individuals who have a diagnosis of PTSD, and their findings are interesting.
Symptoms Of PTSD In Veterans
While the symptoms of PTSD vary greatly, the more typical symptoms experienced by veterans include physical and emotional reactions to thoughts or flashbacks of trauma; emotions of anger or irritability; reckless behavior; trouble sleeping; withdrawing socially; suicidal thoughts; and inability to feel positive emotions. For some people, these symptoms can become so intense that they disrupt daily life, including work and family life.
Acupuncture Was Administered Along With Usual PTSD Care
Nearly half the patients in the study were given treatments lasting approximately 60 minutes each, twice each week for 4 weeks for a total of 8 treatments. The course of treatment used in the study was a brief, yet effective acupuncture treatment that would be easily implementable. The goal is to eventually have this same course of acupuncture treatment used in a clinical setting along with patients’ usual PTSD care. Simultaneously, these participants received their usual PTSD care which may have included approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy and medications like antidepressants and anticonvulsants. Another set of participants received only their usual PTSD care without acupuncture.
Results Are Promising
The researchers concluded that the individuals who received acupuncture along with their usual PTSD care showed a significantly greater improvement than did those who received their usual PTSD care alone. There were a wide-ranging number of benefits that they found to be associated with acupuncture. Improvements were noted by participants in depression and the severity of pain. The improvements were reported to have persisted during the 8 week post-acupuncture follow-up period where participants continued to be monitored.
Acupuncture Is Safe And Effective
This study is the one of the first to examine the effects of acupuncture as a treatment adjunct for PTSD. If these results are confirmed by future studies, it is a possibility that acupuncture could offer a unique aspect to the current course of PTSD treatment. At Marino Acupuncture Clinic, we work to blend western and eastern theories of medicine to provide our patients with a truly individualized treatment. Contact our Michigan acupuncture clinic at (248) 432-2846 to obtain more information about how acupuncture can work for you.