Alternative Medicine Making Progress with PTSD
According to the National Center for PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder is a “mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident or sexual assault.” Those who suffer from PTSD often have trouble sleeping, can feel on edge and experience reoccurring dreams and memories of an upsetting nature. It is normal to experience such symptoms immediately after the triggering event. However, if it persists longer or interferes with everyday life, treatment for PTSD should be sought as soon as possible.
Veterans may not be the only one’s subject to this disorder, but they are typically the first group anyone thinks of when the topic is raised. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that 23% of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq are affected PTSD. The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has certainly invested time and money in conventional treatments such as prolonged exposure therapy and cognitive processing therapy. However, the success rate is low, and the dropout rate is high. Meanwhile, alternative interventions are producing favorable results.
Mindfulness –based stress reduction is one of several complementary, or alternative forms of medicine that have proven to benefit veterans with PTSD. Mindfulness, like acupuncture, is another method borrowed from Asian culture. It teaches individuals to attend to the present moment in a nonjudgmental, accepting manner. By practicing acceptance rather than avoidance, veterans can minimize and cope with the symptoms of PTSD.
Here at NJ Natural Family Health, of course, we specialize in acupuncture and herbal medicine. Under PTSD Treatment Options, Military.com includes a section titled Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Acupuncture is the first approach mentioned. While it has shown promising results in limited trials, the results still need to be replicated in larger studies. In our office at NJ Natural Family Health, we are experienced in treating PTSD with acupuncture as well as the herbal formulas we prescribe.
On December 12, 2017, the Minneapolis VA Medical Center showed a major endorsement of these alternative or complementary therapies by opening its new Integrative Center for Health & Healing. It is located in three rooms, two for therapy and one for administration. Its services include Yoga, Tai chi, mindfulness, acupuncture and the use of essential oils. Patients must be referred by their primary care giver. Every day, it is becoming apparent that the use of integrative therapies in the treatment of a variety of health concerns, including PTSD, is not only becoming more accepted, but encouraged.
New Jersey Natural Family Health offers unique natural healthcare strategies that will address both recent health issues and chronic disease. Dr. Shannon DiCarlo RN LAc DAOM utilizes her nursing background with her extensive experience in Chinese Medicine to develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Through acupuncture, Chinese Medicine therapies, and an on-site herbal dispensary, Dr.DiCarlo can restore true health to the body, mind, and spirit. Please call (973) 650-8053 or visit in-person at 366 Passaic Ave, Nutley or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.