Mental Health, Stress & PTSD
We have all experienced it. And for the most part we all live with stress on a daily basis. This stress can be a base line of impact of every day activities including the demands of work, the demands of relationships, the demands of modern complexity interspersed with moments that cause it to increase or decrease one's stress level.
Acupuncture has been shown to effectively reduce stress by tapping into the biological systems that keep stress under control. The acupuncture helps recalibrate, or normalize the stress hormone levels and calm the autonomic nervous system - the bodies flight or fight response. So instead the body being in a constant state of anxiety, the acupuncture dials down the heightened stress response and return it toward normal levels.
It is a great idea to incorporate acupuncture as a regular part of your life to help regulate your stress hormones and calm your nervous system allowing your body, your brain and your health to be at its optimum.
Time magazine article - needle this study hints at how acupuncture works to relieve stress
Mental well-being and stress - an article from health medicince institute.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a complex condition that affects at least 7 - 8% of the population, in particular those who work on the front lines of safety and wellbeing such as law enforcement, and the military.
The symptoms of PTSD are multi-layered ranging from poor sleep to emotional outburst, anxiety to hyper-vigilance and pain. One of the ways acupuncture affects PTSD is by improving sleep and sleep quality of the individuals and by helping the autonomic nervous system to down regulate and reset, so that the stress experienced by the body and the individual is reduced.
Studies have also shown that acupuncture directly affects areas of the brain: the the hippocampus and the amygdala. The hippocampus processes memory, and in executing this function, recruits the amygdala to create behaviours that allow the psyche to maintain a defensive distance from small or large traumas.
Chronic stress from PTSD can create a loss of volume of the hippocampus, reducing the amygdala’s ability to adapt and accommodate the need for behavioural adaptation. The result is that the autonomic nervous system is under constant arousal and intense emotions are linked to incompletely processed memories -- therefore the body is continual reacting to triggers the trauma.
Acupuncture treatments, done on a regular, weekly basis have resulted in better sleep, reduced panic attacks and anxiety, a reduction in hyper-vigilance and a reduction in pain and tension within the body.
Ear acupuncture in particular has been shown to be an extremely effective aspect of this treatment, using an protocol called NADA. Five points are used in the ear with a couple additional points. The individual rests in a quiet room and can remained clothed in the treatment if that is their preference.
Ear acupuncture is a non-verbal techinque that helps the body process the trauma and works excellently in conjunction with cognitive behaviour therapy or talk therapy.
It is in regular practice for members of the American Military and its Veterans. Please refer to the article, Acupuncture and PTSD, "Come for the Needles and Stay for the Therapy"