Acupuncture for Veterans: PTSD, Depression, Insomnia

Acupuncture for Veterans: PTSD, Depression, Insomnia

The most common health complaints of veterans include PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), depression, and trouble sleeping. Many also experience pain. Acupuncturists are well-positioned to help in these areas because they utilize Chinese medicine diagnostic and multifaceted treatment techniques that recognize the body-mind connection. Acupuncturists are well-trained healthcare professionals who use acupuncture techniques, including needle acupuncture, massage, and lifestyle counseling, to make lasting change for veterans and others seeking their care.

Lifestyle counseling is an essential component of care in the acupuncturist’s office. Relying on Five Element Theory, Chinese Medicine diagnostic techniques give acupuncturists unique, time-tested analytic tools. These methods help the multidimensional issues veterans present. Acupuncturists are great listeners and strive to understand each patient’s history as a means to understand areas of the client’s life that might benefit change. They use the theory of element and channel or meridian balance to do this.

For instance, with PTSD, the essential water channel may be challenged. Each element relates to specific life issues. The water channel refers to fear, the nervous system, and stress. Depending on its unique presentation, PTSD does not always reflect water channel imbalance, but the treatment of the water channel will benefit the individual. An acupuncturist may treat back pain with cupping massage and trigger point (aka dry needling) or meridian acupuncture. In some instances, ear acupuncture or even the insertion of semi-permanent needles in a technique known as Battlefield Acupuncture may be appropriate.  

During the same treatment, she can approach the issue of fear and stress with acupuncture and or moxibustion treatment to specific points along the water or affiliated channels.  Your acupuncturist can suggest certain activities such as visualizations and even some yoga postures to support the water channel. Your acupuncturist will likely suggest dietary changes to reduce stress and help specifically dedicated channels. She may also prescribe individual aromatherapy essences to calm the senses. All of these work together to build yin and support healing. 

When the veteran suffers from depression or anxiety or insomnia, an acupuncturist can use similar treatment paradigms to make effective change. Any mood disorder causes disordered thinking and channel imbalance and will impair the recuperative function of the body as a whole.  Acupuncturists help the patient make sense of their disease. As she identifies dedicated channels, your acupuncturist can employ acupuncture needle treatment along meridians and in trigger points. Additionally, acupuncture on auriculotherapy or Battlefield Acupuncture points can balance the body and mind. An acupuncturist can use massage techniques like cupping or gua sha to mobilize qi and detoxify channels. 

Dietary suggestions and other lifestyle counseling ideas help patients carry a treatment home with them and give them worthwhile something to do between treatments. 

Sometimes, the health coaching aspect of care is the most profound and helpful. Many practitioners seek to add telemedicine or health coaching over telephone or internet to their practices as a means to continue care for patients between visits. These novel ideas and more make acupuncture treatment in Chapel Hill, NC an excellent option for veterans and others.  

Thanks to Acupractic Natural Healing Center for their insight into acupuncture care and PTSD treatment.

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