Ways to Combat PTSD Naturally

Ways to Combat PTSD Naturally

Man-jogging-by-plantronicsgermany-Creative-CommonsPTSD is a physiological disorder that can result from being exposed to a traumatic event.  The disorder results in several different symptoms including anxiety, irritability, insomnia and flashbacks. The effects of post-traumatic stress disorder in someone’s life can be far reaching.  Feelings of hopelessness, shame and despair, problems at work or with relationships, serious health problems, depression, anxiety and drug or alcohol abuse are not uncommon. Getting help can be hard at first, but can have a great impact for helping PTSD.

Acupuncture, MSRP & NADA

The Military Stress Recovery Project (MSRP) is a unique program that provides free community acupuncture to veterans and active duty soldiers with PTSD and their family members.
Treatment in a MSRP clinic is unique for several reasons.  Patients are treated in a group setting, sitting in comfortable chairs.  There is an environment of calm and support. The patients are treated using the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol, a series of 5 needles placed in one ear. The program is designed to address all the needs of people with PTSD.
The MSRP clinics have been very successful.  Patients report stress reduction, improved mental clarity, improved energy, enhanced performance, better sleep, fewer bad dreams and headaches, less anxiety and depression, reduced anger and pain, improved general health and better relationships.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive therapy involves talk sessions between a therapist and their client. The therapist will help the patient work through their trauma and memory and can include techniques such as exposure therapy. This type of therapy is not for everyone but has been proven effective in beginning the steps toward recovery from a traumatic experience.
Relaxation methods
A lot of the times, anxiety and high blood pressure come with PTSD. Practicing daily relaxation methods can help lower stress and anxiety due to PTSD. Meditation, yoga and breathing exercises can all help lower heart rate and calm the mind. Spending time in a quiet place in nature can also have calming effects. Taking the time out each day to practice mindfulness can be very beneficial in lowering PTSD symptoms.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

EMDR therapy is practiced with a trained EMDR psychotherapist and involves allowing the brain to reprocess traumatic memories. It has been shown to reduce recovery time for PTSD patients and is less likely to cause triggers from the trauma than talk therapy. The American Psychiatric Association and Department of Defense/Veteran’s Administration recognize it as an effective treatment.

Guided imagery

Guided imagery is a meditation therapy that can be used at home and involves listening to dialogues to help reduce anxiety, depression and other symptoms of PTSD. The recorded dialogues are listened to a few times a week and involve imagining oneself in nature and a calm environment.

How to Help Someone with PTSD

Watching someone you love and care about suffer from PTSD can be hard. You may feel like you don’t know how to act around them or want to help but don’t know how. Below are ways to support those with PTSD.

Educate yourself

The first step you can take in helping those you care about is learning more about PTSD and what it means to suffer from it. Take the time to understand the causes, symptoms and effects to better understand what your loved one is going through. When things get tough, it is easy to get frustrated with someone who is dealing with this disorder. Remember that they are going through something out of their control and your support is important.

Listen, be patient

Sometimes it can take a person dealing with PTSD a while before they seek treatment. While it is important to encourage treatment, they also need to come to this decision on their own. Being supportive and a good listener in the meantime can be very helpful for their ultimate choice to seek treatment. Don’t push them to talk, but let them know you are there to listen. If they do want to talk, try to listen without judgement so that they feel comfortable to keep coming to you.

Make sure to take care of yourself

Being around someone who is struggling with PTSD is not only hard for them, but can take a toll on you mentally as well. Make sure you are taking care of your physical and mental health as well. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed, don’t forget to take time for yourself to destress and relax.

Understanding triggers and symptoms

If you are living with someone with PTSD it is important to recognize their triggers.  Triggers can be anything, sometimes an object, person or place that reminds them of their traumatic experience. Ask your loved one to explain what triggers them so that you can best help them avoid those triggers. Make a plan for when triggers or a flare up of symptoms do happen and ask them what you can do to help when this happens.

There are many resources out there to help those with PTSD as well as their families and loved ones. For family and friends of veterans, visit www.ptsd.va.gov for more information and help.

Sources:

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Acupuncture and PTSD

Acupuncture and PTSD

Blog-img - Acupuncture and PTSD

PTSD is a physiological disorder that can result from being exposed to a traumatic event.  The disorder results in several different symptoms including anxiety, irritability, insomnia and flashbacks. The effects of post-traumatic stress disorder in someone’s life can be far reaching.  Feelings of hopelessness, shame and despair, problems at work or with relationships, serious health problems, depression, anxiety and drug or alcohol abuse are not uncommon. Getting help can be hard at first, but can have a great impact for helping PTSD.

A recent study into the efficacy of acupuncture as an adjunctive treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has shown promising results.

Researchers investigated the effects of acupuncture in adjunct to normal treatment approaches and the results showed significant improvement. Studies in the past have shown that veterans with PTSD are wary of seeking treatment for PTSD as many do not believe that mental healthcare can be effective. Researchers hope that with the increased efficacy of the adjunctive acupuncture treatment, veterans will be less reticent towards seeking treatment for PTSD.

Researchers investigated the effects of acupuncture in adjunct to normal treatment approaches and the results showed significant improvement. Studies in the past have shown that veterans with PTSD are wary of seeking treatment for PTSD as many do not believe that mental healthcare can be effective. Researchers hope that with the increased efficacy of the adjunctive acupuncture treatment, veterans will be less reticent towards seeking treatment for PTSD.

The acupuncture treatment also saw secondary benefits for those treated as many reported a decrease in depression and pain as well as a general improvement in mental and physical well-being. PTSD can be debilitating and even more so with little or no treatment.

The Military Stress Recovery Project (MSRP) is a unique program that provides free community acupuncture to veterans and active duty soldiers with PTSD and their family members.

Treatment in a MSRP clinic is unique for several reasons.  Patients are treated in a group setting, sitting in comfortable chairs.  There is an environment of calm and support. The patients are treated using the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) protocol, a series of 5 needles placed in one ear. The program is designed to address all the needs of people with PTSD.

The MSRP clinics have been very successful.  Patients report stress reduction, improved mental clarity, improved energy, enhanced performance, better sleep, fewer bad dreams and headaches, less anxiety and depression, reduced anger and pain, improved general health and better relationships.

Those suffering from PTSD should consult a doctor about treatment and discuss the option of acupuncture as well because it has been proven to help.

See Ways to Combat PTSD Naturally for more resources on this subject.

Sources
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http://bit.ly/1rSwjDe

Alternative Therapies for Seniors

Alternative Therapies for Seniors

May is known as Senior Citizens Month, a great time to reach out to your loved ones and check in on their health. As we age, our health needs change. It is especially important for seniors to take care of their health and do so in a way that is as natural as possible and does not require potentially harmful prescription drugs.  Traditional Chinese Medicine and other alternative practices have been proven to help aid the aging process and chronic conditions that may come with it.

Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a common treatment for chronic pain, which can be very beneficial for seniors. This centuries-old practice addresses the body as a whole by using specific acupuncture points to return the body back to its natural balance and relieve pain as well as other symptoms. Acupuncture treatment is non-invasive and is a great natural alternative to prescription medication.

Yoga
It can get harder to stay active as we age. We may find that our bodies just don’t move like they used to. Yoga has many health benefits and can be incorporated into your daily routine. Yoga has been proven to help strengthen bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. This practice can also help keep your joints healthy and reduce symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis.

Massage therapy
Massage therapy not only has physical health benefits but mental as well. This therapy can work to relieve pain, improve circulation and release tension. Massage is also an excellent stress reliever and can leave you feeling more relaxed and at ease.

Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a natural remedy that has been used for thousands of years. Aromatherapy involves breathing or applying essential oils to the body to help improve health. Different essential oils can have a large range of benefits. This therapy can help lower pain, increase a sense of well being and help improve sleep for patients with dementia.

Animal-assisted therapy
As we age, we sometimes need different kinds of support and companionship. Animals have been proven to help adults with dementia and decrease a sense of loneliness. Animals can also help promote physical activity, which can increase mood and overall health.

Music therapy
Music therapy has been proven to be beneficial for seniors. This non-invasive therapy can help reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis and other chronic conditions. Calming music can also be helpful for adults with dementia and reduce behavioral symptoms.

6 Foods to Help Your Arthritis

6 Foods to Help Your Arthritis

Fish

Fish are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which work as a natural anti-inflammatory. Some of the best fish to consume include salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring, which are all rich in omega-3s. The recommended weekly amount is around six to eight ounces of fish. Of course, be careful to choose fish that have been sustainably caught in cleaner waters.

Oil

Healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil, avocado and safflower oils are packed with healthy fats and anti-inflammatory properties.

Broccoli

Because it contains sulforaphane, broccoli has been shown to slow and prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, C and calcium, which is known to help strengthen bones.

Green Tea

Green tea has many health benefits, one including reducing pain of arthritis. The tea is full of antioxidants that work to lower inflammation and the disintegration of cartilage.

Citrus Fruits

Fruits like oranges, limes and grapefruits are very acidic and full of vitamin C. Vitamin C can help aid healthy joints for those with arthritis and work as an anti-inflammatory.

Beans

Beans are beneficial for many reasons. They are a great alternative to meat for protein and are rich in folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium. Red beans, kidney beans and pinto beans are known to improve muscle health and the heart and immune system.

Having a natural and well-rounded diet is a part of any healthy lifestyle, but can be especially beneficial for arthritis and chronic pain.

6 Alternative Treatments to Help with Arthritis

6 Alternative Treatments to Help with Arthritis

Exercise

For those with arthritis, exercise, no matter how little you do, is one of the best natural treatments. For those with severe arthritis, even the smallest amount of walking can make a difference. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for those with arthritis because it puts the least amount of impact on the joints. Strengthening exercises are also recommended to keep muscles and joints strong.

Acupuncture

One of the most common reasons people seek out acupuncture is for arthritis relief. Acupuncture can help relieve pain from arthritis and increase blood flow and circulation, reducing inflammation. Through the specific placement of needles on acupuncture points on the body, acupuncture realigns the body back to balance.

Capsaicin Cream

Made from the chemical that gives chili peppers their heat, Capsaicin cream has been known to relieve arthritis pain. The cream works by decreasing the body’s pain receptors and as a result, lessening the overall pain caused by arthritis. The cream can be bought without a prescription at your local drug store.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is beneficial for numerous reasons, one of them being its anti-inflammatory properties. Because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, trials have found that the oil can reduce morning stiffness and the need for pain medication for those with arthritis. Fish oil is a supplement that is safe and recommended to take every day for the most beneficial effects.

Mind-Body

Mind-body techniques like meditation, relaxation and tai chi have been seen to improve overall quality of life for those with arthritis. Tai Chi is a martial art that involves slow, easy movements along with deep breathing. This exercise can improve the body’s motion and physical fitness without being too demanding on the joints and muscles. Although meditation and relaxation do not necessarily reduce pain, they have been found to improve mood and health in arthritis patients dealing with chronic pain.

Diet

Studies have shown that some patients benefit from changes in their diet by eliminating food that may contribute to their arthritis pain. By removing allergens from the diet, overall inflammation can be reduced. Common diets that have been seen to be beneficial include a mediterranean diet rich in nuts, fish, vegetables, fruit and olive oil. Foods that are not recommended include red meat and dairy as those can cause inflammatory reactions.

How Acupuncture Can Help With Arthritis

How Acupuncture Can Help With Arthritis

How acupuncture helps

Acupuncture treats the patient by addressing the whole body. When the body is out of balance, pain and illness can arise. Acupuncture works by returning the body back to its natural balance and energy flow to eliminate pain and to improve overall health.

There are more than 2,000 acupuncture points on the body. When these specific points are stimulated through small acupuncture needles, it can help relieve pain by improving the body’s nervous system, which can jumpstart the production of pain-reducing endorphins.

Research studies

A study in Germany found that 304,674 people with osteoarthritis experienced less pain and stiffness after 15 sessions of acupuncture. The treatments were done during a three-month period and lasting results were seen for another three months after treatment was stopped. The patients who had the acupuncture treatment reported better quality of life and function than those who had no treatment.

A study done at the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan Medical School found that of 20 women who were diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the half that received acupuncture treatment had increased activity of the pain-reducing receptors in the brain.

A trial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine studied 570 men and women with osteoarthritis. For the men and women who received 23 acupuncture treatments for about 6 months, results of less pain and better functionality occurred, compared to those with the placebo treatment.

Arthritis can be painful and persistent, resulting in frustration when it isn’t easy to find relief. Acupuncture is a non-invasive, alternative treatment that has been proven in numerous studies to help reduce pain and increase mobility.

Sources:

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