The Silent Disease – Emotional Trauma

Chinese medicine is the oldest documented medical system to recognize the connection between body and mind and they are considered equally important. This is why Chinese medicine, including acupuncture and herbal medicine, is a great treatment choice for those suffering from trauma where the physical condition is directly connected to the psychological one.

There are many forms of trauma. Perhaps the best known is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is a condition that results after a person undergoes a harrowing physical or emotional event such as a war experience, car crash, natural disaster, or extreme emotional loss. Trauma and shock can also derive from an incident (or multiple incidents) in a person’s life that occurred many years ago such as child abuse or birth trauma (like umbilical cord wrapped around the neck). These traumatic experiences can create difficult emotional states, such as anxiety, depression, worry, sadness, fear, anger, paranoia and confusion.

What we now know is that trauma can diminish the functioning of the immune system, digestion, sleep, learning and memory. Emotional states ripple throughout the body and it reacts by manifesting physical symptoms. Physical reactions to emotional states can include:

  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Neck, shoulder and back pain and tension
  • Digestive problems
  • Insomnia
  • Low libido and sexual problems
  • Brain fog
  • Other physical health issues

Research in the past decade has shown that acupuncture is a helpful therapy that rebalances the brain, nervous system and hormones after significant stress. Acupuncture treatment, especially shortly after exposure to traumatic events, can help prevent the development of post-traumatic stress (PTS). With more extended treatment, acupuncture can also restore resiliency for those who suffer from long-term PTS. Whether a treatment occurs quickly after a traumatic event has been experienced or years later, acupuncture can help relieve tension, depression and anxiety, and can address the physical symptoms that result.

Acupuncture is an incredibly viable source of healing not only because of the connection it makes between mind and body health, but because of its accessibility. Practitioners can easily travel to trauma victims due to the light equipment they require. Acupuncture is low-cost and offers instant and effective relief for large numbers of people, and it is adaptable to multiple settings, lending itself to emergency aid pain relief.

I have trained with and am a member of Acupuncturists Without Borders who offer stress and trauma relief acupuncture treatments around the world after major events that impact lives in a traumatic way.  I’ve offered acupuncture for stress and trauma relief on several occasions after major weather events have affected areas in Georgia and surrounding states. And later this month, I’ll be taking my needles to Peru as I go on a medical service trip with a local non-profit to offer stress and trauma relief at a women’s shelter in Cusco to help women and their children who have been through physical and emotional abuse. To learn more about my trip and to make a donation if you’d like, go here.

Emotional and physical illness that results from trauma and extreme stress affect a huge part of the population. Estimates indicate that 70% of U.S. adults will experience a traumatic event at least once in their lives and 20 percent of those individuals will go on to develop PTSD. Studies show that at any given time, approximately 13 million people are living with PTSD. If you or someone you know would like to experience the healing power of Chinese Medicine for trauma and stress, please contact me or schedule a consultation online.