Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, otherwise known as PTSD, is a disorder that develops in people after they have experienced a shocking, scary or traumatic event. It can either be short term or chronic, and symptoms include bad dreams and trouble sleeping, feeling tense and on edge, having angry outbursts, depression, and more. PTSD affects around 8% of Americans, around 24 million people.
While anyone who experiences a traumatic experience can become affected by PTSD, Awareness around PTSD has grown in the public consciousness over the past few years in relation to military veterans who suffer from it. The situations that our servicemen and women endure are unsurprisingly incredibly difficult to deal with emotionally. Unfortunately, adequate care for our veterans is not always top of mind in our country.
Thankfully, studies are beginning to show what acupuncturists have known—that the ancient practice is an effective, safe, and lasting treatment for PTSD, particularly the insomnia and uneven sleep patterns that veterans suffer from. A recent survey done at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Georgia in conjunction with Emory University determined gave a group of veterans, with a mean age of 40 and suffering from PTSD and mild traumatic brain injuries 10 acupuncture administrations. The other half of the group received sham acupuncture, and the findings were clear.
“Acupuncture provides meaningful relief for a particularly recalcitrant problem affecting large segments of the veteran population,” the study said. The relief was judged by sleep study, measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and showed that those who received acupuncture received a 2.7% increase in sleep efficiency.
If you or anyone you know suffers from PTSD and particularly struggles with sleeping, let them know that acupuncture is here to treat them safely and for the long term. And don’t forget to thank them for their sacrifice and service to our country!