Acupuncture and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe, long lasting reaction to a distressing event. The signs of stress vary from one person to the next. Specific signs of PTSD include vivid memories of the traumatic event, hyperarousal, anxiety, insomnia, irritability and difficulty concentrating. Symptoms may manifest physically as an illness or tiredness, or as symptoms such as sore muscles or erratic sleeppatterns. Mental stress can result in depression, mood swings, anger, frustration or withdrawal.
There are positive findings for acupuncture in the treatment of chronic anxiety associated with PTSD. A systematic review of acupuncture for PTSD found that the evidence of effectiveness is encouraging (Acupuncture for PTSD: a systematic review of RCT's and prospective clinical trials, Kim et al 2012). All four reviewed randomised controlled trials indicated that acupuncture was equal to or better than orthodox treatment, or that it added extra effect to them when used in combination.