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PTSD - Another subject that is deeper than we recognize.

PTSD EAR POINTSPTSD - POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

PTSD is a western medicine anxiety disorder that afflicts many people who have been through a traumatic experience. The example that comes to mind for most people is the soldier who has memories of war that intrude on his/her daily life. There are a host of other ways it interferes with a person's life. Acute Stress Disorder is a condition very much like PTSD which differs in that it occurs sooner than six months after the trauma.

The diagram to the right is the result of research and design by my colleagues Della Estrada DOM Email link to Della Estrada and Maria Dolores Diaz DOM. They have used this point with combat veterans, rape survivors and survivors of natural disasters such as floods hurricanes, and mudslides. I have used it myself with both veterans and other people who have experienced trauma; discrete events or long-term recurring trauma such as prison camp, abusive childhoods or multiple surgeries. A woman whom I was treating for back and shoulder pain revealed after several visits that six weeks prior she had been beaten and sexually assaulted by several men prior to their attempting to gang-rape her. Fortunately, other people intervened and the horrors were stoppped before completion of the gang's plan. She received the six needle treatment every other day for one hour. At the fourth treatment she said she had decided that it would be her last.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF PTSD

RE-EXPERIENCING the TRAUMA
  • Memories of the trauma coming to mind randomly or in response to trigger.
  • Nightmares that are directly about the trauma.
  • Intense psychological distress (anger, anxiety) when exposed to reminders of traumatic event(s)
HYPERAROUSAL - PHYSIOLOGICAL
  • Difficulty or inability to concentrate.
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Hypervigilance
  • General autonomic hyperexcitability
  • Aggression
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Impulsiveness
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
AVOIDANCE
  • Avoiding situations, conversations, objects that remind the person of the trauma.
  • Restricted range of feeling(numbing)
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Feeling of estrangement from others

Her re-experiencing and avoidance symtoms had remitted and she felt strong enough to undertake psychotherapy.

This needle treatment appears equally effective with Acute Stress Disorder. During their work in Central American natural disasters, DOM's Estrada and Diaz observed significant decreases in the symptoms of shock, numbness, inability to concentrate or think, and emotional distress that impaired or prevented functioning. In plain terms, people were able to "snap out of it" and begin tending to survival tasks.

This point prescription can be also used with people who are verging on uncontrollable hysteria. And insomnia is another condition it is very effective for. I have often taped flat needles into a patient's ear and left them in 24 hours and they were then able to sleep.

Most often I use one-quarter length needles for this treatment but I often use flat needles and tape them in place. I direct patients to take them out after 24 hours and dispose of them in the same way they would a band-aid with a slight amount of blood. Vacaria seeds or small BB's or ball bearings can be used with medical tape if they are medically clean.

The results of this treatment may seem miraculous but not to all peoples. The Chinese military requires all serivce members to learn a set of ear acupoints useful in emergency situations. That's approximately three million people (2011) trained in the use of ear acupuncture.

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