Post-traumatic stress disorder affects millions of people around the world. In fact, around 24 million Americans are affected by PTSD at any given time. While the symptoms and severity vary from person to person, traditional treatment of diagnosed PTSD is widely the same. With the exception of psychotherapy, many of these methods focus on treating a single symptom and can prove to be expensive and ineffective for sufferers. It’s important to understand PTSD and whether or not you have it. Increasing numbers of sufferers are opting out of traditional treatments and replacing them with alternative and holistic therapies such as alternative medicine, yoga, and acupuncture to help treat many of the symptoms of PTSD.
Kava root is a strong relaxing agent that can be useful for those suffering from panic attacks and nervous episodes as a symptom of PTSD. Kava root comes in many forms, including teas, tinctures, and capsules, and can treat a wide range of symptoms.
Yoga & Meditation
Yoga & Meditation are thought to be able to strengthen mental cognition and create beneficial changes in the parts of the brain that deal with both memory and emotion. Both practices have the ability to reduce stress, improve concentration and mental and self-awareness, as well as increase happiness and acceptance. Research suggests that meditation and yoga actually have physical effects on the brain that are beneficial to treating the symptoms brought on by traumatic events.
Skullcap is a medicinal plant that has long been used for healing purposes in Traditional Chinese Medicine. An ancient natural herbal remedy, skullcap has been used to treat ailments from inflammation to fever, as well as many nervous system maladies. It can help ease distressing mental states, thus aiding in the prevention of anxiety and concerns that are common in PTSD sufferers.
Cannabinoids, specifically CBD oil, are a powerful tool for treating the core symptoms of PTSD which include re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal. Legal across most of the United States, CBD is derived from hemp plants and promotes the same health benefits as medicinal marijuana without the high derived from THC. Along with the cannabinoid, the craze has come extensive medical research on the effects of CBD and its benefits for PTSD sufferers.
Chamomile, a mild sedative, has long been used for its calming properties. Before bed, chamomile can help combat insomnia and naturally promote restful sleep. The calming effect of this herb has been suggested to ease social anxiety and depression by calming the nerves and dispelling negative thoughts.
Stinging Nettle is widely used in therapy for PTSD, as it may regulate adrenal glands to help cut back the manufacturing of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the main hormone produced in irritating or anxiety-inducing conditions, and for those suffering from PTSD, the adrenal glands may be overactive. Overactive adrenal glands lead to pointless flight-or-flight sensations that cause/stimulate flashbacks and other brash behaviors that are symptoms of PTSD. Stinging Nettle can be taken in tea form, capsules, or tinctures.
Valerian is thought to be one of the most effective sedatives in any herbal medicine cabinet. Insomnia is a very common symptom of PTSD and is only worsened by many of the other symptoms, such as anxiety. Valerian is a very powerful sleep aid and can help overcome insomnia as well as the restless sleep that accompanies anxiety and depression.
Acupuncture is a safe, holistic therapy for the management of post-traumatic stress disorder. It has the ability to restore and maintain health by stimulating specific acupressure points that can aid in balancing the nervous system, induce relaxation, and alleviate anxiety, panic and sleep disorders.
Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils to balance, harmonize and promote the health of the body, mind and spirit. Different oils and extracts are used to promote different kinds of feelings and healing and can be applied to the symptoms of PTSD. For instance, lemon oil helps to relieve mild depression, while lavender can help with relaxation. Some oils may help with tension within the muscles, while others can help to calm nerves and promote peace.
Exercise is one of the most natural ways to flood the body with positive endorphins which can lower stress hormone levels, make it easier to relax and sleep, and expel a great deal of nervous energy. Studies have been conducted that suggest exercise can help improve coping strategies and reducing symptoms and the effects thereof.