Just how does acupuncture and meditation affect PTSD? Many returning Veterans suffer from difficult syndromes including flashbacks of overwhelming violence. Or they cannot down regulate their learned hyper-vigilance. Fortunately, there is an easy acupuncture protocol that involves stimulating five points in the ear that can help to relax and energize an anxious or traumatized patient since the ear is an outcropping, the “keyboard”, of the brain.
Another randomized controlled pilot trial, this one “Acupuncture for post traumatic stress disorder” was done at the Department of Psychiatry Behavioral Sciences, and Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40202, USA. [J Nerv Ment Dis. 2007 Jun;195(6):504-13.] The study evaluated the effect of acupuncture for PTSD. Patients received either acupuncture treatment, or a group cognitive-behavioral therapy, or a wait-list control. Both acupuncture and cognitive-behavior therapy provided large treatment effects for PTSD. Symptoms still remained reduced at the 3-month follow-up for both modalities.
For four decades since we founded the first acupuncture clinic in the U.S. at UCLA, I’ve been watching acupuncture affect people’s emotional states. I have worked with clinical psychologists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Towers, and I continue to treat serious depression with acupuncture and electro-magnetic pulse stimulus. Secondly, research for my book, “Rene Daumal, The Lilfe and Work of a Mystic Guide”, (SUNY Press & Paris, France) taught me how much awareness of spirit and focus on sensation are relevant to the healing process, especially for the psyche.
From these two strands, I was able to connect the importance of sensing the nervous system and all the cells of the body, once I had experienced myself how much each cell contributes and magnifies my emotional state. Eventually I realized that my ‘state’ was happening all over my body. I was able to collect all the first hand data into my Cellular Meditation CDs. Together, acupuncture and this bodily meditation can help to reverse the course of painful life experiences on the mind and body.
Thirdly, in Chinese medicine, each major organ has it own related emotional symptom, but it is a two-way street. There is a feedback loop between the organ and the feeling. The mind can affect the organ, and the organ can affect the mind. Excessive grief damages the lungs or, if the lungs are weak, then melancholy may appear. Obsessive thinking damages the spleen; and excessive fear damages or can develop from–the kidneys. Excessive worry hurts the liver and likewise, if the liver is toxic, then anger or depression may develop. Acupuncture turns on endorphins and aims at rebalancing these organs which calms their aberrant emotion.
When balanced among themselves these organs work together in harmony, as the ultimate example of Wholistic health! But when out of balance, they can then lead to emotional obstructions resulting in blockages, pain, inflammation and overeating from stress.
Truly, treating the whole body affects both mind and body. Together, words and stimulation of our body’s electromagnetic wiring can both sink deep to balance the waters underneath—of our mind, emotions and total apparatus.
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