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Alternative Therapies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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Alternative Therapies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has become a prominent public health concern due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This disabling mental illness affects around 7% of the population, primarily those who have experienced trauma. Symptoms may include intense anxiety or distress that can interfere with social functioning and relationships. Furthermore, PTSD often coexists with depression or other mental health conditions, making treatment even more challenging.

Combat veterans often suffer from PTSD after experiencing trauma. Fortunately, there are various methods they can turn to for relief and healing from these symptoms. Alternative therapies have become increasingly popular and have proven successful in treating various mental health issues.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widely utilized in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to a 2012 survey conducted at the VA medical center, 96% of their 125 post-traumatic stress treatment programs offered some form of CAM; 86% provided nontraditional CAMs alongside more traditional ones.

Studies have demonstrated that meditation and other mind-body therapies can effectively treat PTSD symptoms. One study found that post-9/11 military veterans who received mind-body therapy experienced significant improvements in their symptoms compared to a control group who did not receive such therapy. Another found yoga to be beneficial in relieving PTSD symptoms by decreasing anxiety and depression levels.

There are various complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies that can be used to treat PTSD, such as movement therapy, massage and tai chi. These types of exercises help veterans relax and feel better by using their muscles to move their bodies more effectively.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing for PTSD is an evidence-based therapy that assists individuals to reprocess their memories of a traumatic event so they can experience it differently. During therapy sessions, the therapist uses eye movements similar to those experienced during REM sleep which is believed to help the brain more quickly process these memories without feeling stressed out.

Other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies for PTSD that have been demonstrated to be successful include eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and mindfulness. While the evidence supporting these CAM treatments is not as strong as that of some more well-known conventional treatments for PTSD, they remain increasingly popular and provide much needed relief from symptoms for patients.

These complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies can be provided individually or in group settings. Group therapy has the advantage of offering a safe space for those who have suffered trauma to share their stories and receive support from others who have had similar experiences.

Group therapy can also be advantageous for those who do not wish to enter into individual therapy. Some groups focus on specific topics, like anger management or social skills; others are more general in nature and offer veterans the chance to discuss their traumas in a supportive setting with others who have had similar experiences.

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- Welcome, SoundTherapy.com lowers anxiety 86%, pain 77%, and boosts memory 11-29%. Click on the brain to sign up or share with buttons below to help others:
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