The idea that poking someone with needles could relieve stress and trauma symptoms appears rather surprising to most of us, unless the fundamental principles behind this unusual PTSD (Post tramatic stress disorder) treatment are understood.
Recent brain imaging and neuroscience research indicates that anxiety conditions and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are created when fear-housing neurons in the deep brain link together and form neural networks. These networks become more and more extensive as traumatic experiences accumulate. As the networks grow, trauma responses are more easily triggered and are progressively more intense and painful.
These neural networks of fear and anxiety cannot be destroyed, but they can be neutralized if they are linked to neural networks of calming and soothing experiences, particularly calming sensations–as sensation is the primary “language” of the part of the deep brain that houses traumatic associations.This is what acupuncture can do for you.
What does Acupunture do?
Acupuncture tends to produce feelings of deep relaxation and well-being–in part because many acupuncture points specifically trigger the release of endorphins (the ‘feel-good’ hormone). Thus acupuncture becomes a soothing experience and, when repeated can build a neural network that neutralizes traumatic associations.
Although this theory and insight about trauma treatment is very new, this approach to successfully trauma treatment with acupuncture has been going on for over thirty years.
Is Acupuncture intrusive and time consuming?
The NADA protocol is a very efficient, inexpensive PTSD treatment that involves placing needles in five acupuncture points in the ears. The process is quick, can be done in a chair, and the client can remain fully clothed.
The NADA protocol was first developed in the 1970s at Lincoln Hospital in New York City by Dr. Michael Smith. It was designed originally as a drug detoxification program; NADA stands for “National Acupuncture Detoxification Association.” The protocol was based on the understanding that anxiety and PTSD treatment is fundamental to successful addiction treatment.