acupuncture needle by howaye

Joe Chang, LAc, is the acupuncture practitioner at Ft. Bliss Restoration and Resilience Center in El Paso, Texas. He is part of the integrative approach in treating veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Chang has been working with veterans for almost three years, and treats his patients every day if possible. By receiving daily treatments, Chang finds that the veterans benefit from the cumulative effect of acupuncture.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat. PTSD symptoms are usually in cluster- reliving events, avoidance, and arousal or physical stimulation due to these memories

Chang gave a lecture last weekend here in Portland, which was based on the results of working with vets. His treatment protocols are based on personal experiences in working with veterans with PTSD at Ft. Bliss, and he explained how he treated them with acupuncture points, and shared some other treatment modalities the patients have access to.

Cognitive therapies such as emotional freedom technique, where the patients are taught to tap specific acupuncture points while focusing on a specific memory instead of the recurring event is a common form of therapy. By using this technique, the veterans can learn to tap acupoints to help them through the negative memories on a daily basis. Movement therapies such as Qigong, yoga, and other therapeutic exercises are also used in conjunction with acupuncture and pharmaceutical medicine.

Many veterans with the diagnosis of PTSD are prescribed medication such as Zoloft to help with symptoms, but these meds are not without side effects. Chang reports that through the treatments of acupuncture and therapies, the soldiers are able to cut down their medications. The veterans he works with are tired of the side effects of the prescribed medications, and are very open to acupuncture.

Read this article for an in-depth look at PTSD in veterans, as well as a short interview with Joe Chang, LAc.

You can also check out previous posts on the subject, or look into the Veterans Affairs site about alternative therapies for veterans diagnosed with PTSD.