I'm reposting an email that went out this morning from Boston Acupuncture Trauma Relief to local acupuncturists. I think it contains lots of important information for all of us, not just those of us providing these acupuncture trauma-relief treatments. My heart-felt thanks to all of those involved in setting up Boston Acupuncture Trauma Relief for their incredibly important work this week.
Words can not express the depth of healing that needs to stat taking place after this weeks events, thousands have been affected [...]
What does exposure to trauma look like? How can people know if they’ve been affected by a shocking event? Is it “normal” to have some symptoms? These are valid questions...The most important thing to know and remember is: everyone reacts to traumatic exposure differently and there is no right or wrong way to feel or act. What is important to relate is that it is perfectly normal to have a reaction and that it is a natural part of the healing process.
Common Symptoms Following Exposure to Trauma:
-restlessness/anxiety/lack of focus
-reactions to loud noises or sudden movements
-feeling a sense of danger or extreme alertness
-upsetting images coming up at unwanted times
-reliving/re-experiencing the event in your mind
-feelings of numbness, guilt, or depression
-loss of interest in daily activities
It is common for those who have undergone trauma to experience “triggers” that will set off a response, like a car backfire, the sounds of heavy equipment, or news updates as the case unfolds. It is also common for sufferers to experience physical symptoms like sweating, labored breathing, increased heart rate, and nausea.
Acupuncture, specifically the NADA protocol, has been used by Acupuncturists Without Borders in chaotic situations like the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Sandy, and most recently in Newtown, Connecticut. The NADA protocol has been shown to generate a calming effect, ease panic symptoms, and provide an overall sense of wellbeing. The Department of Defense has also been working with acupuncture to help veterans returning from foreign wars alleviate trauma symptoms that may linger after deployment.
Acupuncturists are not first responders, we will not be tending to immediate injuries. But we understand, because we feel it ourselves, the feelings of angst and confusion that simmer in the aftermath. The use of acupuncture for trauma is a vital bridge between first intervention and counseling that can open patients up to talk about what happened, accept more involved care, and aid them in processing and moving through their experience. As an acupuncturist, you are a key provider of a unique service during a difficult transitional period – you are not only providing comfort, but a valid, field-tested protocol that can go a long way towards helping traumatized patients move forward.
*this information was gathered through the help of many, including Val Smith, Janette Reber, Midgie Franz, Geoff Visgilio, Kirem Marnett, AWB and the NESA Library staff. Writing credit to Geoff Visgilio.