Holistic PTSD Treatment

30 Day Integrative Holistic PTSD Treatment

The internal struggle of PTSD is so much harder than it looks from the outside. While to others, you may just appear socially withdrawn, there’s an entire world of fear and anxiety unfolding within you. That experience can be so alienating that you want to go back to the traumatizing situation just to feel normal again. You live on alert, and without warning, you may suddenly start to feel afraid of everyone. You’re exhausted, but you avoid sleeping because you have nightmares. You worry that because of your trust issues, you’ll never be able to have a normal relationship again. You wish you could forget the past, but PTSD makes it impossible. You feel like a prisoner in your own mind. Many people are afraid to get diagnosed or seek treatment because they don’t want to look any closer at the problem. Understandably, many are anxious about the stigma that comes along with it. And as a result, their feelings of aloneness and rejection continue unabated.
Talk to An Expert

Kelley Alexander JD. Program Director of The Sanctuary at Sedona discusses Holistic
Post-traumatic stress disorder Treatment.

How Post-Traumatic Stress Takes Hold

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a set of symptoms that develops after a traumatic event. An occurrence is considered traumatic if it overwhelms your ability to cope with the stress it causes – in other words, our experience of trauma is highly subjective.

About half of all adults experience trauma in their lifetime. While for some people trauma goes away on its own with time, others may carry it with them for a lifetime until it’s intentionally and effectively treated. Any traumatizing event can cause PTSD, but it’s most commonly associated with military combat, violence, natural disasters and abuse. It’s estimated that around 6.8 percent of people in the US experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Rates of PTSD are higher among women than they are among men.

Someone is considered to have PTSD when their stress symptoms last for over a month following the event – though for some people, the onset of symptoms can come about as long as six months afterwards. Reminders of the incident, such as people, places and dates associated with it, can trigger flashbacks and flare-ups of other symptoms. As a result, many people do their best to avoid situations that might remind them of the incident – and depending on how severe their PTSD is, they may want to avoid everything entirely.

PTSD changes the way your body deals with stress. It increases your stress hormone levels and throws off your neurotransmitters, changing your neural pathways and networks – and as a result, how your brain functions. This is why people with PTSD can’t simply turn it off or get over it – its effects can be severe and feel completely out of your control.

What Symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms and acuteness of PTSD vary from person to person, but often include some combination of the following:

  • Disruptive memories and visualizations that you can’t shut off
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks (and corresponding behavior)
  • Insomnia (due to anxiety and fear of sleeping)
  • Emotional detachment or numbness
  • Major depression
  • Hyper vigilance (feeling like you’re always on alert)
  • Startling easily
  • Dissociation or sudden confusion about your surroundings
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of focus
  • A sense of bleakness about your future
  • Mood swings and angry outbursts

You might also have intense physical reactions to your memories of the event, like a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, panic or dizziness. Avoidance is a natural trauma response; because of this, you might even have a hard time remembering what exactly happened to cause your trauma. You might also blame yourself for what happened, or for surviving the event when other people did not (survivor’s guilt).

PTSD May Lead to Substance Abuse

When you live in a constant state of fear, sadness and isolation, it’s natural to want to somehow ease your pain. And unfortunately for many people – especially those who don’t receive the treatment they need – alcohol and drugs become the easiest way to escape their emotional state. The problem with this is that substances only make the situation far worse, by destabilizing your mood, heightening your anxiety and depression and compounding PTSD’s psychological effects.

Substances are far more likely to lead to dependence and addiction when they’re used for self-medication. Whether or not addiction co-occurs with PTSD has to do with factors like how well-developed your coping skills are, and your genetic predisposition to substance dependence.

Holistic Treatment Methods for PTSD

Conventional treatment for PTSD centers on talk therapy – but new research shows that trauma is an embodied experience, and to truly be effective, treatment should be, too. Some people find it re-traumatizing to talk through their experience, or even difficult to verbalize their experience in the first place. But some holistic treatment techniques are able to bypass cognitive processing and directly release the trauma from wherever it is stuck. Here are a few examples:

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

In EMDR, your therapist has you repeat bilateral eye movements while recalling distressing memories. This cues your brain to move the events from your active, working memory to your long-term memory where they get appropriately filed away. As a result, you can still remember the event, but it doesn’t affect you as strongly – you don’t feel it like it happened yesterday. EMDR is extremely effective in treating PTSD: most people notice significant improvements after just a few sessions.

Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TSY)

Trauma disconnects you from your experience of your own body. Trauma-sensitive yoga is designed to gently bring you back into your bodily awareness, helping you identify the physical sensations associated with your emotions. It all takes place in a safe space that mindfully minimizes triggers. The more often you practice actively relaxing, the easier it becomes to transition into a calm state.

  • Holotropic Breathwork
  • Trauma Release Exercises (TRE)
  • Energy Medicine
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
  • Somatic Release Therapy
  • Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS)

Are you ready to change your life? Call us at (877) 710-3385 to take the first steps with us.

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