Treatments for Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD)
If you experienced a traumatic event you know the consequences and suffering of PTSD. Have you gone to numerous doctors or been in rehabilitation for Treatment for PTSD and nothing has helped? Dr. Diane® Brain Health utilizes state of the art and cutting edge technology, and has the Solutions and ResourcesSM to get you feeling your best. The Dr. Diane® integrative team of Brain Health Experts are trained in conventional, complementary and alternative specialties. This team, using her 5 Prong Approach, provides you with a customized treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Diane sees each person as a unique individual and knows that one method does not fit everyone.
PTSD Treatment Methods
Depending on your circumstances and the cause of your PTSD, your Primary Care Physician (PCP) or your Neurologist may refer you to a Neuropsychologist, a Psychiatrist, a Psychologist, and/or a Psychopharmacologist. You may also receive assistance from a clinical social worker, rehabilitation counselor, and, if needed, a case manager. Patient and family counseling can be very effective. In addition, spiritual or religious counseling can be very helpful in the most difficult moments.
This PTSD Treatment page is divided into two approaches to help you gain a better understanding of the various PTSD Treatment methods that are available.
There are two different treatment methods, Internal and External. Both are described below.
Internal Treatments for PTSD
Internal methods require nothing from the external world to assist you in alleviating the symptoms of PTSD. These methods count on you. Training and assistance if beneficial.
- Heart Rate Variability Breathing (HRVB)
This method prevents reactivity of autonomic reaction and allows time to respond. Dr. Diane® has been trained in this area.
This will teach you to respond rather than react. Dr. Diane® is a published author in Hypnosis and has worked in the field for over 37 years.
- Emotional Freedom Therapy (EFT)/ Thought Field Therapy (TFT)
This works with the “Chi,” or subtle energy in your body. By thinking of an event and tapping specific acupuncture points, it immediately stops the feeling. Dr. Diane® is a certified practitioner.
- Energy Medicine
Developed by Donna Eden, this method also uses “Chi” in the body. Several of her methods are extremely effective, such as the cross over.
- Meditation and Visualization
These methods help reduce PTSD symptoms, but do not change the neural connections.
- Dancing, drumming, exercise, yoga, Tai Chi, and QiGong
Any of these can be extremely effective if you cross the midline of your body. If you do cross movement in any of these modalities, you are focusing the inner connections that are stuck in either hemisphere to be released. This is seen in the external method of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is one of the most effective methods for helping PTSD.
- Humor and laughter
It is said that laughter is the best medicine and I totally agree. It is a wonderful means of calming the body, because it puts out endorphins that soothe the body and allow the responsive brain to take charge.
All of these methods take time to learn and there is a learning curve. Research and brain mapping have shown that once you have learned these methods, it physically separates and repairs the neural connection that was made during the traumatic event.
External Treatments for PTSD
The following methods require something external to help your PTSD. This category is subdivided between the methods that help symptoms of PTSD and the methods that can resolve it. The latter subcategory is not a cure, but it goes beyond relieving the symptoms. This category helps with neural connections and brain dysregulation. The events that triggered you in the past will be decreased or eliminated, without having to continue ongoing treatment.
Prescription and Over the Counter (OTC): Various medications are excellent for symptom relief for PTSD, however, the brain often gets used to the medication and it stops working. Thus, another medication needs to be used. Also, with medication there are possible side effects. Lastly, there is the continuous need to use the medication, because when stopped the symptoms do return. If you are choosing to use OTC, it is advised to consult with your Primary Care Provider or PTSD specialist before taking any medication. Dr. Sharon Barrett is the Psychopharmacologist on our Brain Health Team of Experts.
After one treatment, often the frequency of treatment can be reduced and the symptoms do not persist. However, Acupuncture does not change the neural connections or dysregulation of the brain activity, so if something triggers you, the symptoms will return. William Mogan, Tom Tam, and Yvonne Tam are Acupuncturists Dr. Diane®’s Brain Health Team of Experts.
- Homeopathic– including Bach Flower Essence and Herbal Remedies
When dealing with PTSD, go to a certified practitioner in the fields of homeopathic and herbal remedies. Susan Keefe is the Homeopathic Practitioner on Dr. Diane®’s Brain Health Team of Experts. Dr. Diane® is a certified Bach Flower practitioner.
- Talk Therapy- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
This is an effective method for helping you understand and manage your symptoms. It is considered the “Gold Standard” of methods for PTSD treatment, and is covered under many insurance policies.
- Cranial Electro Stimulation (CES)
This is a FDA medical device for the various symptoms and is highly effective.
- Massage- such as reflexology or Feldenkrais Method
Jennifer Stanley and Wendy Keiver- Hewett are the Massage Therapists on our Dr. Diane® Brain Health Team of Experts. Each specializes in different types of massage.
- Energy Work- Reiki, Polarity, Quantum Touch
Clara Diebold is the Reiki Master on our Dr. Diane® Brain Health Team.
Developed by David Grand, Ph.D., this method deals with eye gaze and fixation, helping resolve the area in the brain that is stuck from the trauma.
Changing Neural Connections
There is extensive research that has proven Hypnosis highly effective in reducing or eliminating PTSD.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro, this method is used by most of the leading trauma centers in the U.S.
This includes thermal, muscular and neurofeedback. Heart Rate Variability Breathing is a subdivision of Biofeedback.
With Neurofeedback it is possible to make new neural connections, disconnect those that are currently being activated, and regulate the dysregulated brain that is seen with PTSD.
- Sound Therapy
This method allows for remapping of neural connections and resolves brain dysregulation. Some of the methods are the Tomatis System, bilateral sounds and hemi-sync.
- Light Therapy
In recent years, light therapy and infrared treatment have been successfully used for brain dysregulation and helping to promote neural connections.
Insurance Coverage by Approach
Conventional Approaches are covered by insurance, Complementary Approaches may be covered by insurance, and Alternative Approaches are usually not covered by insurance.
Conventional PTSD Treatments
Nutritional changes are very helpful in stabilizing Cortisol levels. Your doctor may recommend medication to help you cope with post injury psychological reactions. Medications such as Zoloft and Prozac have been used effectively in the treatment of anxiety associated with PTSD. Depending on your symptoms, there are a number of other medications such as anticonvulsants, mood stabilizers, and alpha or beta-blockers that may help. To ensure that you obtain proper care, medication, and dosages, it is wise to see a Psychopharmacologist who specializes in PCS.
Cranial Electrical Stimulation (CES)
Registered with and regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration),CES is a medical device for insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Exercise of any type helps the brain to become more regulated and helps with symptoms of dissociation and flashbacks. Therapeutic massage is beneficial in relieving the psychological symptoms of a Concussion. Beyond helping your muscles to relax, massage therapy may stimulate the blood flow to the brain.
Psychotherapy can be extremely valuable for coming to an understanding of, and working through, psychological reactions to injury. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can help you to modify your thought patterns, change problem behavior, and deal with psychological trauma. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Brain Spotting and Hypnosis have a long history of effectiveness with resolving PTSD.
Group work is not recommended for people with symptoms of PTSD until they have received individual counseling, because hearing of other people’s traumatic situations may result in a traumatic reaction in someone who has not acquired coping skills. There are four types of support groups. The first, a self-help group led by a trained facilitator, can educate a person with PCS and his or her family as to who the PCS person has become. The second type of support group is informational, and invites outside speakers to make presentations to the group on relevant topics. A third type of support group provides a trained counselor who helps members deal with their emotions and progress through the stages of healing. The fourth type is more often used in cases of severe and moderate physical or brain injuries.
Complementary PTSD Treatments
Both Acupuncture and Acupressure are effective at stabilizing the energy system. William Mogan is our Acupuncturist on the Dr. Diane® Brain Health Team of Experts. While Acupuncture uses fine needles; Acupressure uses finger pressure on the body, which releases blocks in the flow of chi, or vital energy.
Other energy balance systems include Thought Field Therapy (TFT) and Emotional Freedom Therapy (EFT). Energy Psychology, originated by Dr. Fred Gallo, has specific methods for treating trauma that are very helpful. Bilateral Sound Therapy, similar to EMDR, is also beneficial. A wide variety of Biofeedback and Neurofeedback methods and equipment, such as Othmer method, LENS, Z-Score training, Neurofield, or pRoshi, are effective at returning the reactive part of your brain to a state of regulation. Dr. Diane® has been trained in all of these methods and is a Certified Energy Psychologist.
Alternative PTSD Treatments
Reiki, Qi Gong, and Polarity therapy help to bring the mind and body into better harmony and can help you deal with psychological reactions. A trained practitioner should provide this type of therapy, and you should inquire about the practitioner’s level of training and whether they have worked with people with PCS and PTSD. Clara Diebold is our Reiki Master on Dr. Diane®’s Brain Health Team of Experts.
There are herbal and homeopathic preparations that can be beneficial for some post injury psychological reactions. Other types of alternative treatments include aromatherapy and flower essence therapy. Aromatherapy can be used to help relax you or boost your energy level.
Flower essences do not employ scent; they are closer in nature to homeopathic remedies. Flower-essence therapists believe that the life force of the flowers can affect both body and mind. To determine what is right for you, it is best to consult with a qualified Bach Flower, Herbalist or Homeopathic Practitioner who specializes in PCS and PTSD.
Are you grieving from the loss of a loved one? Are you or someone you know terminally ill? Have you experienced a trauma? Have events in Iraq, New Orleans, Houston, New York City, and the Pentagon left you feeling lost? Have you been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? For more than 35 years, and with the Red Cross as a volunteer with the disaster relief network immediately after 911 at Logan Airport, Boston MA, where she helped the United crew who feared to go back on the planes using Thought Field Therapy, Dr. Diane® has helped people come to terms with their trauma and/or grief and she can help you, too.