Trauma, Anxiety and Acupuncture

Anxiety is a condition of many multiple causes.  A common cause and trigger of it is trauma.  Trauma can leave the autonomic nervous system in sympathetic fight or flight which often results in anxiety states if you don’t literally have to be running away from a predatory animal.

One of the differentiating questions to ask under an anxiety state set off by a trauma trigger is if this is a real stressor or perceived stressor.  Perceived stressors can have the same impact on our physiology as real ones.  In the book From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker, he gives permission for people suffering from complex PTSD to avoid triggering people and situations.  Reflecting on this, he is giving permission for those in states of hyperarousal to find a sense of safety within and outside themselves.  The Buddhists call this loving kindness towards oneself.

Trauma can happen from many instances.

Some of these might include a car accident, an abusive relationship, bullying, an assault, a sudden death of a loved one, ongoing economic stress.  In these instances of sudden shock or prolonged stress states, physiology can change and anxiety can become rampant.  The peace that acupuncture as medicine can bring is helping to shift the body into the calm parasympathetic state.  In that state, anxiety subsides, we can breathe more deeply, rest more peacefully, and function in the world from a state of ease instead of panic.  I know many people are afraid of needles but if you suffer from anxiety, I encourage you to find a practitioner you feel safe with and see if acupuncture can help bring the peace with which you deserve to live.

If you would like to consult about how acupuncture and holistic medicine can help your anxiety, call Sedona Holistic Medicine at 928-862-2914.  Additionally, my Urban Retreats for Renewal are designed to facilitate the shift out of anxiety more quickly.

Trauma can happen from many instances.

A blessing poem by John O’Donohue:

For Someone Awakening To The Trauma of His or Her Past

For everything under the sun there is a time.
This is the season of your awkward harvesting,
When the pain takes you where you would rather not go,

Through the white curtain of yesterdays to a place
You had forgotten you knew from the inside out;
And a time when that bitter tree was planted

That has grown always invisibly beside you
And whose branches your awakened hands
Now long to disentangle from your heart.

You are coming to see how your looking often darkened
When you should have felt safe enough to fall toward love,
How deep down your eyes were always owned by something

That faced them through a dark fester of thorns
Converting whoever came into a further figure of the wrong;
You could only see what touched you as already torn.

Now the act of seeing begins your work of mourning.
And your memory is ready to show you everything,
Having waited all these years for you to return and know.

Only you know where the casket of pain is interred.
You will have to scrape through all the layers of covering
And according to your readiness, everything will open.

May you be blessed with a wise and compassionate guide
Who can accompany you through the fear and grief
Until your heart has wept its way to your true self.

As your tears fall over that wounded place,
May they wash away your hurt and free your heart.
May your forgiveness still the hunger of the wound

So that for the first time you can walk away from that place,
Reunited with your banished heart, now healed and freed,
And feel the clear, free air bless your new face.”


From the Book:  To Bless the Space Between Us by John O’Donohue

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