The lifetime risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is estimated to be nearly 7%, with women more likely to be affected than men.1 Symptoms include recurrent, intrusive recollections or re-experience of a traumatic event, avoidance of reminders of trauma, negative changes in cognition and mood, and changes in arousal and reactivity.2 These symptoms can have wideranging effects such as disruption of interpersonal relationships, ability to work, and increased risk of mood and substance or alcohol use disorders.3 It has also been shown that PTSD increases risk of developing physical conditions such as arthritis, coronary artery disease, metabolic syndrome, and chronic pain syndrome.4
Exercise is effective in reducing anxiety and reactivity,5 both prominent components of PTSD. Several studies looking at aerobic exercise in particular demonstrated reduction in symptoms6 that lasted up to a month following activity.
Meditation has also been shown to be quite effective in mitigating symptoms. Several forms of meditation have been specifically studied as their effect relates to PTSD. These include mindful meditation where individuals are taught to pay attention to experiences with an attitude of curiosity, openness, acceptance, and kindness. This form of meditation runs counter to one’s tendencies to suppress or avoid painful emotions and thoughts as is characteristic of PTSD.7 There is also growing evidence supporting beneficial effects of yoga and acupuncture for PTSD.8
In addition to working with clients in terms of exercise regimens and having our partners focus meditation, yoga, and acupuncture, we also use ketamine infusion therapy9 in our office to help overcome the grip of PTSD.
- R.C. Kessler, P. Berglund, O. Demler, et al.: Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the national comorbidity survey replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 62 2005 768–768
- American Psychiatric Association: Trauma- and stressor-related disorders. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. ed 5 2013 Author Washington, DC
- J.R.T. Davidson: Recognition and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. JAMA.286:584-588 2001
- J. Sareen: Posttraumatic stress disorder in adults: impact, comorbidity, risk factors, and treatment. Can J Psychiatry. 59:460 2014
- G.J. Asmundson, M.G. Fetzner, L.B. DeBoer, et al.: Let’s get physical: a contemporary review of the anxiolytic effects of exercise for anxiety and its disorders. Depress Anxiety. 30:362-373 2013
- A. Diaz, R. Motta: The effects of an aerobic exercise program on posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity in adolescents. Int J Emerg Ment Health. 10:49-59 2007
- V. Follette, K.M. Palm, A.N. Pearson: Mindfulness and trauma: implications for treatment. J Ration Emot Cogn Behav Ther. 24:45-61 2006
- H. Wahbeh, A. Senders, R. Neuendorf, et al.: Complementary and alternative medicine for posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms a systematic review. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 19 (3):161-175 2014
- A. Feder, MK Parides, JW Murrough: Efficacy of Intravenous Ketamine for Treatment of Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(6):681-688
Are symptoms from depression, PTSD or chronic pain not responding to your current treatment regimen? We provide non-addictive alternatives for these debilitating conditions that have minimal side effects—and have the power to be potentially life changing.