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How Does Auricular Acupuncture Help With The Treatment Of PTSD?

One of the most common issues that are faced by veterans is the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is classified as a stress disorder that develops after any stressful event or situation that has been extremely stressful or catastrophic in nature for any person (King et al. 2016).

Most of the time, whenever there is a case of stress disorder, the most common problem that is being faced is that it is followed by the pervert distress that is common in PTSD (Wheeler et al. 2017). It has to be noted that PTSD is classified as an anxiety disorder, and most of the time, it is defined as the coexistence of many symptoms that are combined together (King et al. 2015). The most common symptoms that one gets to see are the experience of past issues, marked avoidance, and hyperarousal (Wheeler et al. 2017). The veterans are the ones that are most affected by this order, and it is estimated that about 6 to 25 % of the veterans are affected by this ailment (King et al. 2016). In this paper, it will be seen how Auricular Acupuncture helps with the treatment of stress disorder and how effective it has been in its overall treatment (King et al. 2016).

Recognition of the Auricular Acupuncture as a Global Therapy

When one talks about the effectiveness of Auricular Acupuncture, it is most commonly recognized as a mainstream CAM therapy (Wheeler et al. 2017). As it is known to everyone, it is the practice in which needles are inserted into certain parts of the body. These points are known as the meridian Acupuncture points (King et al. 2016). The whole premise of the treatment is to make sure that it is carried out for therapeutic and preventive purposes (King et al. 2016). Despite it being perceived as somewhat a painful treatment, the research has shown that the patients who have opted for this style of treatment have generally found it to be rather safe and cost-effective in the long run (King et al. 2016).

Usage of the Auricular Acupuncture in the Treatment of the Mental Disorders

Even though not much has been carried out in this regard, the limited evidence that is carried out with regards to the usage of Auricular Acupuncture for the treatment of mental disorders has turned out to be rather effective, to say the least (King et al. 2015). There are many mental disorders whose treatment has been carried out in an efficient manner with the help of Auricular Acupuncture, such as dementia, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and hosts of other sleeping disorders (King et al. 2016).

Systematic Review of the Treatment by Auricular Acupuncture for PTSD

One of the first systematic reviews that were carried out using the whole thing was that of the Meta-analysis. The whole premises of the treatment were based on the prospective clinical trials that were carried out during the whole period (King et al. 2016). The key thing that needed to be taken care of during the course of the treatment was to make sure that how the trial for the effectiveness of Auricular Acupuncture is going to be effective for the treatment of PTSD (King et al. 2016). When the high-quality RCT was shown, it displayed the fact that how there were going to be considerable effects regarding the way waitlist control was supposed to be carried out (King et al. 2016). Despite the fact that the result was positive, there was no statistical difference observed in the given time period, especially if one talks about the link between acupuncture and CBT (King et al. 2016). The other thing that was observed during the course of the whole treatment was how the therapeutic effect, in this case, was quite similar to that of the CBT therapy that was based on the earlier trials that were carried out in the same time period (Conboy et al. 2016). The other thing that was being done was the way clinical improvement was observed in the given time period (Conboy et al. 2016). The whole thing was related to Auricular Acupuncture, and the CBT lasted for about three months, especially the case that was witnessed after the treatment was seen in the high-quality RCT (Conboy et al. 2016).

Meta-Analysis of the Treatment

The Meta-analysis of the treatment showed that the whole Auricular Acupuncture, as well as the moxibustion, turned out to be much superior, especially in the case of the oral SSRI for cases that are related to PTSD (Conboy et al. 2016). The results thus seem to be quite positive and suggest that all the results that are carried out based on the meta-analysis are on the premises of the medium quality RCT (Conboy et al. 2016). The other interesting observation that was witnessed during the whole process was how the CBT used by the acupoint stimulation turned out to be more effective as compared to the CBT that was alone in reducing the effects of PTSD symptoms (Conboy et al. 2016). It has to be noted, though, that the acupuncture treatment, in this case, was not described in a transparent manner (Conboy et al. 2016).

Comparison of the Cochrane and the Eventual Risk of Bias

In the next section, it would be interesting to witness some of the patterns that were witnessed in terms of reporting quality (Conboy et al. 2016). The idea is to make sure that the comparison of the Cochrane risk of bias is carried out along with the CONSORT 2010 checklist (Conboy et al. 2016). The other important determinant is to make sure that the studies that are taking into account the high reporting quality are taken into consideration and that they comply with the higher STRICTA guidelines (Conboy et al. 2016). The key thing that was witnessed in more or less all the results was how they were not able to define the adverse effects that are related to Auricular Acupuncture (Conboy et al. 2016). It is an important discovery that goes to show that there is enough statistical evidence to make the claim that auricular acupuncture is an effective treatment method (Conboy et al. 2016).

Clinical Importance of the PTSD

As there is enough statistical background to claim the fact that Auricular Acupuncture has been useful when it comes to the treatment of PTSD, the next important thing that needs to be discussed is that what is the clinical importance of Auricular Acupuncture for cases of PTSD (King et al. 2015). It has to be noted that auricular acupuncture has been rather effective when it comes to emergency medication situations (Conboy et al. 2016). A recent case study has suggested the fact that the whole thing has been rather effective when it comes to making sure that the treatment of PTSD is carried out in the right manner and how it helps in cases where considerable emotional trauma is involved (King et al. 2015). One main reason that Auricular Acupuncture has been popular among veterans, which is a big factor in its success, is the fact that as compared to some of the other methods of treatment, it is much more convenient (Conboy et al. 2016). The medical device that is being used for the treatment is considerably cheap and rather easy to use for the professionals who are trained in this sort of treatment (Conboy et al. 2016). It is one of the prime reasons that mental disorder patients, especially veterans, are opting for this type of treatment to make sure that there is some remedy and degree of control witnessed in their problems (Conboy et al. 2016).

Studies and Results Conducted by the Pentagon

The studies that are conducted by the Pentagon have shown some interesting results regarding the way Auricular Acupuncture has been found to be an effective treatment method for the treatment of PTSD (Conboy et al. 2016). The key fact that is being witnessed in this study is that how the non-exposure treatment that is witnessed in the cases pertaining to PTSD has been found to be more effective as compared to the methods where one gets to see considerable exposure most of the time (Conboy et al. 2016). There are many reasons for this, such as the way in which training and the services of the soldiers are being witnessed (Conboy et al. 2016). The key reason, though, is that how the non-exposure soldiers have been found to be more effective due to the fact that most of the time, the soldiers are not supposed to share their experiences with anyone (Conboy et al. 2016). As a matter of fact, they find it difficult to even open up with their psychiatrist most of the time (King et al. 2015). The other thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the fact is the time period in which the benefits are visible. The age and the process that needs to be carried out for the veterans should be such that effort must be made to provide results in a rapid manner (Conboy et al. 2016). This is where the methods where the exposure techniques are not successful (Conboy et al. 2016).


Auricular Acupuncture has been witnessed to be quite effective in terms of the way in which rapid healing effects are supposed to be provided to patients (Conboy et al. 2016). The idea is to make sure that immediate respite is being provided to these patients (Conboy et al. 2016). One method of treatment pertaining to Auricular Acupuncture that was really effective in the given time period was how the veterans reacted quite well to the instances when Auricular Acupuncture was being provided to the area that is located near their ears (King et al. 2015). As a matter of fact, the methods turned out to be quite effective in a way as it allowed the veterans to make sure that they are able to get over their sleeping disorders, which are one of the biggest problems for patients who are suffering from PTSD (Conboy et al. 2016). The benefits of Auricular Acupuncture have been positive thus far as more and more veterans are turning up to make sure that they opt for this treatment (Conboy et al. 2016).


Conboy, L., Gerke, T., Hsu, K. Y., St John, M., Goldstein, M., & Schnyer, R. (2016). The Effectiveness of Individualized Acupuncture Protocols in the Treatment of Gulf War Illness: A Pragmatic Randomized Clinical Trial. PloS one, 11(3), e0149161.
King, C. H. C., Moore, L. C., & Spence, C. D. L. (2016). Exploring self-reported benefits of auricular acupuncture among veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 34(3), 291-299.
King, H. C., Spence, D. L., Hickey, A. H., Sargent, P., Elesh, R., & Connelly, C. D. (2015). Auricular acupuncture for sleep disturbance in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder: a feasibility study. Military medicine, 180(5), 582-590.
Wheeler, M. S., Glass, C. R., Arnkoff, D. B., Sullivan, P., & Hull, A. (2017). The Effect of Mindfulness and Acupuncture on Psychological Health in Veterans: an Exploratory Study. Mindfulness, 1-11.



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