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Observational Study on Acupuncture for Earthquake-related Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Research & Studies

An Observational Study on Acupuncture for Earthquake-related Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: The Experience of the Lombard Association of Medical Acupuncturists/Acupuncture in the World, in Amatrice, Central Italy

Citation (APA style): Moiraghi, C., Poli, P., & Piscitelli, A. (2019). An observational study on acupuncture for earthquake-related post-traumatic stress disorder: The experience of the Lombard Association of Medical Acupuncturists/Acupuncture in the World, in Amatrice, central Italy. Medical Acupuncture, 31(2), 116–122. doi:10.1089/acu.2018.1329

Abstract

Background and Objective: Earthquakes are associated with severe psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Current first-line therapies for PTSD have well-known side-effects. Acupuncture is a complementary approach to help patients cope with mental problems after natural disasters and public health events. This article describes an acupuncture intervention conducted by the Lombard Association of Medical Acupuncturists/Acupuncture in the World in the earthquake-stricken area of Amatrice in Central Italy and measures the effect of acupuncture on earthquake-related pain and psychologic symptoms in the victims.

Methods: The intervention lasted five weeks, from September to October 2016. Adult patients with psychologic symptoms and musculoskeletal pain were included. Treatments were performed by experienced medical acupuncturists. A verbal/numerical scale was developed to quantify the effect of intervention. A Wilcoxon rank–sum test was used for comparison of the scores before and after the acupuncture treatment.

Results: Of the patients, 68.3% reported having both pain and psychologic symptoms. The most frequently used meridian points were Kidney (13.17%), followed by Large Intestine (12.46%), Spleen (12.04%) and Gall Bladder (10.34%). After three treatments performed in daily sessions, 54.05% and 60.6% of patients reported marked improvements in psychologic and pain symptoms, respectively. Statistical analysis showed a significant difference between the scores reported before the first treatment and after the third treatment, both for pain (p=0.000) and psychologic symptoms (p=0.000). No serious adverse events were reported.

Conclusions: These results suggest that acupuncture could be a useful tool for reducing pain and psychologic symptoms related to earthquakes, but further research is required in this specific area.

Keywords

acupuncture, earthquake, posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD

The use of Advanced Integrative Therapy with C-PTSD and intergenerational trauma transmission: A case study

Research & Studies

The Use of Advanced Integrative Therapy with C-PTSD and Intergenerational Trauma Transmission: A Case Study

Citation (APA Style): Weaver, T. B. (2021). The use of Advanced Integrative Therapy with C-PTSD and intergenerational trauma transmission: A case study. Energy Psychology: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 13(2), 23–38. doi:10.9769/EPJ.2021.13.2.TBW

Abstract

Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) pose health problems in the United States, and intergenerational relational trauma plays a role in the continuation and transmission of these issues. Advanced Integrative Therapy (AIT), a novel treatment, was used to treat a case of C-PTSD. The client’s chief concern was a flare-up of anxiety, relational distress, and fibromyalgia that occurred when they (chosen pronoun) accepted custody of their nephew. Over a span of nine 90-minute sessions, the clinician assessed progress using the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5; Weathers et al., 2013) to measure PTSD symptoms; the International Trauma Questionnaire (ITQ; Cloitre et al., 2018), which measures C-PTSD symptoms according to the criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Diseases, 11th revision (ICD-11); the Child-Parent Relationship Scale (CPRS; Pianta, 1992), which measures connection and conflict in the caregiver-child relationship; and the Subjective Units of Distress (SUD) scale (Wolpe, 1969), which rates the client’s current level of distress or discomfort. The clinician also used the self-report questionnaire Helpful Aspects of Therapy (HAT; Llewelyn et al., 1988) and the Change Interview (CI) method (Elliott et al., 2001) to measure client experience and perspective. After treatment with AIT, the client no longer met criteria for C-PTSD and showed dramatic improvement in intergenerational relationship satisfaction. In addition, there was a rapid reduction of hard to eradicate C-PTSD symptoms as well as reduction in the quantity and intensity of fibromyalgia induced pain. Use of AIT with caregivers could interrupt the transmission of intergenerational trauma thereby reducing or preventing ACEs by increasing emotional regulation and resilience.

Key Words

C-PTSD, complex trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, case report, AIT, Advanced Integrative Therapy