June is PTSD Awareness Month, so this month we wanted to talk about holistic support solutions that can be done in conjunction with any other medical treatment you or a loved one may be doing for their PTSD. We want to say upfront that we are not counselors here at Flow Natural Health Care, but we are here to help anyone experiencing anxiety or suffering from an anxiety disorder like PTSD.
What is PTSD?
Before we discuss natural support for those who have PTSD, we wanted to give you a quick overview of what PTSD is. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder caused by a person being subjected to a stressful situation. After the situation is over, the person suffering still feels aftershocks from the trauma to which they have been subjected.
This trauma can raise its head in different ways. Someone with PTSD may have nightmares about the incident, suffer from flashbacks, or see/hear/smell something that causes them to relive the event. PTSD can also cause a person to have insomnia, a difficult time concentrating, become startled easily, feel the world is a dangerous place, or suffer from trust issues.
Often, the situation that caused the PTSD is related to a military experience – it used to be called “shell shock.” However, people who have suffered childhood trauma or been in an abusive relationship can also have PTSD.
Holistic PTSD Support
Even though PTSD is a mental health issue, there are natural remedies that you can use to help you combat common PTSD symptoms. Here are a few ways you can use holistic health solutions in conjunction with other treatment:
Discover your food allergies and intolerances. Allergies can cause undue stress on the nervous system and the rest of the human body. An allergic reaction to food can feel a lot like a panic attack, with shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and more. On top of this, a food intolerance can add to irritability or nervousness.
Many Americans suffer from food allergies and intolerances without ever realizing it! Discovering and properly treating these issues can help you feel calmer and more comfortable in your own skin.
Make sure you are getting the right vitamin support. Many people who have been diagnosed with PTSD are taking medication for their condition. One of the problems with adding foreign chemicals to the human body is that they can sap your body of vital nutrition, causing unnecessary side effects. Be sure to get consistent blood tests and talk to a nutritionist about supplementing any vitamin or mineral deficiencies. These deficiencies may be caused by medication, physical disease, stress, or any number of sources – but supplementing them can only make you feel better and may even help your body more easily handle stress.
Get checked for autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases like celiac disease, lupus, anemia, or Crohn’s disease can cause changes in mood, depression, and more. These conditions stress your body out, making it harder to sleep at night and feel happy or relaxed during the day. Receiving proper treatment for any autoimmune disease you may have can help improve your mood – and your sleep.
Find out what relaxes you. While many people who do not have PTSD have standard “go tos” for relaxation, your needs may be a little different. Find out what makes you feel stress-free. It might be that you enjoy feeding the ducks or you may feel most relaxed during a yoga session. Cranial sacral therapy may be the key to relaxation, or you might prefer to sit on the back porch with a good book. Discovering things that do not trigger your symptoms and instead make you feel good is just as valuable as finding and avoiding triggers.
Consider herbal support. There are many herbal remedies for anxiety, stress, nervousness, and restlessness. However, some of the standard herbal support options may not be right for you, depending on your medication. So, before trying the below herbs and remedies, talk to a holistic medical provider who is familiar with your medical history:
- Blueberry extract
- Green tea
- Lemon balm
- Stinging nettle
All of the above herbs have been used in tinctures and teas to help people relax and can often contribute to reducing feelings of nervousness and anxiety.
If someone you know has been diagnosed with PTSD be sure to give them your support this month. And, if you have PTSD, know that you have our support. If you feel that a holistic or nutritional remedy may help ease your symptoms or provided much-needed relief, let us know. We are here to help!