Acupuncture and Auto Accidents
Acupuncture is an effective tool in addressing both the physical and emotional trauma following an auto accident. For example, this ancient Chinese practice can be used to alleviate stress and anxiety while reducing the pain of whiplash and herniated discs. In many cases, acupuncture can greatly help to decrease patients’ reliance on pain-killing medications.
Acupuncture for Emotional Trauma: Some auto accident victims experience a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after an accident. This often occurs because of the fast-paced, unexpected nature of auto accidents; they happen without warning and so quickly that the brain is unable to process the experience until well after the incident has taken place.
Fortunately, the experience of acupuncture is one of calm and relaxation. This practice has been shown in studies to decrease heart rate, lower blood pressure, and relieve anxiety. Chinese medical practitioners believe that this effect is the result of liberating the body from unhealthy blockages in the flow of energy. Western medical studies have demonstrated that Acupuncture helps with the release of certain feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain (serotonin, for example).
Acupuncture for Whiplash, Herniated Discs, and other Physical Trauma: Chinese medicine considers whiplash to be a disorder of balance because sudden force affects the structure of the bones. Treatment focuses on alleviating the pain associated with whiplash while helping patients regain proper balance.
Herniated discs occur during auto accidents because the force of impact is often strong enough to damage the spine. The discs of the spine act as a cushion between the vertebrae; during and auto accident, the soft, inner part of the disc bulges or slips out of place, affecting the nerves and causing pain.
With both herniated discs and whiplash, the sooner acupuncture is started the more effective it can be in terms of pain relief. By stimulating the nervous system, acupuncture helps the body to release chemicals that ease pain. In particular, acupuncture prompts the release of endorphins, which have both natural painkilling effects as well as calming properties.