Dr. Lori Horan Soule, ND, LAc

Soule Health Care

3526 SW Corbett

Portland OR, 97239


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Newsletter Archive

In the Face of Trauma, How are you Coping?

September 29, 2011

The Pew Research Center reported their study of mental distress experienced by Americans since the trauma of 9/11/01. Researchers found that after the attacks, seven out of ten people were depressed, one out of three people had difficulty sleeping, and one out of two people had difficulty concentrating. All of these emotional responses to trauma are normal in light of the enormous loss and damage precipitated by the violence toward our people, our property and our psyches. In my clinical practice, I have seen my clients range from those paralyzed by grief to those galvanized by revenge. Others are edgy and still jump at loud noises weeks after the September trauma.

The manner in which each of us responds emotionally to life's greatest stressors can be a very important clue into how to treat the body effectively for physical ailments. Five Element acupuncture includes a patient's predominant emotional responses to pain in the comprehensive picture of diagnosis and treatment of physical ailments. To have a wide range of mental and emotional reactions and responses to a trauma is normal. If emotional responses do not resolve, they can go on to become a chronic condition and part of a person's larger dis-ease.

Trauma can affect our overall state of health as much as any airborne pathogen, such as a cold or flu. Many people can relate to "not being the same since" a specific traumatic event. In Chinese medical theory, emotions are "stored" in specific organs. For example, grief is felt in the lungs. When a person suffers a trauma of any kind, it can course through the body and the energy of it can get "stuck" in certain organs, especially the ones in which a constitutional weakness appears. This can amplify smoldering chronic physical conditions, or it can create new physical symptoms. Five Element acupuncture incorporates the mental and emotional symptoms as part of what needs to be treated in addition to physical symptoms.

For example, Karen came into my office with debilitating asthma and sinusitis. She was heavily medicated on inhalers, antibiotics, and steroid drugs. After telling her story, it became clear that her asthma started when a close family member died in an accident. Her grief literally got stored in her lungs and became a physical condition. Before treating her sinuses or asthma, we worked on clearing her previous trauma with acupuncture, which made her physical ailments much better almost immediately.

Five Element acupuncture can help in several ways:

  • It can help to clear trauma energetically from the body.
  • It can assist in alleviating physical ailments that were already present before the trauma occurred, or symptoms that appeared after the trauma.

Five Element acupuncture cannot change the circumstances of trauma, but it can help to return a person closer to one's pre-trauma state, and enable them to cope better. It aids in processing difficult emotions more quickly. Clearing trauma also liberates life energy to be available for health and creative endeavors.

If you, or someone you know, have not recovered well from any former trauma, see Dr. Lori Horan Soule for a Five Element acupuncture diagnosis and treatment.

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