Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) approaches to trauma treatment and prevention are treatment plans outside the realm of clinical approaches. These may include yoga, mediation, acupuncture, homeopathy, oriental medicine, massage therapy, herbal medicine, electromagnetic therapy, hypnosis, art therapy such as dance and music, among so many more. (Johns Hopkins Medicine). These forms of treatment are creative ways of healing trauma without the use of prescription medicine.
“Through the years, a significant amount of progress has been made with nontraditional approaches to trauma treatment. Some of the most researched and supported methods include yoga and mindfulness, but they are not the only options available for people who experience symptoms of PTSD.” (Rousseau, Module 4).
I want to talk about how meditation is used to improve PTSD symptoms. According to an article by Healthline, “meditation is a practice that can help you focus your mind and gain greater awareness of yourself, thoughts and inner experience, surroundings, and moment-to-moment needs.” There are different kinds of mediations, and some might help reduce stress-induced trauma and PTSD symptoms more than others. One of the leading meditation forms is called “mindfulness“. According to Healthline, “mindfulness refers to a state of mind where you can acknowledge your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations without judgment.” This form of meditation helps one become more aware of the present moment, while staying safe and grounded while recalling past experiences or memories.
According to Module 4 of the course materials, Mindfulness refers to “the unprejudiced noticing of physical and emotional experiences, designed to enhance clarity and reduce rumination and self-critiquing.” In both definitions, the key word would be “without judgment” and “self-critiquing”. It is important to realize that you are engaging in mindfulness to not only heal, but to remember that your experiences do not define you.
CAM approaches are not for everyone, just like traditional treatment options are not. Finding what works for you is all apart of your own journey to healing. The process is ongoing, but it is important to know that there are many options available to you, all you have to do is choose.
Rousseau, D. (2022). Module 4: Pathways to recovery: Understanding approaches to trauma treatment. https://learn.bu.edu/bbcswebdav/courses/22sprgmetcj720_o2/course/module4/allpages.htm
Swaim, E. (2022, April 20). Can meditation help ease PTSD symptoms? Healthline. Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/ptsd-medita
Types of complementary and alternative medicine. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/types-of-complementary-and-alternative-medicine