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    Sunday, September 13, 2015

    How to Balance Rhythms to Enhance Trauma Treatment

      Underlying the integrated functions of mind/body/spirit, in humans and animals alike, are endogenous natural rhythms that pulsate, oscillate, and vibrate, lined to the exogenous rhythms of nature. This timely ebb and flow of natural rhythms—the polarized dynamic of opposites represented as sleep and wakefulness, inhalation and exhalation, systole and diastole, beta and delta—are severely compromised by trauma.

    Traumatic experiences, the unexpected catastrophes of life, affect the functioning of the whole being physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Trauma disrupts endogenous rhythmic cycles of function and cyclic movement is replaced by a state of fixation. This is well established by conventional medicine as reflected in the concepts of autonomichyperarousal and hyper/hypoactivity of the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary

    The major rhythmic disruption in PTSD and complex trauma is circadian rhythm; the 24 hr. sleep/wake cycle that follows the dark/light cycle of the sun’s rising and setting.

    Many people with PTSD have a disrupted sleep pattern. They wake up late and they feel groggy. They slowly get going throughout the day (often with the aid of excess stimulants)  and then by night time they are wired and can’t get to sleep. Their sleep is fitful, and they are exhausted. The disrupted rhythm of sleep correlates with disrupted cortisol rhythms. Normally this rhythmic cortisol output should be highest in the morning and slowly lower until midnight when one falls asleep. But it is often the reverse in PTSD.

    Resetting this rhythm can be effected with the use of light therapy,  and nutritional and botanical medicine strategies to slowly “reset” the rhythm.

    1) Light therapy

    Evaluation for light therapy can be obtained. Access resources at Center for Environmental Therapeuticshttp://www.cet.org/ (link is external)

    Light therapy box is often covered by insurance with a Dx of Major depression or sleep disorder.

    Use of Blue Light Blocking Glasses. 1-hr. before sleep put on blue light blocking glasses to begin to stimulate melatonin release

    2) Nutritional Strategies.

    Increasing good quality protein sources, using sea salt  and reducing stimulant foods like coffee, sugar and refined flours. Healthy easy to make recipes link  are the key

    Nutritional Supplements

        Natural Anxiolytics like Lactium
        Supplementation with 1mg. of Vitamin B-12 (Methycobalamin)
        0.5 mg. Melatonin
        500-1000 mg of tryptophan 1 hr. before bed
        Magnesium sulfate (epsom salt)  bath before bed (Add 1 cup of salts to a tub of water)

    Botanical Medicine

    Licorice Root tea is an effective adaptogen that helps to regulate circadian rhythm by supporting adrenal function.. (People with high blood pressure should limit licorice use)

    It takes time to reset the inner clock and reestablish the rhythms to support health and well being.

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     This topic brought to you from psychologytoday.com
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