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Vicarious Trauma

Vicarious Trauma was first identified in the 1980's as "the cost for caring." Symptoms are similar to those of PTSD. This type of emotional trauma can build overtime. Hearing stories or viewing distressing images can affect you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.


This week, I have seen alot of this in the clinic.


Acupuncture is a great non-verbal and non-pharmacological healing modality to treat PTSD and overactive nervous systems. There are many positive studies on the efficacy of the use of acupuncture to treat PTSD and other types of emotional trauma and mental health disorders. According to the research, acupuncture as can affect the autonomic nervous system, the prefrontal cortex and the limbic brain structures, making it an efficient modality for the treatment of symptoms similar to PTSD.


Empathetic engagement with others who've experienced trauma is important. However, finding balance and managing self care is essential.


Symptoms include:

  • Body

    • panic symptoms

    • aches and pains

    • weakened immune system

  • Mind/Behavioral

    • trouble concentrating

    • racing thoughts

    • thoughts about harming self or others

    • feelings of helplessness

    • fear

    • anxiety

    • hypervigilance

    • forgetfulness

  • Spirit

    • lack of meaning in life

    • withdrawal and isolation

    • distrust

    • sadness or depression


Need help? I can provide group or individual services. Reach out www.floraandfana.com


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Ding, N., Li, L., Song, K., Huang, A., & Zhang, H. (2020). Efficacy and safety of acupuncture in treating post-traumatic stress disorder: A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine, 99(26), e20700. https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000020700


Fogaça, L. Z., Portella, C. F. S., Ghelman, R., Abdala, C. V. M., & Schveitzer, M. C. (2021). Mind-Body Therapies From Traditional Chinese Medicine: Evidence Map. Frontiers in public health, 9, 659075. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.659075


Roberts, C., Darroch, F., Giles, A., & van Bruggen, R. (2022). You're carrying so many people's stories: vicarious trauma among fly-in fly-out mental health service providers in Canada. International journal of qualitative studies on health and well-being, 17(1), 2040089. https://doi.org/10.1080/17482631.2022.2040089


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