Traumatic Stress Response: Orientation, History and Context

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  • Apply Yin/Yang theory to the concepts of sympathetic activation and parasympathetic collapse after traumatic stress.

  • Discuss traumatic stress as a vibrational illness and acupuncture as vibrational medicine.

  • Explore the usefulness of acupuncture as a component of public health settings serving trauma survivors.

  • Apply Western physiology’s description of the Central Nervous System to Asian medicine’s understanding of the 3 Jiao.


Acupuncture has much to offer survivors of traumatic stress. Our concept of Qi is our greatest contribution to the study of traumatic stress. This course explores the traumatic stress response as an energetic (qi) system that has been stimulated beyond its range of resiliency and is awaiting restoration of its natural balance and equilibrium.

It shows trauma as vibrational illness and acupuncture as vibrational medicine. 

Trauma is experienced differently today than when acupuncture came into being 3,000 years ago. Rarely in current time do survivors return home from war, natural disasters or human tragedies to intact families and communities and an agrarian life-style that immerses them in the regulating impulses of the lunar and solar cycles. Integrating modern Western physiology with Acupuncture and Asian medicine can give rise to new treatment paradigms that more fully meet the needs of modern-day trauma survivors.

Engaging the body is essential for restoring regulation and balance in survivors of traumatic stress. The dysregulation caused by traumatic stress leaves its imprint in the tissues and affects the body, the mind and the spirit of survivors. Restoring regulation to survivors cannot rest alone in the hands of mental health providers.

Our theoretical foundation is rooted in balance between opposing poles of energy that co-exist in dynamic tension – and is mirrored in neurobiology’s division of the autonomic nervous system into its sympathetic and parasympathetic aspects. Acupuncture is a useful component to comprehensive care programs for survivors of traumatic stress. It can support the work of mental health providers, physical therapists and medical doctors, and can play a vital and critical role in the treatment of many of the public health issues facing our nation.

Provider - TCM Academy 

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