Step outside of the box for mental
health & chronic pain therapy
Below are a few options to explore with educational materials, research, testimonials and information on how to access these therapies through the VA, in the community.
SGB's have been Used since the 1940"s as a treatment for chronic pain, hot flashes as well as psychiatric patients experiencing neurological disorders & psychosis.
The Stellate Ganglion is part of the cervical sympathetic chain, a key part of the sympathetic nervous system, which is the “fight or flight” nervous system. In PTSD and some other anxiety conditions, the “fight or flight” nervous system gets stuck in the “ON” position. By precisely placing long-acting local anesthetic (ropivacaine) around the stellate ganglion, the unproductive and chronic “fight or flight” response is turned off for several hours. This allows the brain and the body to “reset” back to a non-anxiety state. The brain has a quality called “neuroplasticity”, which means it can actually have durable change in response to treatments like an SGB. What we do know and can measure is this “resetting” results in long-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
Since 2016 alone over 15 studies have been conducted on SGB's for the treatment of PTSD that prove their overwhelming efficacy in relieving PTSD symptoms, more promising is that over 12 VA's across the US are reported to be providing these treatments in house.
Entheogen use has been documented in cultures around the world going back thousands of years, while many cultures lost these practices, Indigenous communities here in the Americas maintained their connection despite criminalization and the systemic eradication of their cultural traditions and practices.
Natural Psychedelics also known as Entheogens like Ayahuasca, Huachuma & Mushrooms among other things affect our serotonin system, specifically our 5-HT2A serotonin receptors. Huachuma better known as San Pedro is one of the oldest documented plant medicines with evidence going back to over ten thousand years ago. Here in the America's Indigenous communities have protected these sacred, medicinal & cultural practices after having spent over half the last century criminalized.
(MDMA)- and psilocybin-assisted therapy have shown promising outcomes in efficacy, safety, tolerability, and durability for PTSD and depression, respectively. MDMA-assisted therapy is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on an Expanded Access ("compassionate use") basis for PTSD, with full approval projected for 2024. Psilocybin-assisted therapy is projected to be FDA-approved for depression soon thereafter. Other psychedelics are in earlier stages of development.
Acupuncture, Somatic Therapy, Equine Therapy, Forest Bathing
This section explores therapies that help to calm the nervous system without medication.
Somatic therapies, exercises can include breathwork, cold plunging, mindfulness, grounding, dance, yoga and other body movement techniques.
Equine Therapy, also known as Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT), is a treatment that includes equine activities in an equine environment in order to promote physical, occupational, and emotional growth for veterans suffering from the physical wounds of war, PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and many other mental health challenges.
Acupuncture & Acupressure
Nutrition & Herbs
The gut is lined with neurons, and makes up the third part of our nervous system. our enteric nervous system, meaning that we really do feel things in our gut.
Processed foods such as biscuits, cakes, and sweets are quick to be broken down by the body into glucose, which causes a sugar spike. Processed foods contain very little magnesium. When an individual’s body undergoes extreme stress, their need for micronutrients increases. Magnesium sufficiency is particular relevant for individuals suffering from PTSD: not enough magnesium will increase pro-inflammatory markers in the body. Equally there is research that suggests eating too much sugar also decreases our B vitamins.