Updated: November 4th, 2020

By James Snow, M.A., RH(AHG)
Dean, Academic Affairs

June is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. PTSD is more common than many people realize, and it can have debilitating effects on the individual as well as impact their relationships with loved ones. In any given year approximately eight million American adults are suffering from this condition and it is estimated that seven to eight percent of the U.S. population will have PTSD during their lifetime. While anyone may develop PTSD, it is more prevalent in certain populations such as military veterans.

Several complementary and integrative health (CIH) approaches have been investigated regarding benefits in PTSD. Preliminary evidence suggests that mindfulness-based stress reduction, acupuncture, and yoga are some of the CIH approaches that may help to lower PTSD symptoms. Further research is needed to clarify the true benefits of CIH approaches and several studies are underway at the Department of Veterans Affairs to assess the impact of CIH approaches among veterans.

While health professionals play a key role in helping those with PTSD, we can all make a difference. Gently encouraging social interaction, being an exercise partner, and being a good listener are just some of the ways to support a loved one with PTSD.


Cramer, H., Anheyer, D., Saha, F. J., & Dobos, G. (2018). Yoga for posttraumatic stress disorder – a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC psychiatry, 18(1), 72. doi:10.1186/s12888-018-1650-x

Grant, S., Colaiaco, B., Motala, A., Shanman, R., Sorbero, M., & Hempel, S. (2018). Acupuncture for the treatment of adults with posttraumatic stress disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 19(1), 39-58.

Niles, B. L., Mori, D. L., Polizzi, C., Pless Kaiser, A., Weinstein, E. S., Gershkovich, M., & Wang, C. (2018). A systematic review of randomized trials of mind-body interventions for PTSD. Journal of clinical psychology, 74(9), 1485–1508. doi:10.1002/jclp.22634

Polusny, M. A., Erbes, C. R., Thuras, P., Moran, A., Lamberty, G. J., Collins, R. C., … & Lim, K. O. (2015). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for posttraumatic stress disorder among veterans: a randomized clinical trial. Jama, 314(5), 456-465.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Client Relationships is a masterclass currently being offered by MUIH’s Office of Professional and Continuing Education. This self-paced, online course is appropriate for social workers, mental health professionals, complimentary and integrative health professionals, or anyone who works closely with people living with post-traumatic stress disorder. For more information, visit ce.muih.edu or email .