NEW treatment for trauma and PTSD
When a colleague shared some literature on the Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) as a treatment for PTSD, I contacted the Australian representatives to get more information.
SGB involves injecting an anaesthetic medication into nerves in the neck.
It targets symptoms like insomnia, anxiety, irritability, hypervigilance, acute startle response, and difficulties concentrating.
SGB is not new, yet relatively few trauma sufferers are aware of it in Australia.
It has been used to treat physical and chronic pain for nearly a century, including veterans who have reportedly received relief from their PTSD and mental trauma symptoms with this procedure, usually within a single session.
Over the course of the last twenty years, SGB for PTSD has been the subject of significant clinical trials.
Treatment in Australia is through the Stella Centre [1800 921 445] who reports the procedure as a safe and effective treatment modality, with some strategic advantages, and some limitations.
Advantages include a no-stigma pathway to relief providing rapid relief for many who are treated. There is typically no attrition from care, rather you may find cost savings and increased access to care due to its inherent efficiency, and no documented long-term side effects or risk of a positive “illicit” drug test.
Limitations include a 10-20% non-response rate, potential complications (although SGB is considered a routine, minimally invasive procedure when performed by a skilled physician), and the potential for patients to view SGB as a “miracle cure.”
SGB is not a standalone treatment
When SGB is used in combination with psychotherapy and other mind-body wellness practices, its full power is unleashed.
The Stella Centre describes SGB is the “primer” before the “paint” of psychotherapy and other wellness programs.
SGB Treats the Physical Injury of Trauma
Exposure to high stress or traumatic events often results in debilitating symptoms that can originate from the sympathetic nervous system’s fight or flight response.
When individuals suffer from trauma-related symptoms, the fight or flight response can stay in “high gear” long after the trauma.
You should review the Stella Centre website for more information if you are interested www.stellacentre.com.au
The Centre reports that the ‘SGB procedure interacts with the sympathetic nervous system to help restore normal biological function and can efficiently address many of the most severe symptoms associated with trauma – usually within one or two clinical visits’.
Want to Learn More About SGB Treatment?
We cannot recommend SGB as a treatment as we have not tried it, nor do we have the medical or scientific background to conduct a proper assessment.
And any decision regarding treatment should be made only after detailed discussions with your medical advisor.
The website has a diagnostic quiz regarding PTSD and there is also a patient care team to make initial enquiries (1800 921 445)