Treating “Wounds Of The Mind”

August 28, 2008

Awhile back, I wrote this story about the new Restoration and Resiliation Center at Fort Bliss and how they were utilizing alternative therapies to help treat Soldiers suffering from PTSD and TBI. I also wrote a few weeks later about how they Army was hoping to replicate the program across the Army, because of the successes they were having at Fort Bliss.

Currently the US military has $4 million allotted to study whether alternative and holistic therapies can help to mend the “wounds of the mind.” Because of the high numbers of Soldiers returning that have been diagnosed with PTSD and TBI, the government is currently offering grants for groups to conduct clinical studies on the effects of therapies such as yoga, Reiki, animal assisted therapies, meditation, etc. According to the DoD’s request for proposals which closed on May 15th, they are totally supportive of the use of alternative therapies, if they are proven to be efficacious.

One person, who has applied for a research grant, Lola Scarborough, the owner of Yoga Lola studio in League City, Texas, is hoping to be able to document the benefits of Kundalini yoga on veterans who are suffering form PTSD and TBI. According to Scarborough, Kundaline yoga awakens an untapped reserve within the people who utilize it, envisioned as a sleeping serpent at the base of the spine. The thought is that this untapped reserve can help veterans deal better with anger, flashbacks, depression and anxiety …. Symptoms that are often associated with PTSD and TBI.

“There is a big problem with people coming back from war. They are able to survive physical wounded through body armor, but they are blowing up their brains,” Scarborough said.1

Across the country, many yoga studios are offering free sessions to veterans who are suffering from PTSD and TBI. They understand that PTSD is a chronic condition and are hoping that their services will help these veterans. They’re not, by far a cure all. Often it’s found that a combination of traditional and holistic treatments work the best, which is what is occurring at the Fort Bliss program.

Practitioners of the holistic practices, say that things such as yoga, which is an ancient Hindu practice of utilizing meditation through controlled breathing, balancing and stretching, is great for relieving stress and trauma. Some Soldiers in Iraq are already using the yoga techniques, doing yoga when they can in their spare time, to help relieve the stressors.

The executive director of the VA’s National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, fells that the government’s willingness to attempt to find scientific proof that yoga and other holistic treatments are beneficial for patients suffering from PTSD and TBI is a positive move.

“This is what science is all about, testing something that a lot of people out there say works,” said Matthew Friedman.2

I’m all for this type of research. One of my uncle’s is a practitioner in Oriental medicine and teaches at a School of Natural Therapeutics in New Mexico. He has been in the practice for years and swears by it. I’ve talked with him extensively about his thoughts in utilizing these therapies for treatment of PTSD and TBI and am pretty excited about what he’s seen and been able to do. I look forward to hearing more about this and hope that more and more military installations across the country will begin utilizing these treatments. After all, if these non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical treatments prove effective, then this is a much better avenue of treatment for our Troops, then having them doped up on medication to help them on the road to recovery.

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5 Responses to “Treating “Wounds Of The Mind””

  1. Yoga Techniques From Around The Web » Blog Archive » Treating “Wounds Of The Mind” on August 28th, 2008 1:10 am

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  4. Yoga Techniques From Around The Web » Blog Archive » Treating "Wounds Of The Mind" on August 28th, 2008 6:13 am

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  5. ptsd symptoms on September 16th, 2008 3:11 pm

    [...] Soldiers suffering from ptsd and TBI. I also wrote a few weeks later about how they Army was ho Victim SyndromeThese may be "Victims of Narcissists". Little to nothing has been [...]

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