The Milwaukee & Wisconsin Journal Sentinal reports that their local university is conducting studies on veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to see if meditation, yoga and deep breathing can help.
The report says that 31 year-old Rich Low,who is taking part in the study, said that Iraq affected him after he came home.
“The memories haunted him when he was awake, too. About six months after his deployment, he was driving at night when a sudden burst of lightning snapped him back to Baghdad and the bomb that exploded near him during a thunderstorm.
Low’s pulse raced as adrenaline surged through his body even though he was driving on a road far from any war zone.”
The report continues
“Low, an officer in charge of an Army infantry platoon, said meditation and deep breathing helped him recover from the stress of combat.
“I didn’t notice a change right away (after the study) but my dad did,” said Low, 31, of Madison, who deployed to Iraq in 2005 and ’06. “My dad and I were riding in a car when he said I seemed like myself from three, four years before, and that’s when it struck me that maybe Iraq affected me more than I knew.“”
The Milwaukee & Wisconsin Journal Sentinal continues;
“PTSD is a growing problem as veterans from two long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan return home to face emotional demons. An estimated 20% of the 2 million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress. And suicide rates among male post 9-11 veterans are much higher than the rest of the U.S. population.
Common symptoms of PTSD are hyper-vigilance, which makes veterans jumpy at the slightest sound; intrusive thoughts such as flashbacks and nightmares; and emotional numbness, including the inability to feel love.
Treating PTSD often involves medication and psychotherapy to force patients to grapple with their trauma. But yoga and meditation could be a gentler, less invasive way to treat the effects of combat stress, said Jack Nitschke, one of the lead investigators of the study.”
It’s great that these studies are taking place, and hopefully they will help open the door to effective treatments for all suffering from PTSD. Yoga, meditation and yoga breathing have helped millions, without any negative side effects. One of the things I think is very important is that these practices help build self-confidence and peace of mind, and reduce the need for people who have suffered enough to be dependent on questionable, and sometimes dangerous, pharmaceutical drugs.
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