After a veteran’s physical wounds have healed, many still find them struggling with psychological wounds that don’t respond to traditional treatment. But can CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) really help our returning soldiers?
Did you know that yoga is offered at almost 50 VA (Veterans Administration) sites in the U.S.? In fact, Yoga Warriors International is the largest program in America that seeks to help veterans through this ancient practice. Yoga is believed to strengthen the mind-body connection, retraining veterans’ biology to combat the fight-or-flight response.
Equine therapy – in which veterans care for and ride horses – is also gaining popularity. More than two dozen VA centers nationwide have an equine therapy program. Patients who complete this course of therapy are shown to have markedly decreased stress levels. Horses are believed to be especially attuned to people’s moods, which helps veterans with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Fearing the future – or living in a painful past – are often part of the symptoms veterans return home with. By practicing mediation regularly, they can learn to accept their thoughts and emotions without judgment, as well as live in the moment.