The Expedition Balance Path
New approaches to PTSD treatment.
Some vets with PTSD can be treated successfully as outpatients and resume their lives. But for many, traditional clinical treatments, even over the long term, have not been effective.
July 21, 2009
2. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, Volume 28,
Number4/Spring 2005. The Effects of Yoga on Mood in
An eight-week therapeutic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment Program at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany (LRMC), has produced promising results. During the eight-hour days, patients participated in a multidisciplinary curriculum that included art therapy, yoga and meditation classes, substance abuse groups, as well as anger and grief management, tobacco cessation, and pain management programs. The size of the study was too small to generalize, but self-completed PTSD checklists showed a significant decrease in reported symptoms. Additionally, anxiety and depression symptom measures decreased. 1
The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation
Yoga is known to improve the mood of psychiatric inpatients and reduce so-called “stress hormones” like cortisol.2 In a preliminary study at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., nine active-duty soldiers with PTSD wereable to sleep better and felt less depressed after 12 weeks of yoga practice. They expressed that they felt more comfortable with situations that they couldn’t control, and as a result, felt more control over their lives. The DoD has initiated a number of studies investigating the benefits of yoga and similar practices.
Not surprisingly, local community programs for veterans are already using these exercises and practices.