One in eight soldiers return from war with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD.
With soldier suicide rates up 80 percent, clearly this is a major problem for our nation. Experts say that soldiers who suffer from PTSD are especially prone to impulsive hostility and aggression. These outbursts not only affect the soldiers suffering from the disease, but also the families of our military men and women.
As the face of patriotism and bravery, the mental health of our soldiers and their families should be a top concern and priority.
Currently, less than half of those suffering seek help due to fear of sigma. But what if there was a way these soldiers could get treatment without the help of a counselor or doctor? If this were the case, many more might seek help.
The world of holistic health has provided a possible solution to this paradigm.
A study founded by the U.S. Defense Department found that there is one simple solution that can reduce the stress anxiety and depression caused by PTSD: yoga.
Yoga has steadily been gaining popularity with the over-stressed and anxious. With nearly16 million Americans regularly practicing yoga, applying this holistic technique to aid in treating a stress and anxiety based disorder seems only natural.
The study found that yoga has been shown to decrease and regulate stress, tension, anxiety, hostility, anger, fatigue and pain responses. Yoga can help with lowering heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to better impulse control.
In addition to having a myriad of beneficial mental health effects, yoga is seen as a more acceptable alternative to counseling or medication. Many view yoga as less stigmatizing and more easily accessible and affordable.
The military has taken the results of this and other studies and plans to experiment with using yoga and relaxation to treat PTSD.
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Photo By: Beverly and Pack, Flickr Creative Commons