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article imageMarine PTSD declines with healing touch and guided imagery

By Nancy Houser     Oct 1, 2012 in Health
A study at Camp Pendleton, California's Marine Corps Base Camp, has found that Marines diagnosed with moderate to severe PTSD show a significant reduction of symptoms when treated with healing touch and guided imagery --- alternative healing methods.
PTSD can be a difficult issue for soldiers to deal with and often times traditional approaches don't reach the men and women who serve our country. Using guided imagery can help, but unless you know how to introduce to military personnel, the effects will be lost
The randomized controlled trial was run from July 2008 to August 2010, led by San Diego's Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.
The alternative healing methods were combined with each returning marine's traditional healthcare program. Each marine was working with a Scripps practitioner for three-weeks; after six sessions, the random group practicing the alternative healing methods reported a significant improvement in PTSD symptoms.
The report finds that patients receiving these complementary medicine interventions showed significant improvement in quality of life, as well as reduced depression and cynicism, compared to soldiers receiving treatment as usual alone.
Camp Pendleton Marine Training Center
Camp Pendleton is the marine training center for Assault Craft Unit 5 (ACU 5), one of the United States Navy Amphibious Assault Teams. The center's main priority involves naval support operations and the transportation of troops, food, firepower, and tanks. ACU-5 is a vital part of the Navy due to the fact they can deliver supplies across long distances in a short period of time, working in high-level situations with minimal time frames.
Wikipedia - Camp Pendleton
Healing Touch
The University of Iowa describes Healing Touch (HT) as "a non-invasive therapy classified by the National Institutes of Health as a 'biofield' therapy because its effects are thought to be due to manipulation of energy fields around the body."
The HT practitioner contacted each marine's energy field by touching their body and the energy field around them. The healing contact was a conscious, intentional process of directing energy from the practitioner's hands into and around the marine's body. Studies at the University of Iowa state state that over 30,000 nurses are using the Healing Touch in healthcare settings for numerous areas:
* Reduce pain and anxiety
* To assist with wound and fracture healing
* Reduces the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation
* Normalizes blood pressure
* Supports feelings of well-being.
Considered a form of Holistic Therapy, many times HT is used in conjunction with traditional treatments. When the marines were receiving HT, light touches were applied to specific points on their bodies and around each body.The goal was to restore their body's energy and vitality that had been lost due to stress and exhaustion; the HT increased the body's well-being while supporting each marine's ability to heal.
Healing Touch training is available through Healing Touch International.
Guided Imagery
Edward Elga wrote on guided imagery with music:
My idea is that there is music in the air,
music all around us;
the world is full of it,
and you simply take as much as you require.
Guided imagery using music-assisted therapy, is used to explore a person's inner world while working on significant life issues: disturbing old memories; losses; trauma; bothering health conditions; and relationship issues. While being guided through sounds of music, strong emotions are released and the client finds helpful resolutions.
A powerful tool, guided imagery does several things to promote healing:
* It connects the conscious to the unconscious.
* It stimulates the intuition and the creative potential.
* It activates our innate capacity for healing and transformation.
* It provides encouragement to get through difficult emotions and life situations and carries the client through the heights and depths of an experience.
* It helps to reduce fears and anxieties.
* It reduces stress and enhances a state of well-being.
* It allows unresolved issues to surface and helps to remove mental and emotional blocks.
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