Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a new term for an old condition. It used to be called shell shock or combat fatigue but whatever it’s called it’s a huge problem. Every day in the US an Iraq or Afghanistan war veteran commits suicide because of it and 300,000 soldiers from those wars have been diagnosed with it in the US alone. Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and UK soldiers and veterans are also suffering from PTSD.
Many experts on the military are very concerned not only with the obvious effect that this has on individual lives but also with the long term effect of the morale of the army and the reluctance that people will have to join the army if they correlate this with a high likelihood of suffering from PTSD and/or trying to commit suicide. See http://www.cnas.org/files/documents/publications/CNAS_LosingTheBattle_HarrellBerglass.pdf
There are still war veterans from Vietnam, Korea, World War 2 and many of the other smaller conflicts that have taken place all over the world. PTSD not just affects veterans of the military but civilians caught up in conflicts too. Victims of the Rwandan genocide, Yugoslavia, Syria are also suffering from PTSD.
So how, as natural therapists, can we help alleviate the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual suffering that people suffering from PTSD are going through?
I would like to discuss two main therapies that I believe could be of great benefit to sufferers of PTSD. How we can reduce the suicide rate and the emotional problems associated with military and civilian veterans of war.
I believe that every soldier returning from a combat tour that could be suffering from PTSD should be given a Raynor massage twice a week for the first year of them returning. At the moment according to http://www.facethefactsusa.org/facts/the-true-price-of-war-in-human-terms each PTSD veteran is costing about $8300 a year in health care costs associated with PTSD. Obviously, with such high rates of suicide amongst PTSD sufferers this hasn’t been entirely successful.
Raynor massage specifically deals with emotions that have been trapped and not let go of in the body. It has been proven to be one of the most effective therapies for getting rid of old emotional stress that is still stuck in the body and mind. Receiving about 70 Raynor massages a year at $70 a massage would only cost $4900 per year. Receiving 100 massage would only be $7000. The benefits would be absolutely enormous just from this therapy. So many people have experienced enormous benefit from one Raynor massage from a well trained individual let alone 100. This alone would probably fix 90+% of most cases of PTSD.
The other therapy that would be hugely beneficial is Flower Essences. Dr Bach’s flower remedies are amazing at treating emotional imbalances. Now there are so many other flower remedies to choose from also. PTSD is often characterized by rage, depression, anxiety, nightmares, regret, guilt, panic, extreme fear etc. Flower Remedies can treat all of these different kinds of emotions so a soldier getting a weekly counselling session with a flower essence practitioner or Naturopath would experience enormous benefit. Even if a veteran or sufferer of PTSD only had 15 sessions a year with a Naturopath or professional therapist this would only cost at $70 a session another $1050.
So for between $6000 to $8000 a year, which is the current spending I think we could almost guarantee that more than 98+% of sufferers of PTSD would experience enormous benefit by the combination of a large number of sessions of Raynor massage and flower essence consultations.
This would not only help those soldiers that have fought in wars but would send a message to future young people wanting to join the military that our society actually cares for its war veterans. This could be enormously important if ever we face a calamity such as World War 2 again and we need to call on the bravery and willingness of young people to serve their communities in our armed forces. With fundamentalist jihadists, North Korean dictatorships and Chinese communist party aggressions in Tibet and other places we never know when our military may be needed to protect the very important freedoms that we all enjoy today thanks to the veterans of World War 2 and other wars.
Brandon Raynor Naturopath