When Major Sue Lynch was caught in a Scud attack during the Gulf War, it left her suffering from long-term mental trauma. For years she underwent psychotherapy and other traditional therapy methods for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but was still left with flashbacks and bouts of insomnia.
Eventually, Lynch began exploring alternative forms of therapy and found her peace by practicing yoga. The calming breathing techniques and low-impact, slow movements helped Lynch overcome her symptoms and finally gain some control over her reactions.
Her love of yoga and excitement over how it helped her own life led Lynch to found the There and Back Again organization in Charlestown, Mass. The program focuses on wellness and reintegration for veterans who suffer from mental disorders such as PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries TBI.
One of the great benefits of alternative treatments such as yoga for PTSD is that it is a treatment that veterans can take control of themselves. Yoga can be done anywhere there's a quiet space, meaning a veteran can conduct his or her own therapy sessions when needed.
PTSD is a condition that plagues veterans of wars, both past and present. Current statistics from a study by the Rand Corporation show that of the 2 million troops who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, nearly 1/3 of the veterans who return have been diagnosed with PTSD.
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