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Military Examines Yoga for PTSD Relief

WESTMINISTER, CO -- To combat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among war veterans, the U.S. military is exploring alternative methods, such as yoga nidra, for treating the condition.

Yoga nidra uses meditation, deep relaxation and breathing to reduce physical, emotional and mental tension.

A program of yoga nidra called Integrated Restoration (iRest), was developed by Richard Miller, founder and director of the non-profit Center of Timeless Being, which offers yoga nidra instruction. iRest is being used at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), Washington, DC, as well as Veterans Administration hospitals in Miami and Washington, DC, to treat those returning from deployments who suffer from PTSD.

Miller reported positive results when he studied the use of yoga nidra as a PTSD treatment in 2006 with a small number of participants at WRAMC. He noted that the study results were positive enough to continue the study with a larger population.

Major Nisha Money, a preventive health physician from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Andrews AFB, is a proponent of iRest use for PTSD treatment.

“Our soldiers are sent into combatant zones physically prepared to fight. It would also be helpful to add components within deployment readiness training programs that build mental strength as well,” Money told Ode magazine.

Money recently participated in a group panel discussion on the topic of “Bridging Science and Spirit” at a June 26-July 1 conference hosted by The International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine in Westminister, CO.

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