“Why are alternative treatments better at managing PTSD than drugs?” This is a question that Valerie Minard, my colleague from New Jersey, asks in her recent post. In writing on the connection between consciousness, spirituality, and health, Valerie offers a thoughtful answer. Here is what she wrote:
Former Marine Robert Consulmagno from Jersey City, New Jersey, served honorably for five years in the military. But when he came home, he wanted to find peace of mind not only from the trauma of an abusive childhood but from his time in military service. Initially, he was treated with medication for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and bi-polar disorder. But he eventually stopped taking the medication. “When I was on it I was more depressed, suicidal, and hospitalized,” he said. ”Once I got off it, my life began to change.”
About four years ago, Robert took up Brazilian Jiu jitsu. He is now the #2 ranking purple belt in the world, using the intense physical training as his therapy. His story is motivating other vets, and he hopes to encourage them to seek alternative treatments like he did. “I’m trying to help save lives without medicating,” he said. (See video: Robert “COZMO”)
Alternative treatments may include things like therapeutic fishing, backpacking, rafting, horse handling and riding, yoga, and interacting with service dogs or pets. Recent studies claim that alternative treatments like yoga and interacting with animals can be just as effective as drugs without the harmful side effects. And some doctors are beginning to incorporate them into the treatments they prescribe. In spite of that, most experts believe that there is no cure for PTSD and that it can only be managed.
Read more from Valerie Minard’s blog.