In a new study being conducted at University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been investigating the use of yoga as a form of relief from post traumatic stress disorder in military personnel.
Symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) include emotional numbness, hypervigilance, which is marked by being extremely on edge and ‘jumpy’, having difficulty sleeping and the occurrence of nightmares, irritability and intrusive flashbacks.
Traditional treatment includes a concoction of drugs such as sleeping pills, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety each addressing different symptoms of PTSD are quite ineffective and often do not deal with the disorder as a whole. While new drug treatments are being developed and tested, researchers are investigating whether more relaxing and non-intrusive treatments such as yoga can help relieve symptoms.
A year into the study, researchers have reported that teaching combat veterans breathing techniques and yoga has relieved symptoms of PTSD.
It was reported that some participants were unaware of the psychological and emotional impact of their combat experiences until the yoga classes highlighted symptoms of PTSD. The implications of this being that emotional issues were addressed before they had a negative impact on relationships and day to day activities. Subsequently yoga could serve as a preventative to be prescribed to each and every military personnel upon returning from combat operations to make sure no PTSD symptoms go undetected.