20 August 2013

Author Emily Gee

Alternative therapies for veterans, are they any good? Of course they are, but I’m going to say that aren’t I!

Seriously though, alternative therapies, if nothing else, help us relax and relaxing is something most veterans have forgotten how to do. In a lot of cases they have never experienced full relaxation, believing it to be a good few pints down the pub with their mates! That of course is a form of relaxation, but not the kind thats going to aid you feeling refreshed, have more energy and better focus.

We live in an era where our medical expenses are paid for us so actually putting our hands in our pockets and spending money on our wellbeing is an alien concept. We’ve become accustomed to allowing others to take control of our health and when others can’t help us we hit a brick wall. What about us taking control back, making decisions to better ourselves, making decisions to find another way when previously we’ve been told nothing can be done? How can investing in ourselves be anything other than positive; doesn’t prevention make more sense than repairing? We service our cars in the hope they’ll keep running knowing that if they break it’ll cost more to repair them.

Alternative therapies can of course be used to help us when we are ill, but to use them as a tool to keep us in tip top health both physically and emotionally makes sense. If at the point of reading this you already have symptoms of ill health, maybe escalating levels of anxiety or depression, then alternative therapies can really help. If you are concerned about PTSD then visit your doctor, if for any reason you just don’t feel yourself then take the biggest and most important step of all, decide to do something about it.

If your doctor is naive about PTSD then conduct your own research online; there are many charities out there waiting to help you, and don’t forget to try an alternative therapy. I’m confident you’ll be glad you did. If money is tight, go for a yoga class or try meditation or Tia Chi - these classes should cost around £4-£5.

Bernadette O’Connor

Alternative Sceptics 

Veterans in Practice are currently working with filmmaker Jackie Passmore to produce a documentary film about alternative or holistic therapies as part of the Alternative Sceptics project. Over the past 6 months VIP have been experiencing different therapies (including acupuncture, reflexology and yoga) and exploring how they might be beneficial to a veteran's wellbeing. The project is produced by and for veterans with the aim of demystifying the processes of accessing different forms of therapies.

The video is of VIP’s Tom talking through the aims of the project. For more information on this project and on Veterans in Practice please contact Angharad Williams or Emily Gee (contact details below).

Image courtesy of Stephen King.