Live on The Danielle Lin Show (www.daniellelin.com)
Ancient science breaks new ground in recovery
Guest: Leslye Moore, National Director PWHT
Guest: Colonel Joel Aoki, Aviation Officer, US Army
Guest: Cyndie Gibson, Ret. Lieutenant Colonel, Medical Director, U.S. Air Force
Listen to the segment here.
There is inspired hope for returning veterans struggling with the traumas of war. Project Welcome Home Troops is addressing the urgent need to support those who have served, along with their families, who are facing the emotional ravages that PTSD can cause. This proven method is shown to reduce depression, grief, guilt, and pain. The Sky Breathing Meditation course is being offered worldwide with an astounding impact of improving recovery rates up to 40 to 50%. This hour will open your heart with real life solutions.
To learn more: ProjectWelcomeHomeTroops.org
WASHINGTON, DC — (August 16, 2017) – With reports of 20 veterans taking their own lives everyday, the news of a holistic breathing meditation that is effective in relieving symptoms of PTSD and stress, is literally a sigh of relief. Almost 2,000 service members and veterans have found relief from PTSD and stress, through the SKY Breathing Meditation, offered to veterans at no cost, through Project Welcome Home Troops (PWHT).
On August 24-27, Project Welcome Home Troops will host its first ever retreat for almost 100 graduates of the SKY Breathing Meditation workshop, at the Art of Living Retreat Center, in Boone, North Carolina.
“The goal of our this retreat is to build on the skills and techniques learned, which strengthen emotional and social resilience and lead to optimum performance. The social and community component of Project Welcome Home Troops (PWHT) builds strong bonds and paves the way for a more positive reintegration experience for veterans and their families,” said Leslye Moore, National Director for Project Welcome Home Troops.
Despite advances in traditional therapy and drug-based treatments, a recent study shows that only 50% of patients who complete such treatments recover. Dr. Peter Bayley, who is leading a clinical trial at the Palo Alto VA Center, to examine the effects of the SKY meditation therapy on Veterans with clinically significant PTSD symptoms, points out, that “Despite promising findings, meditation has not been sufficiently studied in Veterans to recommend its widespread use in treating PTSD.”
Meanwhile, a research team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studied SKY Breathing Meditation (also known as SKY), because of its focus on manipulating the breath, and how that in turn may have consequences for the autonomic nervous system and specifically, hyper arousal. Within just one week, the vets who received a week long training in the SKY breathing technique already showed lower anxiety, reduced respiration rates and fewer PTSD symptoms.
Research among Vietnam veterans (from Australia) who had been suffering from disabling PTSD for 30 years, and had not responded to multiple pharmacological and psychotherapy regimens during that 30 year period, experienced significant reductions in PTSD symptoms when tested 6 weeks after completing PWHT. The veterans also enjoyed significant reductions in depression. The control group of veterans experienced zero improvement during that time. Six months post PWHT, they enjoyed significantly greater reductions in depression and PTSD symptoms than at 6 weeks.
Looking forward to the retreat is Colonel Joel Aoki, a 25-year Aviation Officer with the US Army. After having been deployed numerous times, Colonel Aoki witnessed many tragedies, including the loss of many friends but was overwhelmed after one particular incident, which he says, “broke him.” Over the months that followed, Colonel Aoki experienced the intense grief, sadness, and regret associated with “survivor’s guilt.” Like many of his fellow service members who return from combat, he attempted to halt the negative emotions with alcohol and intense physical activity. It wasn’t an effective solution, and when the feelings persisted, he began isolating himself from his family. Following a team-building program, took the PWHT workshop and learned the SKY Breathing Meditation. Three weeks later, on the death anniversary of the men he’d lost in that tragic incident, instead of his usual pattern, he chose to honor his guys with the breathing practice.
Colonel Aoki says he didn’t expect what happened next. “Normally on that day, I feel a lot of grief, guilt, and regret, but this time, when I finished the SKY Breathing Meditation, I felt a sense of peace; I was actually happy, ” he said. ” Instead of focusing on the past and all the mistakes, it was more like a wake where I was celebrating the wonderful people who the guys were, and the bonds we had with one another. In that moment, for the first time, I was honoring them the way they would have wanted.”
Project Welcome Home Troops is a program under the International Association for Human Values, a 501(c)(3), in the USA, was created in 1997 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, as a global platform to solve society’s most pressing issues, by uplifting human values. The Project Welcome Home Workshop addresses the most pressing issues facing service members and veterans today. It was created in 2006 and has reached almost 2,000 people. The cornerstone of the program is the researched and evidence-based SKY Breathing Meditation, a scientifically backed technique rooted in the yogic science, which is shown to give relief from chronic and traumatic stress.
Seated high in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, the Art of Living Retreat Center and Ayurvedic Spa provides a beautiful, inviting place for all people to deepen their spiritual practice. Founded by the renowned humanitarian leader and spiritual teacher Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the center offers Art of Living courses and hosts programs taught by other spiritual leaders and organizations from around the world. With breathtaking natural beauty, knowledgeable staff and harmonious architecture, the center offers a wondrous opportunity to nurture your body, mind and spirit — and to discover the joy of life.
The Vanguard PR on Behalf of The Art of Living Retreat Center
Patti Montella on behalf of Project Welcome Home Troops
Kushal Choksi on behalf of IAHV
Torrential monsoon rains have caused massive flooding and landslides in northern India and Nepal, affecting millions of people. Tens of thousands have been displaced, people are reported to have lost their lives and hundreds are still missing.
The Art of Living Foundation is responding to this situation. Over the past weeks, thousands of volunteers were deployed in relief work across the states of Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, West Bengal in India and in Nepal. They have been distributing food, water, essential supplies and providing shelter to people in the hardest-hit districts. Psychosocial support is also being offered through trauma relief camps for those severely affected.
In Gujarat, India, 15 truckloads of relief material worth INR 10,000,000 have been dispatched. Relief goods consisted of food grains, groceries, water, clothes, blankets and generic medicines. Similarly, in Assam and West Bengal, India, and Nepal, several trucks filled with relief supplies were distributed by volunteers.
With your support, The Art of Living Foundation is working relentlessly to help alleviate the suffering of those severely affected. At times of crisis, collective resolution can go a long way to help those who need it most. Your support can offer the gift of life to the most marginalized and vulnerable sections of the population.
Your donation can mean the difference between life and death for people caught in the aftermath of this natural disaster. Your financial support would go towards offering food, clean water, hygiene & shelter kit, medical aid and help rehabilitate flood-affected survivors.
We thank you for your generosity.
IAHV Team in partnership with The Art of Living Foundation
Veterans are our greatest renewable resource. They are leaders, problem solvers, and team players who thrive in adversity. However, when they return home from their service, many struggle to fully re-integrate with their families, work life and community. It can be challenging for a Veteran to relate to the life they left behind after exposure to traumatic events, chronic stress and the adverse conditions they observe people existing in. When they come home, many experience a loss of camaraderie, mission, purpose and can’t relate to the ‘first world problems’ that civilians complain about. They are often on their own to process these feelings. If they reach out for help, they may be offered therapies that offer only partial or temporary relief, or pharmaceuticals that mask symptoms but have undesirable side effects. Veterans don’t want a handful of meds, they want relief. They want to feel like themselves again.
Recent data from Veterans Affairs now shows the number of Veterans diagnosed with PTSD has tripled from 2008 and in 2017, an estimated 940,000 Veterans are living with PTSD. Every day 20 Veterans in distress are taking their own lives. It is an epidemic that is impacting the individual Veteran, their family and community and ultimately, is a reflection of our country as a whole. If these men and women are prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice by volunteering themselves for service in the United States Armed Services to serve and protect our country, isn’t it right that our communities honor these veterans and help them to receive the greatest possible support and care on their return?
More and more, veterans are seeking integrative health therapies that are demonstrated to be effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD, anxiety and depression. The SKY Breathing Meditation workshop, of Project Welcome Home Troops (PWHT), a program of the International Association for Human Values, is one of therapies gaining interest and attention from both the U.S. Armed Services and from the Veterans Administration (VA). PWHT’s multi-disciplinary workshop is offered free of cost to veterans and their immediate family members. In a few short days, they begin to feel relief from their symptoms, enjoying improved sleep quality & duration, better regulation of emotions, and an improved sense of wellbeing. After the five–day workshop, many also report feeling more peaceful within and have a healthier connection with the outside world.
From August 24 – 27th, Project Welcome Home Troops will bring nearly hundred of its Veteran alumni. Veterans from 20 states and the US Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands will come to the Art of Living Retreat Center in Boone, NC. for a weekend of meditation, being in nature and building camaraderie. These Veterans will become ambassadors and teachers for the program, ultimately leaders of PWHT – making the program their own and bringing it to their fellow Veterans across the country.
SKY Breathing Meditation is presently part of a clinical trial at the War Related Injury and Illness Study Center of the Palo Alto VA comparing SKY Breathing Meditation to Cognitive Processing Therapy, a common treatment for PTSD at the VA. In an earlier study of the workshop conducted with Veterans at the University of Wisconsin, Center for Healthy Minds and Stanford University, a statistically significant reduction in the symptoms of PTSD was noted. Follow-up data after one month, six months and a year showed that the improvements measured immediately following the workshop were sustained, indicating that the changes may be permanent.
The workshop begins to heal the invisible wounds of war and service. Changes begin to manifest for the Veteran outwardly, and include improved relationships and hope for the future. They welcome the reignited sense of camaraderie and report a desire to become a better spouse, parent and employee. Many of the veterans at the end of the workshop say, “I got myself back.” This workshop has the power to do for a veteran what years of medication or talk therapy may not be able to achieve.
The primary investigator at the VA clinical trial states, “The implication of this program is enormous. We may have the ability to reach and treat a whole group of Veterans in a significant, efficient and cost-effective way.”
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