After prescriptions for opioid painkillers increased by 400% in just ten years, the Minneapolis VA Medical Center decided they needed to do something. They wanted to start shifting away from pills to something less addictive and dangerous.
The answer came from an unlikely place that you definitely won’t find in any field manuals. Although slightly unconventional, yoga has surprisingly shown to be an excellent method to overcome PTSD.
The Minneapolis center implemented yoga and other non-medicated options in 2011. Since then they have been able to reduce the number of PTSD related pill prescriptions by 50%.
Studies have found that veterans die from overdoses 33% more than civilians do. This statistic has caused the VA to look at other options for veterans with PTSD or other mental conditions like sleep disorders.
These non-medicated options are gaining momentum, and veterans across the country are now able to control their PTSD symptoms.
While these new methods are slowly proving to be effective, the VA isn’t completely sold yet. The VA recently stated,
“There is only limited evidence about the effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as a treatment for PTSD; however, the evidence suggests that some CAM approaches have modest beneficial effects as a treatment for PTSD.”
That being said, the VA health care plans will sometimes cover the cost of CAM treatments such as yoga classes or alternative medication.
PTSD isn’t easy to overcome and it might take a combination of multiple methods to beat. For some a well-regulated medication plan does the trick, but for others yoga is the secret weapon.
Whatever the cure may be, patience will definitely be part of the equation.