Reiki for Veterans: Healing the Wounds of War

Flags at Stacey Blvd

Photo ©  Jay Alpert. Reprinted with permission.

Thank You for Your Service!

Dreamtime Wellnesses™ is ‘Giving Back’ to Veterans throughout the month of November.

A Chance Meeting With a Word War II Veteran  –  A couple of days ago, I rode the elevator at the medical building where I have an office. A man riding the elevator with me mentioned, “I don’t care much for elevators.”  Since I work with people in my professional practice to help them overcome fear including ‘fear of elevators,’ his mentioning this led to a conversation we may not otherwise have had.

Turned out Jack, (not his real name) is also afraid of other closed-in spaces, crowds, and fireworks that he related began while on active duty. I asked ‘Which war did you serve in?’ and was shocked to hear “World War 2.” He looked much younger than his stated age of “92.”

We spent the next twenty minutes in the freezing cold as Jack shared his experiences, then and now. Jack said, “four soldiers were from one street in Peabody. I was the only one that made it home.” Jack kept apologizing for “taking up my time.” What he didn’t know is that I so loved talking to him and could have spent hours listening to his story.

Back then, the veterans of WWII and even Korean and Vietnam Wars had little support for what is now diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) Most of the returning soldiers never spoke about their experiences, not even with their families.

Remembering My Uncles That Served in WWII.

My Four Uncles Serving in World War II – Four out of my eight uncles saw combat in World War 2. My cousin Cindy recently gifted me a beautiful book (*excerpts from her book) about our family’s WWII history, for which am most grateful.

Cindy’s father (Uncle Mike) was on the European front. My other three uncles from our mother’s side all saw combat in the Pacific. “They all participated in key battles in the war and were awarded numerous wards for their participation and bravery.”(*) Cindy had two other uncles on her father’s side that served, ‘Babe’ and Anthony who were also on the European front. All of our relatives survived the war.

Uncle Warren – Warren was our remaining WWII family survivor, until this past January when he died at the age of 96. He started off in the Navy but was transferred to the Marines as a Corpsmen. “Warren saw about 25 days of constant battle on Iwo Jima.” (*)

Soft-spoken and mild-mannered, I could never imagine my Uncle Warren (or any of my uncles) being in combat. Warren came home from the war with permanent hand-tremors, his only visible ‘scars.’ Many years later, Uncle Warren had the opportunity to return to Pearl Harbor on a U.S. carrier, along with his grandson Michael. There he told me he had the opportunity to “speak with and shake the hands” of former soldiers from Japan, which seemed to be very healing for him.

Uncle Al – Of all my uncles, Al spoke the most about his experiences in WWII, sometimes choking up and with tears in their eyes. He was in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. I loved looking at his photo albums, which reminded me of  National Geographic. Al, a medic received an individual Bronze Star for rescuing and saving some wounded soldiers. “Al had a distant cousin from New Hampshire that was one of the men that assisted in raising the flag on Iwo Jima.” (*)

Uncle Stan – Stan received 3 Bronze Stars while in WWII. He also rarely spoke about WWII. He returned from the Philippines with a pair of bamboo sandals which he gave to his mother, but which have since returned to the Philippines and are now on display there in a museum. (*)

Uncle Mike – Mike was in Germany and the only one physically wounded but refused his Purple Heart because “my mother would have a heart attack if she received a letter stating I had been wounded. He was awarded 5 Bronze Stars, later replaced by a Silver Star.” (*) Prior to enlisting, he worked at Sentinel TV and was responsible for the radio communications equipment.” (*) Uncle Mike was a man of few words, and I don’t recall him ever talking about the war. He died (too) young at the age of 59 of a heart attack, taking his ‘wounds’ to his grave.

My Mother and Aunt’s Role in WWII – My mother and her twin sister (Cindy’s mother) both now 90 years old, worked in a factory that made raincoats for the military. Mom relates a story where she slipped a piece of paper with a note into a pocket of one of the raincoat.

Reiki for Stress and Pain Management – Since 1998, my professional nursing practice has included offering reiki (ray-key) for stress and pain management in healthcare. My Uncles Warren, Stan and Al all had a chance to have a session. My Uncle Al would comment on how much he “enjoyed the warmth” and felt it especially helpful for painful joints due to arthritis. Reiki is thought to promote balance and self-healing for mind-body-spirit. Hopefully reiki brought them all some healing, on some level whether for physical, mental, emotional or spiritual issues, from the past or current. At 94, Al finally told me had ‘confessed to a priest’ about the war, after many years away from the Catholic Church. He found great peace in that.

Integrative Therapies (Acupuncture, Massage, Reiki, Yoga) – Offered by the U.S. Military for Stress and Pain Management 

Integrative Therapies – The United States Military Offers Integrative Therapies as Adjunctive (Supportive) for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) Rehabilitation Hospitals such as Spaulding Rehabilitation in Boston offers integrative therapies as supportive care.

Reiki has been offered at U.S. Military Bases and Hospitals as far back as 2005 through Integrative Therapy programs, including:

  • Fort Bliss
  • Fort Hood
  • Walter Reed Hospital

Use of Complementary Therapies and the Military – more information  Integrative healthcare (IH) combines conventional therapies with supportive complementary therapies that have been studied and known to be safe and at least minimally effective and do no harm. The goal of IH is to provide ‘best outcomes’ and higher patient satisfactions. Studies have looked at safety and efficacy of a variety IH therapies for:

  • Relief of pain (improved comfort)
  • Relief of tension (emotional and physical)
  • Relief of anxiety (increased calm)
  • Improved sleep
  • Adjunctive treatment of PTSD
  • Adjunctive treatment of TBI

Note: A referral from your physician is recommended prior to seeking integrative therapies for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) Screening by a healthcare professional is recommended prior to referring to complementary therapies that may create deep relaxation (Eg. Hypnosis, Meditation, Reiki and Yoga.)

Professional Screening for Trauma – Recent study concludes that “clinical implications suggest that patients should be screened and treated for trauma-like symptoms including intrusive thoughts linked to anxiety and depression before referral to complementary programs that offer meditative or relaxation interventions.”  Ask Your Doctor Before Seeking Complementary Therapies such as Hypnosis, Meditation, Reiki and Yoga.

Your Bridge to Health; Promoting Optimal Wellness for Mind, Body and Spirit

FREE and DISCOUNTED Reiki Sessions and Reiki Training for Relaxation Offered Throughout the Month of November for Active Duty Military, Veterans, Police, Fire Men and Women (with a valid I.D.) Here are some ways to have a session:

  • FREE Brief CHAIR REIKI Sessions at Dreamtime Wellness ™ this Thursday. Email info@dreamtimewellness or Call 978-283-4258 to Schedule a Session.
  • Half-Hour Private Reiki Sessions $10.00  * throughout the month of November * for Veterans at offices in Danvers and Peabody. Call 978-283-4258 or email info@dreamtimewellness to schedule.
  • Reiki for Seniors at Rose Baker Senior Center$5.00. Friday. November 17th. Offered by me and Advanced Reiki Provider Suzanne Sweeney, (3rd Degree/ Okuden) Register in Advance at the Rose Baker Senior Center- 978-281-9765
  • ‘Community Reiki Share’ – Tuesday. December 5th. Reiki Sessions offered between 6:00 – 8:00 pm. $20.00 Suggested Donation ($10.00 Suggested Donation for Seniors, Veterans and Cancer Patients.) At the Manchester Community Center. 40 Beach Street. Manchester-by-the-Sea. Register in Advance – 978-283-4258 or Email: info@dreamtimewellness.com.
Reiki Photo DTW Stock Photo with © 2015

Reiki: Relax Your Mind and Body

FREE informational lectures can be arranged on-site. Reiki Training available for self-care, stress and pain relief. CEU’s offered for EMTS. Contact us for further information and to register for a reiki session or training. 

Thank you for your service! Wishing You the Best in Health,   Karen

 

Karen Pischke BSN, RN, CCRN Alumnus, Author, Speaker, Nurse Researcher, Certified Hypnotherapist, Tobacco Treatment Specialist, Usui Reiki Teacher/Komyo Shihan. Owner/Founder of Dreamtime Wellness LLC. Your Bridge to Health. Promoting Optimal Wellness for Mind, Body and Spirit. Karen is a registered nurse with a background in critical care nursing, cardiac rehabilitation and risk factor reduction, wellness and integrative healthcare. Incorporating a collaborative, integrative approach, Karen strives to educate and provide evidence-based services and self-care tools that improve health, happiness and wellbeing. www.DreamtimeWellness.com. Find us on Instagram and Facebook

Disclaimer: This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about health and related sub­jects. The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately licensed physi­cian or other health care worker. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 911 immediately. The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are affiliated.

Sources and More Information – 

 

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2 thoughts on “Reiki for Veterans: Healing the Wounds of War

  1. Pingback: GMG Navigation- Get Started Here. Subscribe, Find, See, Do. Immerse Yourself In The Good Morning Gloucester World. | GoodMorningGloucester

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