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.

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Thank You for Your Service – Special Offerings for Veteran’s Day

Flags at Stacey Blvd

Photo ©  Jay Alpert. Reprinted with permission.

Thank You for Your Service – Promoting Security and Peace, Home and Abroad.

United States Military Offering Integrative Therapies as Adjunctive (Supportive) Therapies for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (PTSD.)

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

  • Fort Bliss
  • Fort Hood
  • Walter Reed Hospital

Use of Complementary Therapies and the Military – more information can be found at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Center for Integrative Health (NCCIH.) Integrative healthcare (IH) combine 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.

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit

Veterans, Thank You for Your Service!

We would like to ‘Give Back’ and offer you reiki for relaxation, stress and pain relief throughout the month of November with the following programs – 

DISCOUNTED Reiki Sessions and Reiki Training for Relaxation – offered through Dreamtime Wellness™ throughout the month of November for Veterans, Police, Fire Men and Women. (*)

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Happy Birthday to the Dalai Lama: ‘Loving Kindness’ Meditation Used in Healthcare

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit

Happy Birthday to Nobel Peace Prize Winner, the Dalai Lama.  July 6th was the Dalai Lama’s 80th Birthday. This seems a good time to be blogging about ‘peace and compassion.’ For his birthday, the Dalai Lama has asked that people share his ‘8 Lessons.’ Here they are –

8 Lessons on Life from the Dalai Lama (As seen in the Huffington Post.)

  1. Live life with a free mind and an open heart.
  2. Practice “universal compassion.”
  3. Redesign the way we educate.
  4. Stand up against injustice.
  5. Make humanity the bottom line of business.
  6. Always lend a helping hand.
  7. Play your part in healing the Earth.
  8. Use your personal power to be a force for good.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/06/dalai-lama-birthday-lessons_n_7697616.html

Dalailama1_20121014_4639

‘Loving Kindness Meditation,’ and its Use in Healthcare –

  • Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The results of this pilot study – “overall, loving-kindness meditation appeared safe and acceptable and was associated with reduced symptoms of PTSD and depression. Additional study of loving-kindness meditation for PTSD is warranted to determine whether the changes seen are due to the loving-kindness meditation intervention versus other influences, including concurrent receipt of other treatments.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23893519

  • A Tool to Improve Healthcare Provider Compassion, Resilience, and Patient Care.

http://ccare.stanford.edu/article/loving-kindness-meditation-a-tool-to-improve-healthcare-provider-compassion-resilience-and-patient-care/#sthash.m8M8xriS.dpuf

The Summer of Peace. Stanford University is hosting a global compassion summit. July 7 – 9th.

http://ccare.stanford.edu/events/global-compassion-summit/

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”  ~ Dalai Lama XIV. The Art of Happiness.

Celebrating Summer Solstice

Celebrating the Summer of Peace

‘Peace within,’ has a way of rippling out to others.  May You Enjoy a ‘Summer of Peace’ here on Cape Ann, and wherever you go, or wherever you are. Peace.   ~  Karen 

For more information and research on mindful meditation, ‘loving-kindness’ meditation, and other relaxation tools for stress and pain management, you can contact me via email – info@dreamtimewellness.com.

 

Karen Pischke B.S.N., R.N. Owner/Founder of Dreamtime Wellness™  Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit www.DreamtimeWellness.com. Find us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dreamtime-Wellness-/348619611849199

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