Mind body practices, such as meditation and qigong, are especially helpful for veterans whether or not they are experiencing PTSD. These practices can help with pain management, insomnia, easing big life transitions, and reducing anxiety and depression. And although optimal wellbeing takes dedication and "hard work," these classes are often experienced as an enjoyable, even fun and playful, part of the healing journey.
Benefits specific to helping veterans include:
Because tai chi is more popular in the U.S. than qigong, there are not many scientific studies specifically regarding qigong. However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence of qigong being beneficial not only for physical health but for mental health as well. And because qigong is the foundation of tai chi, the benefits of tai chi that have been studied apply to qigong as well.
Qigong students who have also studied tai chi have reported more ease and joy, and less difficulty and frustration, in learning qigong compared to tai chi. And while seated, non-moving meditation, can actually amplify physical and/or emotional pain, especially for beginners and/or when self-guided, meditation in motion (ie qigong) helps the practitioner alleviate discomfort by getting grounded in their body and getting their qi (energy) flowing.
For more on classes or private instruction, get in touch.
Additional Resources and Articles:
How Common is PTSD in Veterans?
Review study points to most effective mind-body therapies for PTSD
Qigong at the VA
Introduction to Tai Chi and Qigong for Whole Health
Mind-body Practices for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Treating Survivors of Torture and Refugee Trauma: A Preliminary Case Series Using Qigong and T'ai Chi
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