Archive for: ptsd
Every soldier, every war, has its own name for this.
“There’s a condition in combat, most people know about it. It’s when a fighting person’s nervous system has been stressed to its absolute peak and maximum, can’t take any more input, the nervous system has either snapped or is about to snap. In the First World War that condition was called Shell Shock. Simple, honest direct language…In the Second World War the same condition was called Battle Fatigue…Fatigue is a nicer word than shock…then in Korea it was called Operational Exhaustion…then Vietnam War the very same condition was called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder… ” ~George Carlin
This is how the comedian George Carlin explained the evolution of language to describe a very real condition experienced by war-time soldiers. And…it’s becoming clear that PTSD can be triggered in even non-civilians who are overly stressed.
A new national program called “Racquetball Rehabilitation Clinics (RRC) sponsored by The Military Racquetball Federation has many chapters across the country and recently hosted a big clinic at Arizona State in Phoenix on February 15 — 16 to help wounded soldiers and amputees get back into the game. The event, sponsored by Tempe, AZ-based prosthetic manufacturer called Ability Dynamics drew many local wounded vets, some of whom played the game using prosthetics.
Service members, especially amputees, are getting their strength and confidence back through the use of racquetball as rehabilitation for both the physical and mental challenges suffered from combat. Using a special technique for disabled vets, the RRC uses racquetball as a way to improve eye/hand coordination, reduce stress and build confidence. Vets use prosthetic to play and the game help to build agility, flexibility and most of all….hope. RRC is made possible, in part, with a sizeable grant from the US Olympic Committee.
Playing a game you love or serving your country with pride can put you in danger of physical injury. You know that going in, right? We do our best to protect ourselves from preventable injuries by wearing armour and helmets. But what about the fall out to our brains from head traumas that cannot be totally avoided?
In sports it’s repeated blows to the head most often associated with football players and boxers; for soldiers it’s the unexpected IUD or other blasts from the field of combat. Sure the helmets will protect you from shrapnel, but what protects you from the initial shock wave and secondary “blast wind” of an IUD?
When you decided to enter the military, you prepared, right? You started running to build cardiovascular health, you started paying attention to what you ate, you started taking dietary supplements to build lean muscle and strengthen your immune system, and you started studying so you could pass the required exams. All of this is good and definitely stacked things in your favor to get into the military.
But the end of military bootcamp is just the beginning of becoming a soldier.
When you’re a soldier you are given many opportunities. You are also exposed to many environmental and occupational threats that the normal population will never face. For this reason you need to take your nutritional health more seriously than the “average” population. You also need to fortify all systems of your body, including your brain, to meet the demands of combat.
“Common knowledge” and mainstream media define high levels of cortisol (the hormone that is released when you’re faced with danger) as bad. By their definition cortisol should be avoided unless you want health problems and weight gain. Sounds simple, right? But really that partial understanding is kind of simplistic.
Lack of cortisol and stress do not equal nirvana and good health. Instead, properly managing your stress and fortifying your body so that it can handle the inevitable stress of military training, military life, and combat by releasing protective hormones: cortisol, testosterone, and insulin at the right time and in the right quantities are what bring good health and optimal performance under pressure for a soldier. And, a higher baseline level of cortisol and DHEA may just give you the edge for special ops or Navy Seal Training.
If you’re in a “present” panic , I thought it would be fun to share with you some innovative products and inspiring organizations that may be a perfect fit for your gift list. It is also a great way to celebrate entrepreneurship by supporting Made in the USA products and U.S. companies. The following gifts, gadgets, and giving opportunities are my salute to ingenuity. These organizations and companies are either founded by veterans or have a great track record of supporting our military community. Happy shopping and be sure to stay tuned for Part II and III.