There's no denying that wounded warriors face a long list of challenges during recovery. Whether they're experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or adapting to a new life with a disability, the transition is never easy, and veterans often have to find unique ways to meet these challenges. A growing number of wounded troops have turned to yoga and have found that it not only aids in their physical recovery, but also on the mental side of things, the Los Angeles Times reports.
This trend has been reflected in the fact that hospitals operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs have increasingly offered the practice as a supplement to traditional therapy. There's good reason why, as early studies suggest that the meditative aspect of yoga can help ease symptoms of PTSD. It's also an effective way to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility, all of which can help servicemembers who have suffered traumatic physical injuries.
"Yoga is something that our warriors will actively engage in: It's a challenge and it has readily evident results," Navy Capt. Robert Koffman told the newspaper particularly when patients adopt it as part of their lifestyle.
Alternative therapies could become increasingly important in the coming years. An estimated 20 percent of veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan experience symptoms of PTSD, according to the American Psychological Association.