Since there has been a mediocre success rate of prescribing veterans’ meds or sending vets home with bottles of pills and a few therapy sessions to “cure” PTSD, the military, VA and others have had to rethink these strategies. Based on our experience with a wide variety of veterans, we believe that PTSD can be mitigated but never cured.
To be effective and long-lasting, the healing must be gradual and the therapeutic process must be affirming, empathetic and uplifting. Veterans need to dedicate time and embrace the opportunity to develop inner strengths. They also need to renew their courage to continue recovering and healing from the long conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The feedback we have received leads us to believe that the experiences gained from our events and Holistic strategies allow veterans to face the challenges related to combat stress by helping them improve their mental attitudes and outlook. The environment is one of inspiration and encouragement for them to build new skills, connect with peers and find support for combat stress.
COLD LASER THERAPY
Cold lasers can stimulate all types of cells, including muscle, ligaments, nerves and cartilage. This stimulation of light energy works similar to photosynthesis in plants, as it is absorbed and interacts with light-sensitive components in the body’s cells. The treatment promotes the body’s natural healing — which may have been impeded through the tissue damage — by stimulating mitochondria and encouraging the cells to produce more ATP.
As a non-invasive procedure, Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) can be performed at an outpatient clinic, providing a distinct advantage over traditional laser surgery. There is no recovery time and no side effects, which makes LLLT an attractive treatment option for a variety of conditions, including:
- Low Back Pain
- Neck and Shoulder pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Post-Operation Wound Healing
STELLATE GANGLION BLOCK (SGB) & POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
Placing an anesthetic agent on the stellate ganglion, in an anesthetic procedure called Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) can relieve the symptoms of PTSD in as little as 30 minutes and last for years. A Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) is an established procedure used by anesthesiologists and anesthesia providers to relieve pain. Emerging research suggests that SGB may also help a subset of Veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who have not found relief from traditional evidence-based treatments such as therapy and medication. SGB has limited side effects and is relatively safe when administered by a trained clinician.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT)
In CBT, the therapist works with the patient to help them recognize the counterproductive thought patterns and behaviors that are hurting their psyche as well as developing ways to counteract them with healthier thoughts and behaviors. PTSD therapies include:
- Prolonged exposure therapy (PET), where the individual works with their therapist to encounter the places, people, or things they’ve been avoiding
- Cognitive processing therapy (CPT), where the individual talks through the trauma with their therapist, and writes down their thoughts about it to uncover patterns
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), where the individual mentally focuses on the trauma while watching or listening to another neutral trigger, like music or light
- Stress inoculation training (SIT), where the individual learns stress management techniques to cope with triggers and negative events, like breathing exercises
CBD now holds a very different legal status from THC (thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill Act). Cannabinoids like CBD can help empower the body’s endo-cannabinoid system and promote quality sleep, prevent traumatic memories from arising, as well as establish physical and
emotional well-being to mitigate these devastating symptoms of PTSD and allowing patients to regain hold of their lives.
There are a number of prescription medications on the market aimed at treating the anxiety and depression that can come with PTSD. These drugs include benzodiazepines like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. All too often, however, these pharmaceuticals can lead to side effects such as nausea,
headaches, and increased depression.
Sabot Foundation has assisted over 40 veterans who otherwise could not afford CBD (ranging from 600mg to 2420mg) which have had positive effects on pain reduction, insomnia, anxiety and depression. The veterans assisted include those who served in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, as well as others who have served in different parts of the world on low intensity conflicts or other military assignments.
HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY (HBOT)
Although the Foundation has not offered assistance in this area, we hope to do so in the near future. We believe HBOT therapy has had positive effects on TBI in the acute stage. Our interest was piqued from veterans experiences as well as others who have suffered from TBI.
The VA began offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy for veterans with PTSD at a few select VA facilities in 2017. The TBI and PTSD Treatment Act, introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., would require the VA to make it available to any veteran with PTSD. The bill also extends the use of the therapy to veterans with traumatic brain injury. In a review of the information below this treatment furthers our outlook in the future by offering assistance in this area. The complementary synergistic actions of HBOT include improved tissue oxygenation and cellular metabolism, anti-apoptotic, and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Thus HBOT may serve as a promising neuroprotective strategy that when combined with other therapeutic targets for TBI patients could improve long-term outcomes.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a prescribed treatment that is approved by the FDA and AMA. With this therapy, a person breathes 100% medical grade oxygen in a pressurized chamber. Oxygen under pressure is well documented and supported by scientific research and clinical trials. During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, high levels of oxygen dissolve into the blood, plasma, and tissues. This process allows oxygen to reach areas where there is little blood flow due to inflammation, injury, infection, or disease. The growth of new blood vessels enhances blood flow, tissue growth, and a person’s healing ability. This treatment is also known to help numerous medical conditions.
Approximately 97% of the total oxygen in the blood is tightly bound to hemoglobin when breathing room air (21% O2) at sea level (1 atmosphere, or 1 ATM; 3% of the oxygen is dissolved in blood serum. This amounts to about 0.3 mL of oxygen dissolved in 100 mL of serum. By the time oxygen diffuses out of the circulatory system and ultimately reaches the mitochondria, there is just a trace amount present. HBOT’s primary mechanism is to temporarily hyper-oxygenate body tissues. HBOT delivered at 1.3 ATM increases dissolved oxygen in serum by a factor of 7. HBOT delivered in hard chambers at 2.5 to 3.0 ATM increases dissolved oxygen by a factor of 15 or more. Oxygen levels in body tissues outside the circulatory system will be increased commensurately. Source: Psychiatric Times