Yoga takes the lead in treating walking wounded

Washington Post A Breath of Hope: Walter Reed Tries Yoga to Counter PTSD picks up on the use of mind-body techniques to heal the psychological and physical suffering of war veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center:

The yoga that Carnes teaches, a form of guided meditation known as yoga nidra, was added to the program in 2006 after she helped conduct a feasibility study at the medical center… The results of the study were overwhelmingly positive, she said, adding that the service members appreciated learning skills that they could continue to use after they left… However, it’s difficult to document the program’s impact. Participants, who evaluate their own progress, often say they feel better after sessions, Carnes said, but there’s little scientific evidence to back their anecdotal reports.

When Bush unleashed war on Iraq, his administration failed to put a dollar cost on the invasion and occupation of a Middle East country for five years. Now we know that the psychological cost may be even heavier than the financial, maiming a generation of soldiers. Their suffering will linger for decades. Yoga and other disciplines have been identified as key components of any treatment strategy, but it’s been hard to pin down the statistical evidence (anecdotal accounts abound) to back this up to the full satisfaction of Western science.