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Helping our veterans with massage therapy

Faculty member Jerrilyn Cambron, DC, MPH, PhD, LMT, recently moderated a panel about massage in the military during the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) Convention in October. The panel discussed the benefits massage can provide to veterans along with research that found massage can help reduce stress, depression and pain specific to veterans.

Massage Photo"Veterans have been using integrative medicine for treatment of PTSD for many years," Dr. Cambron said. "In fact, there is some evidence that veterans are more likely than the general population to seek out complementary care."

Because veterans are increasingly using complementary and integrative health therapies, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is currently seeking ways to meet demand. A big health concern for many of our veterans is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Triggered by experiencing or seeing a terrifying event, the health condition can last months or years and result in a variety of symptoms including flashbacks, emotional numbing and anxiety.

According to Dr. Cambron, there are a few research studies indicating that massage therapy may be beneficial for the treatment of PTSD, particularly in veterans. "Other studies demonstrating positive benefits have focused on massage therapy for anxiety and for pain, both of which are associated with PTSD," she said.

Veterans experiencing chronic pain also may find massage therapy helpful. After receiving a massage, some veterans note decreased pain, increased mobility and decreased opioid use, according to a study finding.

Veterans aren't like every other massage client, however. During the panel, Dr. Cambron and other experts discussed that veterans may have different needs than other clients, especially those with PTSD. For example, they may have an aversion to touch on certain parts of their body or they may be uncomfortable lying in a dark room with their face down. 

"It is important for massage therapists to discuss certain needs with their clients who are veterans," Cambron said.

National University provides students extensive hands-on experience at our on-campus clinic. With a variety of patients including veterans, students are trained to provide the highest quality of care to clients.

Veterans and other clients can receive massage sessions from student interns at lower prices than at private practices. To learn more about the free and discounted services provided to veterans at our Veterans Clinic in the Whole Health Center in Lombard call 630-629-9664 to schedule your appointment. 

National University also supports student veterans through participation in the Yellow Ribbon program where a veteran's tuition costs may be 100 percent covered depending on eligibility. Contact the Admissions office for more information at 800-826-6285.

 

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