PTSD and Bodywork

In participating in the Hands For Heroes program I have become more familiar with some of the issues of our active and retired military personal. These issues have covered everything from money to lighting in the room at the time of service. Today I wanted to share something that I was aware of and had some limited training in as a massage therapist and that is the treatment of those with diagnosed PTSD. For those of you that are not aware PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder consult primary information sources before reading on. The Veterans Affairs has a number of resources as well as private councilors in your area. 

As many of you have found out over time getting bodywork that it is a very personal service that is performed. It leaves you in a somewhat vulnerable state (undressed, with someone who is not a lover, family member, or trusted friend this can cause anxiety among other feelings. Yet we can take this idea even further if you consider the idea of personal space and/or modesty preferences. Year after year I look at the “State of the Industry Report” put out by a trade publication every year (this is common in many trade publications) and we find constantly the number one concern of why people are not getting bodywork is cost and number two is personal feelings about physical contact with the therapist. Oddly enough the idea of massage being a “socially perceived luxury” and therefore could be perceived by others and indicating a “waste” or “self centered” act also constantly ranks very high.

During my training as a massage therapist the school took the time (thoughtfully) to bring in experts in working with “special populations” (I hate the term but it is meant to denote the idea of not the majority of scheduled services). The general idea was how to be considerate of those who have suffered substantial medical problems, rape survivor, child abuse trauma, and other similar situations and still provide a place a dignity and trust between the therapist and the client. I would consider it some of the most valuable training I ever received because it does not teach the therapist to treat people with kid gloves but to empower people through trust building in the most shuttle of ways to ensure a great service.

So you might ask after all this crap in the last three paragraphs what am I getting at here? The answer is that even though I got the training and have practiced much of it during my years as a therapist is that my depth of understand of PTSD has improved a great deal thanks in no small part by the willingness of those living with PTSD trying bodywork on my table with me. I want to bring the idea to the table that done right PTSD can be treated (in concert with other medical professional) with bodywork to improve peoples lives. 

Bodywork and help those with PTSD practice socialization and relationship (professional) building skills needed to function in the civilian world. Sometimes massage therapist find that when you touch some areas of the body it can't give a person a emotional reaction with many people you tend to hear that there's a mind-body connection this would be proof of that idea. The idea being that has a bodyworker we can help the emotional states of people that only when they are relaxing on the table when we are working out physical injuries or concerns which they have a specific request for attention in that area. 

If you suffer with PTSD or you know someone that may be suggest a session of bodywork with a trained professional. Obviously this is no substitute for mental health professionals or for a medical doctors assessment but it can't be an avenue of treatment. This should be a reminder to us all that when individuals have been in trauma that the scars are long-lasting and that is ongoing treatment that is necessary we must then support them long-term. In many circumstances these people have chosen to go into harms way to protect the rest of us from the horse that life can offer and then our gratitude and respect and support is necessary not pitty or charity. One of the most important lessons I have learned in my life as a bodyworker is that when people are in pain Weather it be mental or physical that condition lessens the dignity in which they carry out their lives and we should do our best not to further deteriorate that dignity which they want so much to regain with health.        

I Can’t Afford to Use My Health Insurance

A lot has been made recently about the evolution of the healthcare system in the United States. One of the current aspects is the cost and its implications and people's household budget. One of the things I hear consistently is that the premiums have increased to the point where the deductibles together our unsustainable for most health hold incomes. So as the title indicates I hear quite often I can't afford to use my health insurance. After doing a substantial amount of reading from multiple sources it seems to me that there are only two directions that the country and going at this point. The first being that the system will go completely under government control meaning that health insurance providers will be squeezed out of the primary function of managing health care of which the government will pay all bills are all coverage which also means they will dictate what they will pay for and what they will not ergo making anything else patients responsibility. Furthermore, the funding mechanism would be a substantial tax increase in there and Social Security or secondary health care tax most likely very similar to what we see is an income tax based on people's ability to pay. The offset with them be the reduction or elimination of most private health insurance completely and they would then transform into a supplemental health care network of which they would supply benefits similar to what we have now but on a smaller scale.

The second option or direction that healthcare could take in the future would be to simply offer a cash option for all patients and all healthcare situations. This would seem the less likely of the two to succeed simply because it would not allow for the general socialize culture of some people to succeed which does have its fervent politicians deeply invested because it does not create a funding mechanism for their campaign contributions in the future I'm like the current system which healthcare providers much greatly prefer to create influence within. You're seeing elements of this approach currently in the alternative healthcare profession like myself we are even though health insurance is an option it is actually cheaper in some cases or just slightly above premium prices that would allow most consumers about care to receive a substantial cash discount. 

In my own recent experience I chose not to use my health insurance and to simply negotiate with each healthcare vendor directly this would include hospitals doctors ambulance services x-rays etc. These rates were usually 50% or lower than the original bill. I simply reduce reducing administrative cost in dealing directly with the consumer many vendors are able to lower the prices substantially which is what used to happen in the healthcare system up until HMOs are introduced. This does of course however bring up one other thing and that is that cutting-edge technologies can only be used by the most wealthy because they could afford them this without inhibit future medical research but likely see with laser eye care and other services once experimental a very expensive has now and made affordable ones development costs and procedure protocols can increase efficiencies. What would also need to happen for this to succeed as a massive reduction in the regulation of businesses and the complete or partial illumination of HM all policies and regulations brought on by the federal and state governments in order to allow competition on a national scale that would simply allow for someone to receive cash discounts similar to a membership discount card especially negotiated by the channels without any other regulations tied to them.

In the end I believe that if you cannot afford to use your health insurance it will only increase the likelihood that you will spend all of your money to pay for someone else's South Carolina your own and that perhaps payment penalties would be substantially better than even having health insurance at all in its current form. A footnote hear that I am not advocating breaking the law I am nearly bringing up the point that from a logical perspective it seems more and Pantages to pay a penalty and keep your options open then to pay premiums you cannot use the benefits of as a practice of human nature and fiscal logic.

As a purely logical point of order I would suggest that our politicians throughout the world and throughout time have been less interested in the lives of the people they serve than their own purposes therefore I would not anticipate politicians doing the right thing up until the point where the jobs. Responsible legislation does not seem to be the active goal of many politicians at this point ergo I would not consider them reasonable and finding solutions as well. I would consider it a very real possibility that the financial assets of many Americans will be completed simply by attempting to follow their civic duty and law and see no substantial return on such investments. I would consider grease a wonderful example of politicians be more than willing to allow their tire economic system to collapse just for the opportunity to keep their jobs and even at that point they do not truly care about their constituency they care about whether they can sustain their own needs. I would also consider a real possibility that we have seen the same type of behavior in our own politicians within the United States regarding this particular issue in general. This is not a political point of view is simply a point of logic that past events have dictated not only in our own country but in others that we cannot always rely on our politicians to do the things that will benefit the constituencies they represent but those of the people who provide them the greatest affluence and continuing their current arrangements.

It’s the Food With the Exercise

Years of studies and countless thoughts spouted off by the “experts” telling us this food is bad or that we consume too much of something or something else and even going to the warning us about or activity levels and furthermore about what exercises are good for you. I have been interested in why if all these people think that it’s their solutions that will solve my problems. I have also come to realize that if there was a product out there that was the magic thing everyone could use and that would work EVERYONE would know and be thin and healthy already simply because it did work. 

Like most young people I thought the worlds problems all had to be complicated. That I had original ideals that generations before me were just not thinking of yet. In truth as many of us know life does not have to be ask complicated as we want it to be. Thus, this posting to make but a simple point: Diet and exercise in combination would be the moderate approach one that most people can live with. When it comes to diet the idea should be (in at least my understanding of it):

1. Eat only when hungry and only drink when thirsty to the point of feeling no longer hungry

2. Eat 2/3 vegetables and proteins with the remainder fruits and dairy (limit sweets)

3. Workout 3-4 days a week with alternating cardio and weights days or within the same workout.

4. Rest when tired. 

The most important thing I have found is to listen to your body and follow the seasons because above all else we are still animals and they adjust to seasons and so should we. When you get hurt people naturally crave alkin foods, so eat those (stress and inflammation cause the body to become more acidic naturally). All changes in your health take time and of often this change can happen within weeks if we just stick to it.Take it from someone who is not going to make a dime off of saying it: life is much simpler than we give it credit for. Stop pulling your hair out about it and just trust yourself.