Article published by : Max Health on Friday, October 05, 2012

Category : Wellness

New Study Shows Marked Drop in PTSD Symptoms in Combat-Exposed Marines from Healing Touch and Guided Imagery

Three weeks of healing touch treatments, combined with listening to a guided imagery CD, provides significant clinical reductions in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms for combat-exposed, active duty Marines, according to a study released in the September issue of Military Medicine.

The report finds that the 68 Camp Pendleton Marines who were randomly assigned to 6 sessions of the combined intervention within a three-week period also showed significant improvement in quality of life, as well as reduced depression and cynicism, as compared to the 55 subjects receiving treatment as usual.

"Scores for PTSD symptoms decreased substantially, about 14 points and below the clinical cutoffs for PTSD," said principal investigator, Dr. Mimi Guarneri of Scripps Hospital. "This indicates that the intervention was not just statistically significant, but actually decreased symptoms below the threshold for PTSD diagnosis. It made a large difference in reducing PTSD symptoms."

The guided imagery audio program used in the study was Healing Trauma, created by Belleruth Naparstek and produced by Health Journeys Inc. The Camp Pendleton results support previous findings with this imagery from a Duke University study with women veterans suffering from longstanding PTSD and military sexual trauma.

"Service members are seeking out non-drug complementary and integrative medicine as part of their overall care and approach to wellness," said Wayne B. Jonas, MD, president and chief executive officer of the Samueli Institute, a partner in the study. "This treatment pairs deep relaxation with a self-care approach that can be used at home .The results of this study underscore the need to make effective, non-stigmatizing treatments for PTSD available to all our service members."

Naparstek agrees that the combination of healing touch and guided imagery is not only an effective combination that probably synergizes more healing impact together than either intervention could effect by itself, but that it offers a brief, user-friendly form of help that service members will use and recommend to peers.

Healing touch is an energy-based, non-invasive treatment, similar to Reiki, which restores and balances the human bio-field to help decrease pain and promote healing. Guided imagery combines a calming, immersive narrative with soothing music to direct the imagination to reduce pain, heal emotional wounds and restore a sense of well-being.

The study, "Healing Touch with Guided Imagery for PTSD in Returning Active Duty Military: A Randomized Controlled Trial", was authored by Shamini Jain, PhD, George F. McMahon, CDR, NC, USN; Patricia Hasen, CDR, NC, USN, Valencia Porter, MD, MPH; Rauni King, RN, MIH, CHTP and Mimi Gaurneri, MD, and appears in the September issue of Military Medicine.

The research was funded by a grant from the Taylor Family Foundation in conjunction with Camp Pendleton, the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine and The Samueli Institute.

Health Journeys an Akron, Ohio based company which produces guided imagery and other mind-body audio programs used in V. A. hospitals nationwide, and in U.S. military installations around the world. The company has just released a new guided imagery audio for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

For more information, contact Elizabeth C. Hauser, 1-800-800-8661 ext. 100, or visit


By: Max Health

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