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Government Turns to Alternative Therapies to Help Vets

Posted: September 3, 2008

The U.S. military is spending $4 million to figure out whether New Age practices and holistic therapies can mend the wounded psyches of its troops.

Concerned with the high number of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and brain injuries, the government is handing out grants to conduct clinical studies on everything from yoga, to Reiki, to animal-assisted therapy, to transcendental meditation.

The Department of Defense says it supports the use of alternative therapies if they are proved efficacious, according to its request for proposals, which closed May 15.

Lola Scarborough, owner of Yoga Lola Studio in League City, Texas, applied for a $300,000 research grant to document the benefits of Kundalini yoga on veterans.

Kundalini yoga, Scarborough said, awakens an untapped reserve within each of us - envisioned as a sleeping serpent in the base of the spine, whose power can help veterans deal with anger, flashbacks, depression and anxiety, symptoms often associated with PTSD.