Since standard drug-based treatment has failed to promote healing for those suffering from traumas experienced in the war, several studies are pointing to the effectiveness of natural and alternative methods as a form of therapy.
Among the non-institutional approaches to healing that are quietly emerging as beacons of hope for veterans is the breathing meditation, a practice that is on the rise, and which we explore in ALMOST SUNRISE through the story of our main characters, who learn to meditate while on their cross-country search for healing.
“Warriors are extraordinary human beings. After a long deployment of holding their breath in combat, they no longer know how to breathe with ease in their civilian life. Trained for war, they were never trained for peace.” – Tom Voss (veteranstrek.org).
Yoga-based breathing exercises have been shown to decrease stress, boost immune function (probably as a result of decreased stress), reduce anxiety, depression and blood pressure, and benefit pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. In particular, breathing practices such as Power Breath (www.PWHT.org), by relaxing the body, may help with the processing of traumatic experiences.