Gerald Vest: Soldiers Reach Out and Touch Veterans    
 Soldiers Reach Out and Touch Veterans2 comments
picture12 Jun 2009 @ 00:40, by Gerald Vest

The Ft. Bliss Monitor published an excellent article on our recent Therapeutic Outing to the Texas State Vet Center. Our Warriors administered our 15Minute StressOut Program with the elder Vets as a morning activity to support the healing and interaction of our soldiers experiencing PTSD and elder Vets while giving our Skillful Touch Program. See June ll, 2009 Ft. Bliss Monitor. [link]

Soldiers reach out and touch veterans
Fort Bliss Public Affairs

The Fort Bliss Restoration and Resilience Center is a place for Soldiers to recuperate and learn methods of dealing with issues of post-traumatic stress upon returning from deployments. There are several programs incorporated in the treatment regimen to obtain holistic health. One of these practices is the 15-minute StressOut Program. This program reinforces healthy touching as a means of healing.

The StressOut program was designed by Jerry Vest, army/health practitioner and social worker, from William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Restoration and Resilience Center, Warrior Program, in 1979. It involves acupressure and other skillful techniques, coordinated with breathing to balance the body, mind, emotions and spirit.

On Thursday, warriors in transition took time out from their healing process to visit the Texas State Center for Veterans to administer a little healing to some of
their own. The Soldiers joined some of the vets in a private room with very soft lighting, ‘’mood music’’ and the goal of creating 15-minutes of relaxation through a partner meditation technique.

The Soldiers agreed that the process is really good for both them and the veterans they were there to help. During the sessions, the “givers,” who are those giving the massage, systematically applied pressure points to the receivers, while the two
worked at establishing a memorable experience.

The idea is for the partners to connect the vitality of their breath with the power of touch during this process of relaxation. Because there are so many myths surrounding touch, Vest said he introduces and demonstrates safe, skillful, appropriate and nourishing touch as a means for teaching physical interaction, stress management, and self-care for individuals,couples, groups and families. “Many of these patients only get touch from the bed to the chair,” said a Soldier from the Restoration and Resilience Center. “Being on either side [giving or receiving] is very relaxing, and you benefit either way,” said another Soldier.
Glenda Bromberg, who was also a part of the team of volunteers, talked about how powerful touch is in healing as well as in everyday life. She said she was moved by “people who are healing, giving to people who need healing.”

After the session, many of the Soldiers who were visiting for the first time said they would like to volunteer to spend time with the vets more often.
“This may be a regular field trip for the warriors,” Vest said. For more information on the 15-minute StressOut Program, visit [link]


Note: Picture is Dr. John Fortunato, Chief & Founder, Ft. Bliss Restoration & Resilience Center, Wm Beaumont Army Medical Center

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3 Jul 2009 @ 16:21 by jerryvest : I want to thank Glenda,
General Bromberg's wife and J.D., Col. Evan's wife for supporting our healthy touch program and for assisting our Center in promoting the best interests for our Wounded Warriors and their families.  

5 Jul 2009 @ 14:48 by jerryvest : Read Paul Reickoff's articles on the
war in the Huffington Post: "Coming Home from War is no 4th of July." {link:}  

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