Archive for March 4, 2021

FRIDAY FOTO (March 5, 2021)

Combat Yoga.

(U.S. Army photo by Sergeant Casey Hustin, 17th Field Artillery Brigade) CLICK on photo to enlarge image.

Soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in the state of Washington, use their lunch time for a combat mobility yoga session February 26, at 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment headquarters. While combat yoga sounds like an oxymoron, it’s helping Soldiers prevent injuries and deal with fatigue and chronic pain — with the potential of saving the Army millions of dollars in medical bills for the active duty force.

In a planned cultural shift, the Army last year formalized a holistic health and fitness (H2F) program that will consolidate and overhaul existing programs and events — such as the Army Physical Fitness Test, the Ready and Resilient Campaign, physical readiness training (PRT), and Army wellness centers.

Yoga sessions are designed to improve overall mental wellness and increase core strength and mobility. Yoga is just part of the plan. The key is to prevent injuries and increase lethality.

As of February 2019, more than 56,000 Soldiers were non-deployable –a number comparable to more than 13 brigade combat teams.  In 2018, more than half of all Soldiers were injured at some point, and 71% of those injuries were lower extremity micro-traumatic musculoskeletal “overuse” injuries. The 2018 report also reported more than 12 percent of Soldiers had some form of sleep disorder and 17 percentof active-duty Soldiers were obese, both of which can lead to an injury.

In other words, how Soldiers trained, in and out of the gym, was yielding counterproductive results. This health care burden wasn’t just impacting operational readiness, but the musculoskeletal injuries racked up half a billion dollars of patient care costs among active-duty Soldiers, according to the Army News Service..

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, studies show that nearly 45 percent of soldiers and 50 percent of veterans experience pain regularly, according to a 2018 article in Yoga Journal.  And there’s a significant correlation among chronic pain, PTSD, and post-concussive symptoms such as fatigue, poor balance, sleep disturbances, and depression (meaning, if you have one, you’re more likely to experience one or more of the others), the article noted..

Over the past two decades, a series of clinical trials backed by a growing catalog of scientific evidence persuaded high-level Defense Department health care experts to accept yoga and meditation as legitimate treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pain management, and much more the Yoga Journal noted.

March 4, 2021 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment


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