A RAND survey found that 83% of military treatment facilities offer services like relaxation therapy, acupuncture, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and chiropractic…

I just came across a gratifying piece by Macie Heyman in Military Technologies about the prevalence of Integrative Medicine techniques (also called CAM or Complementary and Alternative Medicine services) in the Military.  
She reports that RAND conducted a survey to understand the availability and usage of these tools.  It turns out that 83% of military treatment facilities offer these services.  The most commonplace ones are relaxation therapy, acupuncture, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and chiropractic.

These techniques are most often used for issues like chronic pain, stress, anxiety, and sleep problems.  

And even when treatment facilities don’t offer it, our military personnel find their own way to these services.  Just for example, we know they’re landing on our military-friendly guided imagery and meditation pages all the time – have been for years.

This RAND finding dovetails nicely with new directives within the Veterans Health Administration, declaring that mind-body practices such as meditation, acupuncture, tai chi, yoga and guided imagery have been officially approved practices, to be integrated into traditional VHA treatment. In years past, the V.A. has been reluctant to do this.

This is sweet news to those of us who’ve been arguing for the legitimacy and usefulness of these practices for decades. Our soldiers and veterans seemed to have “gotten it” years ago; and their providers and direct-line caregivers caught on pretty quickly, too.

But now it’s simply wonderful to see key decision makers way up on the food chains of these juggernaut organizations, endorsing these methods too.  There were days – no, years – I thought I’d never see the day.
Who knows?  Maybe pretty soon TriCare and Military OneSource will be coding and reimbursing for these services, too, just as they do with more traditional treatment techniques.  Wouldn’t that be something?

In the meantime, we’ll keep offering our 15% military/veterans’ discount, because, with or without any official stamp of approval, we know our service people and veterans will keep finding our guided imagery, meditation, yoga and other invaluable, practical tools to keep them strong, resilient and productive.

A rousing Hooah, Oorah and Booyah on all of it!

Take care and be well.

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