The PTSD Qi Therapy & Qigong Treatment Program

Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. (a clinical and health psychologist with a private practice in Mill Valley, CA) in an article on PsychologyToday.com entitled 'Why PTSD is Larger than Mental Health' had the following to say about PTSD:

"The trauma, pain and suffering of our nation's veterans in the recent Iraq and Afghanistan wars has been tremendous. About 20% suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a devastating condition characterized by long-term nightmares, feelings of terror, problems in intimate relationships, anger, emotional numbing and suicide risk. The DSMIV-TR, the major diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association conceptualizes PTSD as an Anxiety Disorder and has research-based criteria for its diagnosis. Cognitive-Behavioral treatments are effective at decreasing PTSD symptoms and are considered state of the art. Yet I do not consider PTSD to be a mental health problem. Rather, I see it as a chronic, systemic problem of mind-body-spirit in which long-term stress responses deplete both mental and physical health."

Qi Therapy and Qigong are two very effective mind-body-spirit therapies.

In a previous article called "Qi Therapy for Returning Active Duty Military with PTSD" I reported on a US Military sponsored study called "Healing Touch with Guided Imagery for PTSD in returning active duty military: a randomized controlled trial" featured in the September 2012 edition of the journal Military Medicine.

In this article, researchers found that twice-weekly Qi Therapy body treatments (given while participants listened to a guided imagery [GI] CD) for three weeks "resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active duty military population." Researchers noted that "participants were given the GI recording on CD and encouraged to listen to the GI recording at least once daily or more often if desired. Participant's adherence to listening to the GI CD was not assessed."

When I first read this article, I postulated that Qigong could be used in place of guided imagery in a PTSD treatment program.

I think Qigong would be more effective because (a) it involves stimulating the same energy system that the Qi Therapy body treatments utilize, (b) it involves body movement and awareness, and (c) it gives participants energetic and stress management tools to use after cessation of Qi Therapy body treatments.

In the article "Qigong for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)" I reported on a Boston University School of Medicine sponsored study called "Treating survivors of torture and refugee trauma: a preliminary case series using qigong and t'ai chi" in the September 2008 edition of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine that investigated the efficacy of using qigong to treat PTSD.

So with all of this as background, I present the The PTSD Qi Therapy & Qigong Treatment Program.

The PTSD Qi Therapy & Qigong Treatment Program

The program is modeled after the Military Medicine journal study and contains two components:

(1) Twice-weekly hour-long Qi Therapy body treatments spaced several days apart.

For the sake of standardization and to treat the whole body, the treatment known as 'energy chelation' developed by internationally acclaimed healer Rosalyn Bruyere and outlined in her book 'Wheels of Light' (and in her student Barbara Brennan's book 'Hands of Light') should be used.

(2) Daily Qigong sessions of 20-30 minutes in length to be done by participants on their own or in groups, and preferably just prior to the Qi Therapy body treatments.

For the sake of standardization and to generate a sense of grounding, energy, balance, and relaxation, the Fragrant Qigong set should be used followed by The Six Healing Sounds repeated nine times each as outlined by Mantak Chia.

Qi Therapy body treatments should continue for at least three weeks (as in the Military Medicine journal study) or as long as the participant feels is necessary.

Ideally participants will continue to do the daily Qigong sessions after the Qi Therapy body treatments no longer become necessary.