The HeartMath research center has been studying the mental and physical affects of stressful emotions for close to 20 years. Today it is launching a free training DVD available through its website giving scientifically-validated techniques to help military personnel manage the unique stressors that come from service.
Reports released by the military earlier this year reveal more military deaths were due to suicides than from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan combined over the past two years. Statistics like these indicate military personnel are experiencing high levels of stress and have promptly fueled the nonprofit Institute of HeartMath’s (IHM) passion to make more resources available that help create emotional resilience.
IHM has maintained its HeartMath Military Service Appreciation Fund (MSAF) for close to four years in order to provide programs and services to active service members, veterans, and military families. The HeartMath Education and Resilience Training (H.E.A.R.T) DVD is the newest development from its military fund and is designed to help create resilience among military settings – at home, on base, and in combat theaters.
The DVD helps to educate veterans and service members about ways to cope with many challenging emotional and physical situations and it contains four emotion management tools and techniques, research and stories providing an educational background for its approach.
The institute’s MSAF has already supported more than 17,000 veterans and active duty service members, and according to retired Army Maj. Bob Bradley who helped develop the DVD, there is still a growing need for research-based solutions that can help with the unique challenges military men and women face.
“Despite all of HeartMath’s and other service organizations’ efforts in recent years to provide military members with the critical care they need, countless thousands still suffer from depression, anxiety, and other debilitating mental and emotional problems, and their numbers are growing daily,” said Bradley.
Bradley added that military members are challenged with high levels of stress. “Proper body armor and physical training are a staple for protecting our military men and women and it’s just as important that we protect and foster their peace of mind too – before, during, and after service,” he said.
The H.E.A.R.T. DVD’s tools and techniques have a promising track record for military personnel. Researchers at the Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, SC recorded marked improvements in the attention span and memory of soldiers with PTSD who practiced HeartMath techniques and used its research-developed emWave technology. The findings were published in the Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine journal in 2010.
IHM’s sister organization, HeartMath LLC, is also working with military personnel through VA hospitals and clinics. The HeartMath organizations both provide research, tools and technologies to increase performance and decrease stressful emotions with their solutions seeing use by clients such as NASA, Kaiser Permanente, Duke Medical Center and dozens of additional healthcare clients, school systems and thousands of health professionals around the world.
The HeartMath Military Service Appreciation Fund is maintained through contributions from the institute’s members and supporters.
For more information and free resources for active service members, veterans and military families, go the Institute of HeartMath’s military resource information page at http://www.heartmath.org/templates/ihm/articles/landing/2011/heartmath-military-service-appreciation-fund/index.php
Material adapted from Institute of Heartmath.