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Healthy Life Expo
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Everyone on the planet Earth has stress. It is a fact of everyday life. For some, stress manifests with relentless headaches. For others, stress can dramatically affect an individual’s stomach and gastrointestinal tract. The list of physiological effects is truly endless.

Now…just think of the psychological effects that veterans experience as they are returning home from war in the Middle East. In addition to the more readily apparent disabilities, an estimated 230,000 returning veterans suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Anyone who experiences trauma of any kind can suffer PTSD. Civilians and veterans can experience flashbacks and memories of a traumatic incident — during the day or even at night when dreams transform into terrifying nightmares. For an affected individual, there seems to be no escape from the emotionally startling terror.

Stress fueled by PTSD often is accompanied by depression, sleep disorders and chronic pain — often resulting in problems with alcohol and substance abuse.

Rhonda, a single mother, began experiencing significant stress after volunteering to serve in the Army at the tender age of 18. She was deployed to Germany during the end of the Vietnam conflict, essentially thrown from a “Leave it to Beaver” lifestyle into an unimaginable state of reality. Stretched beyond anything Rhonda had ever experienced, she was daily pushed to the limit and suffered an extreme level of stress.

For Rhonda, it resulted in 1996 with a diagnosed condition of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia. After an honorable discharge from the Army, Rhonda continued to work for four more long and arduous years. Her daily existence involved consuming prescribed medication for her pain, depression and arthritis. Every day, she continued hoping there was more to life after the Army than just managing her pain. So she began researching techniques for relaxation and healing, leading her on an odyssey of self-healing. This quest took her to the Los Angeles-based Heaven and Earth Oasis: Health, Energy, Recovery for Military Vets — and healer Valerie Heath.

With Valerie as a guide, Rhonda pursued an understanding of Theta healing, an innovative approach that involves getting to the root cause of an individual’s persistent pain. Rhonda began with diet and lifestyle changes.

“Meditation was the first thing that helped me,” Rhonda said. “It calmed my body and caused some of the pain to subside. I learned that we create pain from all the traumas that we experience. As I began my soul searching, researching and experimenting with different modalities, the teachers and healers showed up — because I was ready. I began trusting the instincts that told me what to do.”

Valerie Heath taught Rhonda more about self-healing and other modalities to help her release her stress. Rhonda called Valerie “her midwife for healing,” emphasizing her healing energy, and “her ability to really hone in on what I needed to know — and what I needed to hear sped up my healing process…. After several treatments, I was empowered to get on with my life, feeling more whole.”

“I am becoming a wounded healer myself through my own healing quest,” Rhonda said. “Valerie is providing an opportunity that is really needed, not treating the symptoms, but getting to the root without using drugs of any kind.”

Many veterans from many wars are still living in the past, back in the war…lost. They can’t move on and a lot of their illnesses come from that. With places like Heaven and Earth Oasis, they can begin their healing journey — and learn tools for self-healing: meditation, supplements, diet changes, Theta healing, Reiki, BIOMAT, yoga, talk therapy — moving through the pain and stress, not just disguising it with medication.

“It’s been a hard journey,” Rhonda said, “but every day I am excited to see what I am going to learn next. Every day something within me is changing”.

As more veterans and holistic practitioners continue to work together, the possibilities for greater healing, pain management and awareness will continue to grow. Imagine a world in which veterans possess a healing tool kit of many techniques and modalities.

Valerie Heath’s background and experience using holistic, non-invasive techniques to heal illness led her to create Heaven and Earth Oasis, a nonprofit organization found online at www.heavenandearthoasis.org. Heaven and Earth Oasis is dedicated to healing military personnel by applying an array of established alternative and complementary methods of treatment that work. Many of the methods they employ, such as Reiki, are now successfully incorporated by military organizations to help heal war veterans diagnosed with combat-related illnesses, such as PTSD.

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Jodi Seidler is a writer and friend of Heaven and Earth Oasis. Visit www.heavenandearthoasis.org.

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