December 04, 2019 by Jordan Nunziato
Many veterans come home from service suffering from chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They grapple with insomnia, stress and anxiety, too, and massage therapists are in an excellent position to help them take control of their health and wellness.
Veteran massage is an emerging field of focus that many massage therapists are choosing to enter. Serving veterans through massage can be highly rewarding and provides therapists with some of the most fulfilling experiences of their careers.
For veterans, getting care for such conditions can be difficult for many reasons. Though they have access to care based on their military service, sometimes veterans avoid health care systems, often due to fears of stigma.
Some struggle with PTSD. PTSD comes with both physical and psychological symptoms, and can include higher rates of musculoskeletal or cardiovascular issues, flashbacks and nightmares, increased feelings of detachment and isolation, and irritability and difficulty falling asleep.
For some, it’s chronic pain. Chronic pain is another major issue within the veteran population. Musculoskeletal pain is common, with research showing it’s the leading cause of disability among veterans and that as much as 70 percent of the veteran population is affected. One of the benefits of massage is it’s uniquely situated to help chronic pain conditions, especially musculoskeletal conditions such as low back pain, osteoarthritis-related pain, neck pain and fibromyalgia.
Serving active military, guard, reserve and veteran patients requires effort on the part of the massage therapist to become well-educated in warrior culture, to practice patience, kindness and adaptability.
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