In honor of Memorial Day, we here at Stop the Ringing would like to take this chance to recognize the many current and former service members who developed Tinnitus as a result of their tours of duty.
In the US, Memorial Day is traditionally a day to pay respect to our fallen service members, not veterans. But, because we’re a Tinnitus information site, and our users are very much still alive, we hope to be forgiven for co-opting the holiday.
And, as far as we know, there is no US holiday to celebrate the sacrifices of our allies in combat but we want to express our appreciation for all of you as well.
War is Hell… On the Ears
Did you know that Tinnitus is the leading service-related condition for veterans? And hearing loss is the second leading condition. Between the bombs, gunshots, generators, helicopters, etc, war is noisy business!
As a result, many of our veterans are coming home with a life-long souvenir, Tinnitus.
As the Veterans Administration tries to grapple with the surging costs of disability payments, they’re busily seeking ways to offer relief to the many veterans who suffer daily, not only with Tinnitus but also PTSD, mental illness and a whole host of other maladies.
One of the ways they’re addressing these troubles head-on is with therapies once thought to be way outside the realm of the VA such as yoga, meditation and Tai Chi.
Now, many of us might imagine big bowls of granola and dreadlocked hippies when we think of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). But the VA is casting a very different light on these therapies. What started as a potential cost saving measure for the Veteran’s Administration has resulted in an entirely new crowd at the typical yoga class.
As veterans delve deeper into yoga or meditation, not only do they begin to regain a sense of control over their lives, they also begin to use fewer resources from the VA. When a combat veteran has been prescribed a dozen or more drugs to manage their symptoms, the costs can be huge. Weening a few hundred thousand soldiers off of those drugs will free up resources that can be better utilized in research and development of a cure for Tinnitus!
Meanwhile, the soldiers find it easier to live a normal life in spite of Tinnitus or PTSD or hearing loss, what have you. The benefit to society falls outside of the typical bean-counter analysis but I think we can all agree that happy, well-adjusted people make for a more peaceful and productive society.
No Lycra Required
So, to all of you veterans in our community, call your local VA and find out when their next scheduled Yoga Therapy class is and sign yourself up! (And you don’t need any Lycra, sweatpants or shorts will do just fine, thank you very much…)
Here’s an article from the VA itself, explaining their perspective on Yoga LINK
And below is a video from PBS, all about veterans with Tinnitus. At around 6:10 it gets into meditation and T.