When treating veterans for mental disabilities, common remedies are medication or therapy sessions. What many people do not realize is that there are many other ways to help individuals who are dealing with disabilities like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Holistic health is an extremely broad field that focuses on the individual and what works best for them. The methods used by those in personal development is exactly what I am referring to. These different forms vary depending on what gives the individual peace and relaxation, but they include meditation, physical activities/exercise, eating habits, and other activities that benefits the individual.
The Horses and Heroes program falls right under this category. Ten veterans who are a part of this program make the trip from the Wilkes-Barre Veterans Affairs Medical Center to Painted Acres Farm in Greenfield Twp. to work with their horses. Through working with the animals, the veterans not only help the horses with grooming, bathing, and bonding but the horses also help them.
Horses are very therapeutic animals that are very in touch with human emotions and body language. These animals are like mirrors to the individuals who are around them. If you have a bad attitude they will give you attitude right back, or if you are anxious they will be anxious as well. It is this responsive quality that make them the perfect candidates to help veterans.
While they improve, horses also mirror those new emotions and body language enabling veterans to visualize their progress which makes this program so successful. This is just one alternative way of holistic methods. Different things will work better for different people but the important thing is to find what works best for you. Every individual gets stressed out, so they also need a way to unwind, some take to yoga, fishing, or spending time with animals. It is important we provided veterans with holistic health options!