How Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Can Help Veterans Suffering from PTSD
For many veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reintegrating into civilian life after the military can be a challenge. Thankfully, there are organizations and programs out there designed to help these brave men and women transition back into society. One such program is Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ).
In recent years, BJJ has become increasingly popular as a form of self-defense and exercise. However, its benefits go far beyond physical fitness. For example, BJJ can also help veterans suffering from PTSD. In this blog post, we’ll explore how BJJ can help combat veterans dealing with PTSD.
BJJ as Therapy for PTSD
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that BJJ can be an effective therapeutic tool for treating PTSD. A study published in Frontiers in Psychology found that “participation in BJJ resulted in significant reductions in overall PTSD symptoms, depression symptoms, and anger.”
Furthermore, the study found that “BJJ also improved participants’ sleep quality and physical health.” Other studies have arrived at similar conclusions. For example, a study published in Military Medicine found that “MMA [mixed martial arts] training may serve as an adjunctive therapy for treating PTSD.”
The benefits of BJJ for treating PTSD are threefold. First, the act of learning and practicing BJJ can help take veterans’ minds off of their traumatic experiences. Second, the focus on self-defense and control that is central to BJJ can help give veterans a sense of empowerment. And third, the social component of BJJ can help veterans reconnect with their communities and form supportive relationships.
BJJ as a Mind-Body Connection
Not only can BJJ help to treat the symptoms of PTSD, but it can also help to prevent the disorder altogether. How?
You see, when we experience trauma, our natural reaction is to dissociate from our bodies. This is because our bodies hold the memories of the trauma, and we want to distance ourselves from those memories. However, this can lead to a host of problems, including PTSD.
BJJ can help to prevent this by promoting a mind-body connection. Through the act of learning and practicing Bjj, veterans can begin to re-establish a connection with their bodies. This, in turn, can help to prevent the development of PTSD.
Veterans Crisis Line – STOP a traumatic event and prevent serious injury.
Sometimes prevention and intervention are not enough. Despite family support and all the available resources from the VA, coping strategies break down and our brain stops being able to cope or function, or abilities erode. During this time, it is imperative to know that there are resources available to you. This number could save your life, or the life of someone related to you, be it, a friend or family member.
CRISIS HOTLINE NUMBER – 988 PRESS 1
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If you’re a veteran suffering from PTSD, we encourage you to give Brazilian jiu-jitsu a try. With its many mental and physical health benefits, BJJ could be just what you need to begin your journey toward healing. Thank you for your service!