IMPACT: Helping Veterans Manage PTSD Symptoms
We've recently added a new partner to the Wellness Wishes family, the multi-faceted organization, Stress is Gone. Brett Cotter, Founder, offers a preventative model to be used via mobile, online, and instructional products and that deliver year round relief to individuals, families, schools, and corporations. Their members are empowered by increased stress awareness, the ability to instantly relax and most importantly, the skills to release the stress that has accumulated over time.
In 2014, Stress Is Gone.org incorporated as a separate 501(c)(3) to assist high-risk demographics and research effective stress relief tools. Providing the knowledge, guidance, and pathway to transform the impact stress has on our lives, their mission to walk toward a vision of a stress-free humanity by offering affordable relief that works is what makes us so proud to partner with Brett and Stress Is Gone. Currently he has a new book and wonderful initiatives to bring stress-relief to veterans suffering from PTSD, and special assistance to homeless veterans.
Brett is a stress relief expert that has multiple generations of combat veterans in his family across three branches of military. Cotter states; “Given my 15+ year career in stress relief and relaxation, I wanted to create something that was effective and would truly help veterans with PTSD.” The Stress Is Gone solution for veterans has three core components; (1) a workbook, (2) a mobile app, and (3) online tools.
All three components of Cotter’s program are certified by The American Institute of Stress. The core relaxation modality is named Stress Stopper Breathwork. The technique naturally stops stress in seconds by quickly activating the body’s Relaxation Response. The technique is as follows: (1) Touch the tension (typically the chest, abdomen, etc), (2) Breathe deep and slow, and (3) Once per breath silently say, “I’m okay”, until all the tension goes away.
The book entitled, “3 Keys to Managing PTSD: The Warrior’s Guide to Overcoming Combat Trauma”, is offered as a workbook and an eBook available on iTunes and Amazon as well as the Stress Is Gone website. Cotter is currently focused on a GoFundMe Campaign that delivers his workbook to veterans in homeless shelters. The book provides veterans with practical tools and techniques that are easy to use and are very effective. The 3 Keys are; (1) Learn how to stop a stress reaction, (2) Process the trauma, and (3) Meditate Daily. The workbook includes 1-year of exercises to assist the reader in mastering each key. A monthly PTSD Score Card is included to help veterans make sure they are headed in the right direction. The book also contains stories and testimonials to help readers integrate the 3 Keys into their everyday life. The book is dedicated to the author’s father, who was a U.S.M.C. Vietnam Combat Veteran, who passed away due to the long-term affects from PTSD.
The PTSD FREE mobile app for iPhone and Android predicts and stops stress realtime. After the individual answers a few questions the app knows when the user is most likely to be stressed. The app then guides the user through Stress Stopper Breathwork just before their stress is triggered. The app also configures the user’s meditation practice, which includes pre-set reminders to help the person stay consistent. The science behind meditation and PTSD symptom management is beyond significant, it’s life changing. Veterans showed a 50% reduction in PTSD symptoms after 8-weeks of meditation. (Rosenthal et al., 2011)
The company's Online Tools help veterans learn how to meditate, connect with others
with similar symptoms, and process the original traumatic memories at the root of PTSD. After a member completes a simple assessment they are guided through three tailored exercises. The 1st exercise helps them release physical tension from the body. The 2nd exercise helps release the tension from the original traumatic memory by repeatedly activating the body’s Relaxation Response. Eventually the memory is reframed with relaxation in the psyche and within the body. The memory is fully processed when it comes to mind without triggering any tension whatsoever. The 3rd exercise helps take the edge off the present trigger, so routine stress is much easier to manage.