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Making Waves for our Returning Heroes - Issue #2 March 2015
New Promising Research for a Brighter Future is Here
An Evaluation of the Wave Academy Approach to Reducing PTS
Last year we set out to evaluate our program to explore how it could measurably reduce the symptoms affecting clinically diagnosed veterans with PTS.  We partnered with the Center for Research and Reform in Education Institute at Johns Hopkins University to analyze data on 15 veterans undergoing an eight-week ABT treatment protocol. 

The evaluation yielded significant results with clients experiencing a more than 28% decrease in PTS symptoms over eight weeks.  This means that the warm water therapy brought about improved sleep duration and quality, decreased pain and lower levels of anxiety.  And for veterans living with the crippling impacts of PTS, that improved peace of mind translates into a vastly improved quality of life.
  Full report here.
Wave Academy’s Continuing Education:
Cameron West brings new insights to PTS Aquatic Therapy
All of our practitioners have completed rigorous hours of training to obtain their Aquatic Bodywork Therapy certification, and each have treated Post Traumatic Stress diagnosed Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.  Part of Wave Academy’s core belief system includes bettering ourselves to benefit our clients to the best of our abilities.  
 
Earlier this month Wave Academy was honored to host Cameron West’s PTS Aquatic Therapy Class for our practitioners. Founder of Aquatic Integration Institute and expert in ABT for treating PTS, Cameron provided 16 hours of instruction specifically designed to deepen our practitioners’ knowledge for addressing the emotional, physical and clinical needs of our clients.
 
Like Wave Academy, she is committed to transforming lives. She has seen the power of ABT time and again over her 27 years of practice, and teaches that ABT can be a resource for our veterans to increase their tools for building or rebuilding their lives.
 
A large factor of ABT’s positive impact rests in creating a safe environment that will assist in bringing our clients into present time. In fact, this was a large part of the weekend’s training.

Cameron’s first step when treating a veteran is for them “to not feel alone, to feel supported.” To achieve this she explains, “Safety and containment that [helps them] feel themselves, then Bridging to Empowerment, a progression of being able to cope with themselves in their environment.”
 
Several of Wave Academy’s practitioners attended and are taking with them the practical lessons that can be applied immediately.
 
When asked how the class will change her work, Wave Academy practitioner and Board President, Erin O’Rourke, said she has “a new appreciation for the condition of PTS, what our clients experience, and thus offering us a deeper space for empathy, compassion and understanding.”  Tools she plans to take into her work include, better “language to use in sessions, further empowering our PTS clients, and the pacing of sessions which aids and facilitates integration of the work received.”
 
Fellow practitioner Aubrey Kelley has been on the holistic health path for years and an ABT practitioner since 2010. She encourages consistent weekly sessions with the same practitioner for greatest results. She explains, “There is a progression that happens, an opening; a curiosity as symptoms subside and trust is built.”
 
People come to this work through different experiences, either as a practitioner or client. A few years ago Wave Academy practitioner Kit Khulman backpacked around the country.  Along his journey he met many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. He shares, they “had been discharged and left with severe inabilities to integrate into society and felt the streets were the only place for them.” Determined to do something, he began his ABT study two year ago and has devoted his life to helping veterans. Cameron’s class provided Kit with “major facilitation upgrades in regards to guiding veterans back into their bodies - keeping focused on internal processes and allowing the veteran to critically assess their own realm.”
 
The ultimate goal of any ABT practitioner is to create an environment for healing.  Erin O’Rourke explains, “When a veteran articulates that they felt peace like they have never felt before, I’ll say, ‘That feeling, that inner peace you now have the experience of feeling, resides in you at all times, and is accessible to you when you are not in the pool.  You can cultivate that peacefulness with a simple practice of mindfulness.  When you are in or near water, at your kitchen sink or near the ocean for instance, close your eyes and recall the experience you’re feeling now, and be with the felt sense of it through your entire body.’”
 
Wave Academy sends a warm thank you to Cameron West and our practitioners for their unrelenting dedication to transforming the lives of our veterans.
 
For more information or to contact Cameron West visit www.AquaticIntegration.com.
 
 
Join the Wave Academy Movement
 
Please help us give back to the brave service men and women who have done so much on our behalf and heal their families. 
  • Learn more about the research and view powerful testimonials from Wave clients on our website - www.waveacademy.org.
  • Become part of our Facebook fan page community and join the dialogue – and invite your friends.
  • Invite others to sign up for this newsletter.
  • Enlist owners and operators of therapy pools in San Diego County to provide access so that we can increase our capacity to serve.
  • Refer someone in need for an assessment: criteria and applications are here.
  • Donate to subsidize our treatment costs for these deserving veterans and caregivers.
Thank you for your interest in Wave Academy.  We look forward to working together to stem the escalating problems of dysfunction and suicide among our returning service men and women and to building a brighter future for individuals, families and communities in need.
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