Dear Friends:

This begins my regular Blog on poetry, holistic medicine, and healing our Nation’s Wounded Warriors! In future postings, I will highlight both the spectacular powers of holistic medicine, and the inspiring stories of many healers and organizations who have applied them to help our Troops. Please join in with your comments on these important topics, to build our healing outreach to our beloved Warriors and Veterans. Holistic care is not only the work of hospitals: it can be practiced by families and communities for support of the Warriors and Veterans on their midst.

Over the past few years, the military has pioneered holistic care in treating the “invisible wounds” of the Iraq and Afghan wars, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD. The new multimillion dollar Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD, has been the biggest focus of these efforts. While conventional care, such as medications and surgery, are sometimes of little use, that does not mean these wounds are incurable! Holistic care modalities are helping our Warriors every day at Walter Reed, and evidence for their powerful effects is growing by leaps and bounds.

The term “holistic care” means any treatment that affects the entire body (rather than just one organ or body part  as with conventional care). Holistic care includes “healing environment” buildings; family-centered care; integration of care (a single care plan instead of many); and basic and advanced wellness. This Blog will focus somewhat on basic wellness (nutrition, exercise, stress management, and alternative medicine); but especially on advanced wellness: the use of nature, art, and spirituality in treating TBI/PTSD. Large scale programs in all these areas have been developed to heal our Warriors, at Walter Reed and across the country.

Future installments will discuss some of the ways of  healing Wounded Warriors through the arts and nature, and how we may spread community-based initiatives in these areas across the State of Maryland and beyond.

Peace, Fred Foote