Will mindfulness help Gulf War veterans sleep?


Utah Center for Exploring Mind-Body Interactions

Many veterans of the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s suffer from mysterious symptoms — from fatigue to joint pain to indigestion to memory problems.

 

Now researchers at the University of Utah are taking a look at whether mindfulness therapy can help those veterans deal with one of their insidious burdens: disturbed sleep.

 

By Kristen Moulton, via Anthony Hardie

 

Yoshio Nakamura of the Utah Center for Exploring Mind-Body Interactions and study associates David Lipschitz and Yuri Kida are looking for 72 veterans of the Persian Gulf War — Operation Desert Storm — for a short research study.

“Sleep disturbance hasn’t been prominently recognized,” says Nakamura. But a doctor who treats Gulf War vets in Salt Lake City suggested they take a look.

“He started to tell us, ‘All my Gulf War patients, they can’t sleep.’”

So Nakamura got a grant from the Department of Defense, which, like the Department of Veterans Affairs, is puzzled by the inexplicable symptoms many veterans experience if they were in the Gulf in 1990 and 1991 with coalition forces, pushing Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

His research is to determine whether mind-body bridging can help improve the sleep of those veterans.

Medical researchers in the 1970s began looking into medical uses for eastern religion techniques such as meditation and visual imagery. The idea is that physical and mental health are affected by emotional, social, spiritual and behavioral aspects of one’s life.

“It’s a therapy based on learning to be more aware of what’s going on in yourself,” says Nakamura.

Participants will go to the Veterans Affairs George E. Wahlen Medical Center in Salt Lake City for a two-hour meeting once a week, for three consecutive weeks.

Anthony Hardie

Anthony Hardie served seven years in the U.S. Army, that included service in the 1991 Gulf War and Somalia.

Anthony is the publisher and editor of 91outcomes.com, created because he is one of the more than 250,000 veterans of the 1991 Gulf War left disabled by Gulf War Illness.

He works to help his fellow Gulf War veterans out of a sense of duty.

Anthony has been a leading national advocate on Gulf War and other veterans' issues since 1995.He has served on the VA’s Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses (RAC) from 2006 to 2013, VA's Gulf War Research Steering Committee from 2010 until it completed its work in 2012, and as a Gulf War veteran consumer reviewer on DoD’s Gulf War Illness Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (GWI CDMRP) Integration Panel from 2006 to present.

He ceased actively publishing to Veterans News Now after it shifted its primary focus from veterans issues to to anti-Israel propaganda.

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