Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Alleviating The Impact Of Traumatic Brain Injury With Yoga

Zach Dischner/

"Whether it's debate over the role of the military in the middle east or how to improve the health care system for veterans, the consequences of sending men and women into dangerous situations is on the front pages just about every day. One example: the complex and long term impact of traumatic brain injuries," says host Barbara Lewis.

There's no actual cure for a traumatic brain injury, but there are ways of alleviating the physical and emotional pain. 

Earlier this summer, Sound Medicine's Erika Beras sat in on a Wounded Warrior Project yoga class at Bend Yoga's studio in downtown Pittsburgh, where injured veterans with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder gathered for yoga. 

Chris Ohleger, a 29-year-old Army veteran in the class, said that he benefited from practicing yoga. 

"Different medicines, and I guess even some physical therapy, felt more like work and less like healing; less like fixing anything. It was more difficult to maintain," said Ohleger, who sustained injuries while serving in Iraq. "It didn't feel as complete... as motivating as this feels." 

Millions of Americans have traumatic brain injuries.
In 2012, researchers at the University of San Francisco's Department of Psychology, conducted a study on yoga and the well-being of those with traumatic brain injuries. After 12 months of attending weekly yoga classes, respiratory functions improved among the participants with brain injuries, who also reported a boost in how they felt. 

The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization that provides programs and services to wounded veterans.