MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A Charleston woman battling symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder is taking therapeutic practices she picked up in her professional life to help other women who are struggling with forms of stress-related illnesses.
"I have always used yoga and journaling to help manage my own symptoms of PTSD," says Natasha Akery, who suffers from non-combat related PTSD.
Akery turned to her experience as a professional writer and certified yoga instructor to create Lumenkind, which serves to help women struggling with stress-related symptoms, illnesses and disorders through journaling, meditation, and yoga.
The separate use of these two concepts to treat symptoms of PTSD are not uncommon. Fort Bragg in North Carolina offers a course on journaling to soldiers who are suffering from PTSD. As for Yoga, Akery says she has been in contact with colleagues at the VA Hospital in downtown Charleston who use it is a form of therapy.
"The participation level is high, and the therapeutic effects are ample," she says.
Since combining the two forms of alternate therapy, Akery says she went from experiencing stress-induced, seizure-like episodes once every few days to once every few months. Those are results she hopes to share with other women through her workshop, body.paper.pen.
"body.paper.pen is a three hour workshop designed to equip women with some basic tools that complement professional therapy, and can help them manage the daily symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, and non-epileptic events," said Akery.
The class, which will be held September 20, includes a 60-minute yoga session, a classroom session to provide information on how practices like yoga and journaling can help reverse the affects of stress on the nervous system, along with a response journaling session to put what they learned into practice.
Akery says body.paper.pen is for women who are proactive about their healing journey, and want to take recovery into their own hands.
"I think a common theme I've encountered with veterans struggling with PTSD is the desire to have control of their recovery," the instructor said. "This workshop gives these women simple tools that they can use in daily life."
body.paper.pen will be held at N:Motion Studio in Mt. Pleasant on September 20 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and is $45 to attend, or $25 for female veterans. The fee includes the three hour class and a custom journal. For more information, check out Lumenkind's Facebook page.
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