Showing posts with label sweat lodge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sweat lodge. Show all posts

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Wounded warriors find healing the ancient way

It seems as if everyone has heard the term "Wounded Warrior."  

I've been using it since the early 80's because Native Americans have been using it long before I discovered the term while research PTSD. One of the reasons why I used Wounded Minds in the first PTSD video I did in 2006.

I didn't copyright it but they should have!

Veterans With PTSD Find Relief in Native American Rituals
Voice of America
Cecily Hilleary
March 22, 2018

Since ancient times, Native American and Alaskan Natives have held warriors in high esteem and have developed a wide variety of prayers, ceremonies and rituals to honor returning soldiers and ease them back into community life.

Sweat lodge constructed by veterans during a Veterans Community Response retreat, Flying B Ranch, Kamiah, Idaho. Courtesy: Michael Carroll.
“I wasn’t the kind of guy you’d want to meet in a dark alley.”

That’s how U.S. Army veteran Michael Carroll, 39, from Spokane, Wash., described himself after coming home in 2004 after serving 18 months in Iraq.

He was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and given an honorable discharge.

“The transition from military to civilian life was definitely unpleasant,” he said. “I was extremely temperamental and hostile, and I lashed out a lot. Anything could trigger me — sounds to smells to seeing trash on the side of the road,” a reminder of explosive devices used against coalition forces in the Iraq war.

Over the next few years, he underwent the standard treatment for PTSD — psychotherapy and medication — which he said did him more harm than good.
read more here

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Veterans Healing PTSD Old Warrior Way

Vets turn to sweat lodges to treat PTSD 
KOAA News 5
February 10, 2016
"You pray for your enemies and people that don't like you," explains Cheek. "And that's difficult, and as a veteran, you're praying for those people that actually shot at you. That helps you come to terms with a lot of the stuff."
FORT CARSON - A centuries-old tradition has become a new form of treatment for soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and the Native American sweat lodge on Fort Carson is leading the way for military installations around the country.

What once was a ritual held in secrecy is now a growing trend among both active duty and veteran warriors seeking its legendary cleansing powers. In a remote section of Turkey Creek, the air is filled with songs and smoke at the Lakota Sioux inipi, a traditional sweat lodge made of willow branches and donated quilts. It has been there since 1995. "They didn't have a clue as to what we were doing, and we weren't telling them at the time," says faith group leader Michael Hackwith.

Hackwith, a Marine veteran of the Gulf War, started the inipi with a couple friends who wanted to follow their own cultural religious practice. They got permission from the manager of the Turkey Creek manager at the time. The participants pray, sing, play drums and sweat in the tent around dozens of hot stones, in complete darkness. It is a purity ritual designed to help sweat out negativity, a common problem for struggling soldiers.

Special Agent Kevin Cheek of the Air Force, now the military liaison for the sweat lodge, says, "I've deployed five times. I've been there and back, and all that negative baggage that you collect and the things that you see and stuff like that, this helps you cope. This helps you deal with all that."
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Canadian Veteran on PTSD Walk for Awareness

Former soldier on the march to raise awareness about PTSD
Red Deer Advocate
Lana Michelin
Updated: July 09, 2014
The 44-year-old battled rage, depression and suicidal feelings before finding a counsellor who was experienced in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. He also derived help from attending aboriginal sweat lodges.
A former Canadian soldier who’s marching in every province to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder receives regular shows of support from Alberta motorists.

A few even turned their vehicles around, rolled down their windows, and expressed their personal appreciation for Steve Hartwig’s cross-country crusade. “They shake my hand and say ‘Thank you. The same thing happened to my partner,’ or my brother or sister or mom and dad,” said the former infantry member and paratrooper.

Hartwig carries a 35-pound pack on his back to represent the emotional burden borne by many returning soldiers, a white wooden cross symbolizing the loss of friends to suicide, and a tall Canadian flag.

“I’m overwhelmed by how many people are sharing their stories,” added Hartwig, during a brief rest stop at the Tim Hortons in Gasoline Alley on Wednesday.

Unsurprisingly, some of his biggest boosters have been other soldiers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics, or their relatives, who best understand the perils of post-traumatic stress disorder. Ironically, a few who have shown the least support are also soldiers.
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

In Sweat Lodge, Vets Find Healing 'Down To The Core'

In Sweat Lodge, Vets Find Healing 'Down To The Core'
May 28, 2012

Substance abuse. Violence. Even thoughts of suicide. These are some of the problems that many veterans returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are struggling with.

Today it's called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, but it has affected veterans going back much farther. While doctors and researchers put enormous efforts into developing new treatments, one group of veterans in Salt Lake City is finding relief in a very old tradition: a Native American sweat lodge.

If you didn't know to peer over the six-foot brick wall next to a parking lot at Salt Lake's Veterans Affairs center, you'd never guess it was there.

On a Friday afternoon, Cal Bench, a Vietnam veteran, is here early, gathering firewood like he does every week for the ceremony that will start in a few hours.

"I went into the service at 18 and I went to Vietnam at 19," Bench says. "And I had no idea how it would change or affect you mentally. The concept that I would carry that around forever was just hard. But I just never had any place to turn. I came here and I was given a blessing."
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sweat lodge trial fuels Native American frustrations

Sweat lodge trial fuels Native American frustrations
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Growing up on a reservation in lower Saskatchewan, Alvin Manitopyes learned early to respect the sweat lodge. He was 10 when he attended his first sweat ceremony, and for more than 15 years tribe elders instructed him in his people's ways.

He understands the spiritual mandate he was given as a healer to serve as an intermediary between people and the spirit world. He carries with him the ancient ceremonial songs, passed on through generations.

He knows how the natural elements - earth, fire, water and air - work together to cleanse people, inside and out, and create balance. At 55, he has spent more than 20 years conducting ceremonies in sweat lodges, where water is poured over hot lava rocks as part of a purifying ritual.

"If you have the right to do it, then the environment you're creating is a safe place," says Manitopyes, a public health consultant in Calgary, Alberta, who is Plains Cree and Anishnawbe. "But today we have all kinds of people who observe what's going on and think they can do it themselves. … And that's not a safe place to be."

No example of what worries him is clearer than the case of James Arthur Ray, a self-help guru who led a crowded sweat lodge ceremony that left three people dead. Ray faces manslaughter charges for the deaths allegedly tied to his October 2009 "Spiritual Warrior" retreat outside Sedona, Arizona. His trial began Tuesday.

Ray pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been free on $525,000 bail. Prosecutors say the deaths resulted from Ray's recklessness, an overheated lodge and because he encouraged people to stay inside when they weren't feeling well. His defense team denies those allegations, and attorney Luis Li has called what transpired "a terrible accident, not a crime."
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Sweat lodge trial fuels Native American frustrations

Thursday, February 4, 2010

James Ray, Sweat Lodge guru faces manslaughter charges

Sweat lodge guru faces manslaughter charges

Self-help guru James Ray was arrested Wednesday after a grand jury indictment
He's charged with manslaughter in deaths of three at Arizona sweat lodge ceremony
Ray's attorney says charges are unjust and Ray would be exonerated in court

(CNN) -- Self-help guru James Ray will appear in court Thursday to face manslaughter charges in the deaths of three participants at an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony he organized last year.

As many as 65 visitors, ranging in age from 30 to 60, attended Ray's "Spiritual Warrior" program in October at the Angel Valley Retreat Center near Sedona, Arizona. They spent as long as two hours inside a dome-like structure called a sweat lodge, which was covered with tarps and blankets, and had hot rocks and water inside to create steam.
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Sweat lodge guru faces manslaughter charges

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sweat Lodge Guru Played God, Retreat Survivor Says

Guru Played God, Retreat Survivor Says
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (Oct. 21) - A woman who took part in an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony tells The Associated Press that the spiritual guru who led the event pushed participants too far in what was supposed to be a life-expanding experience that culminated with people vomiting and passing out on the floor.
Texas resident Beverley Bunn is the first participant in the tragic incident to speak out publicly about the events that led up to the deaths. The 43-year-old told the AP in a series of interviews this week that by the time the sweat lodge ceremony began, the participants had undergone days of physically and mentally strenuous events that included fasting. In one game, guru James Arthur Ray even played God.
"I can't get her to move. I can't get her to wake up," Bunn recalls hearing from two sides of the 415-square-foot sweat lodge. Ray's response: "Leave her alone, she'll be dealt with in the next round."
By that time, Bunn had already crawled to a spot near the opening of the sweat lodge, praying for the door to stay open as long as possible between rounds so that she could breathe in fresh air.
At one point, someone lifted up the back of the tent, shining light in the otherwise pitch-black enclosure. Ray demanded to know who was letting the light in and committing a "sacrilegious act," Bunn said.

read more here
Guru Played God, Retreat Survivor Says

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Third death in sweat lodge "box" case

Third person dies in Arizona 'sweatbox' case
Story Highlights
"Sweatbox" retreat claims third victim, a Minnesota woman

Retreat participants fell ill after spending hours in hot, dome-like structure

"Spiritual Warrior" program was led by self-help guru James Arthur Ray

Police are conducting a homicide investigation into "sweatbox" deaths

(CNN) -- A woman hospitalized after spending time in a sauna-like "sweatbox" has died, bringing the total fatalities to three, authorities said late Saturday.

Two people died and were 19 injured after spending up to two hours inside this "sweatbox" at an Arizona resort.

In addition to the deaths, 18 others were injured at the October 8 event at Angel Valley Retreat Center near Sedona, Arizona.

The latest victim, Lizabeth Neuman, 49, was a Minnesota mother of three. She died at the Flagstaff Medical Center, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said.

There were up to 65 visitors, ages 30 to 60, at the resort attending the "Spiritual Warrior" program by self-help expert James Arthur Ray, according to authorities.

Participants spent up to two hours inside the sweatbox, a dome-like structure covered with tarps and blankets, the sheriff's office said. Hot rocks and water are used to create steam in the enclosed environment.

Neuman's attorney, Lou Diesel, told CNN her family is cooperating with the investigation and once it's complete, he will "take all the appropriate actions in response to those responsible for Liz's death."
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sweat lodge deaths investigated as homicides

Sweat lodge deaths investigated as homicides
Story Highlights
2 die, 19 injured in sweat lodge at Arizona retreat
Self-help author James Arthur Ray sponsored the program
"We believe there are indications that it was not accidental," police say
Ray says he's hired private investigators to determine what happened

(CNN) -- An investigation into the deaths of two people who spent up to two hours inside a "sweat lodge" at an Arizona retreat last week has been elevated from an accidental death investigation to a homicide inquiry, Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh told reporters Thursday.

Authorities said James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, New York, died Friday at the Angel Valley Resort after spending up to two hours in the sauna-like sweat lodge. Nineteen others were treated for injuries. One person remained hospitalized Thursday in critical condition, Waugh said.

The dead and injured were attending a program by self-help author James Arthur Ray, authorities said.

A search warrant was executed Wednesday at the James Ray International offices in Carlsbad, California, the sheriff said. Authorities were attempting to determine whether documents exist on how to construct sweat lodges and on their proper use, as well as documents showing whether participants were advised of the risks of sweat lodges either before or during the program. They also were searching for rosters from past events, Waugh said.
read more here
Sweat lodge deaths investigated as homicides

Sunday, October 11, 2009

2 Dead 19 taken to hospital in "sweat lodge" tragedy

Lodge Victim Was in Shape, Family Says

PHOENIX (Oct. 10) -- A 38-year-old New York woman who died after sitting in a sauna-like sweat lodge at a scenic Arizona resort was an avid surfer and hiker who was "in top shape," took self-improvement seriously and had a passion for art, a family spokesman said.

Kirby Brown of Westtown, N.Y., was one of two people who died Thursday evening after being overcome in the crudely built hut during a spiritual cleansing ceremony. Authorities on Saturday identified the other victim as 40-year-old James Shore of Milwaukee, who served as director of business development at an Internet marketing company in his hometown.

Nineteen other people were taken to hospitals, suffering from burns, dehydration, respiratory arrest, kidney failure or elevated body temperature. Most were soon released, but one remained in critical condition Saturday.

Brown had no pre-existing health conditions that would have kept her from participating in an otherwise safe activity, said cousin and family spokesman Tom McFeeley. That two people died and 19 others became ill at the Angel Valley Retreat Center indicates that "something went horribly wrong."
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Lodge Victim Was in Shape, Family Says

Thursday, March 20, 2008

McCain needs a Native American sweat lodge

Native American Veterans Support John McCain for President but Not His Party
Mike Graham
March 17, 2008
Native American veterans will join with active duty servicemen and women in addition to other veterans groups around the country to elect John McCain as our next president. Native American veterans have no cause to support Republican Party candidates running for state and federal office due to the parties' anti-native platform on issues and bills concerning the Native American community.

John McCain, during his time in the U.S. Senate has been at the forefront of making the American dream possible for millions of Native Americans. McCain serves on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and has made it his policy to stand up to fellow republicans wanting to slash funding of Native Americans programs. As president, John McCain would be the eight hundred-pound political gorilla against anti Native American groups.

During President Bush's two terms in office he has fully supported republican representatives in blocking bills that would bring about much needed change in the Native American communities. This action is proven with Bush's statement that he would veto a bill that would reinstate the Native Hawaiian government that was illegally over thrown by the U.S. Government.

For years republican representatives have used their committees like the Republican Steering Committee to hold-up funding on bills covering wide spread health, education and poverty issues within the American Indian and Native Hawaiian communities. Oklahoma's two senate republican representatives Tom Coburn and James Inhofe are at the top of the list of non-support of Native American issues. Oklahoma is in dire need of two new senators that will represent all of their constituents.

The American people should be aware of a national anti Native American group based in Oklahoma going by the name of "One Nation United." This group is supported and financed by many corporate companies around our country. One Nation United offers campaign support to state and federal candidates they feel will support their views against Native Americans.
go here for the rest

This just made me cringe. One of the facts that I was not aware of in Chaplain training with IFOC was that 100% of people who have been tortured have PTSD. Considering McCain was held and tortured by the VC in Vietnam, that one is a given. The Native American's know full well the price paid by the spirit and have held cleansing ceremonies, put troubled spirits into sweat lodges to cleanse them for centuries. If anyone in this nation should understand what PTSD is, it is them.

Given the fact McCain has been called "Senator Hothead" along with reports of his outbursts, the last thing this nation needs is someone more stubborn and arrogant than Bush. McCain had many chances to stand up and fight for the wounded, fight for the troops and take a stand against torture, but he has not. I will never forget the YouTube video of McCain being asked about PTSD from a Vietnam veteran suffering from it and he was annoyed by the question so much so that he turned away from the veteran and made a speech instead of listening to the veteran. How the Native Americans can support McCain is really baffling.

My issues with McCain is that he did not stand up for veterans as a senator and one of them but wants to run as a combat veteran instead of addressing his poor record on veteran's issues. Knowing the problems PTSD can cause, none of them should prevent him from being a public servant but all of them should prevent him from being in charge of the nation. Being a veteran does not entitle him to a free ride when it comes to his record on veterans issues. He needs to be held accountable just like everyone else. Had he not been a veteran, I doubt he would be where he is today. People would be looking at his record more than remembering he was a POW.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cleansing Wounded Warriors

Federal government taps ancient healing methods to treat native American soldiers
The veterans administration teams up with medicine men to use sweat lodges and talking circles to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.
By JENnifer miller Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
from the September 13, 2007 edition

Page 1 of 3
Rock Spring, N.M. - In a dusty lot on the Navajo reservation, a cleansing ceremony is about to take place. Women sit on rickety chairs outside a hogan, (a circular, squat Navajo home with a dirt floor). A line of parked cars sizzle in the Southwestern sun. Suddenly, a pack of horses rushes into view. They stop just short of the hogan, their hooves beating up a cloud of dust.
A man appears in the doorway – an unassuming figure, dressed in a work shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots. He is a medicine man who has spent decades learning ancient Navajo healing techniques. He waits for the lead rider – the patient – to dismount and then ushers him inside.
For the next hour, the spiritual leader, Alfred Gibson, conducts an "enemy way" ceremony, a form of Navajo therapy that cleanses physically and mentally ill individuals by forcing them to confront their pain.
The technique is increasingly being used across the American West to help native American soldiers deal with the traumas of war..................