This article was published in USA TODAY on 10/08/08
By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is seeking new ways to treat troops suffering from combat stress or brain damage by researching such alternative methods as acupuncture, meditation, yoga and the use of animals as therapy, military officials said.
“This new theme is a big departure for our cautious culture,” Dr. S. Ward Casscells, the Pentagon’s assistant secretary for health affairs, told USA TODAY.
Casscells said he pushed hard for the new research, because “we are struggling with” post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) “as we are with suicide and we are increasingly willing to take a hard look at even soft therapies.”
So far this year, the Pentagon is spending $5 million to study the therapies. In the previous two years, the Pentagon had not spent any money on similar research, records show.
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