(HealthDay News) – A complementary medicine intervention of healing touch with guided imagery (HT+GI) reduces post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related symptoms in returning combat-exposed active duty military personnel, according to a study published in the September issue of Military Medicine.

Shamini Jain, PhD, from the University of California San Diego, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial assigning returning combat-exposed active duty military with significant PTSD symptoms to six treatments with either a complementary medicine intervention (HT+GI) or treatment as usual (TAU).

The researchers found that, compared with participants assigned to TAU, repeated measures analysis of covariance with intent-to-treat analyses showed a statistically and clinically significant reduction in PTSD symptoms and depression for participants assigned to HT+GI. There were also significant improvements in mental quality of life and cynicism with HT+GI versus TAU.

“Participation in a complementary medicine intervention resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active duty military population,” the authors write. “Future studies examining the impact of this intervention as a complementary treatment to help eliminate PTSD and depression in our military are warranted.”

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