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Veterans use yoga in war with PTSD

<p>A year ago, Denise Moquin hit her breaking point. She’d returned fromIraq four years earlier after serving as a medic, but acclimating backto her life in Manchester, N.H., was extremely challenging bothphysically and emotionally. In her words, she was in an “unhealthyplace.” <br /></p>

A year ago, Denise Moquin hit her breaking point. She’d returned from Iraq four years earlier after serving as a medic, but acclimating back to her life in Manchester, N.H., was extremely challenging both physically and emotionally. In her words, she was in an “unhealthy place.”

That was until a Veterans Affairs doctor suggested looking into a yoga studio in Charlestown holding classes for veterans battling post-traumatic stress disorder and other related issues. Run by Gulf War veteran Sue Lynch, the class focuses on bringing veterans back to a peaceful place and helping them regain control of their lives.

“I found myself a lot less stressed and coping with everyday situations,” said Moquin, 32.

The classes began four years ago as part of There & Back Again, a Cambridge-based nonprofit that offers healing services to veterans. Lynch also struggled with PTSD until she discovered yoga and wanted to share that experience with other vets.

Last month, President Obama announced 30,000 more troops will head to Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the emotional state of service members has received greater scrutiny in the aftermath of the Fort Hood shootings. Lynch acknowledged yoga has yet to fully catch on as a widely-accepted way for veterans to cope, but she said it’s critical for veterans to seek out whatever help they feel they need.

“I know [yoga] worked for me, and to be able to share it and see the benefits they’re experiencing is just phenomenal,” she said.

 
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