Veterans Day: One Warrior Shares Some of the Best Ways to Heal from Trauma
As we prepare to honor those who’ve selflessly served our country this Veterans Day, it’s important to recognize the toll such service can take on the individual. In this article, Jill Chambers, US Army COL (Ret), shares helpful tips from her journey of recovery and healing after living through one of our nation’s most horrific events…
After personally experiencing the tragic events of 9/11 while serving in the Pentagon, I was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress (PTS). I was sure I didn’t want to go down the path of medications if I could help myself through non-pharmaceutical approaches. Through research, personal connections, and the help of Belleruth Naparstek, founder of Health Journeys, I was introduced to therapies like neurofeedback, biofeedback, and guided imagery. All three of these modalities were life-changing for me and significantly helped mitigate my PTS.
Soon after I was enjoying the positive results of my journey, I read Dr. Daniel Amen’s books, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life” and “Unleash the Power of the Female Brain.” I was completely intrigued at this point of discovering exactly how my brain was functioning and how I could raise it to a level of optimal performance.
Single Best Decision
My husband and I scheduled appointments at the Amen Clinic in Orange County, CA to have brain SPECT imaging performed and to learn exactly what would be appropriate, healthy ways forward to maintain positive brain health. This was the single best decision we could’ve made to enhance our health and longevity! We both made a declaration to live to be at least 120 and have a sharp brain all the way there.
Dr. Amen was able to tell from my scan that I did have the pattern that indicated I experienced a post-traumatic event. However, the signature pattern, which is a triangle shape, was encapsulated indicating I was actually experiencing post-traumatic growth (PTG). I quickly learned that PTG was allowing me to find a way to make new meaning from my traumatic experience and take the adversity and turn it into positive growth.
At that point, I felt certain that by actively using neurofeedback, biofeedback, and guided imagery for months enhanced my chances of reaching PTG. Through the SPECT imaging, Dr. Amen was able to share with me additional steps I could take to keep my brain functioning at maximum capacity.
The Great Revelation
One other interesting discovery that the SPECT imaging showed was that I was very low in vitamin D. At first, I had a hard time believing that since blood work from my annual physicals showed that my vitamin D was at a healthy level.
Well, the great revelation was that even though my vitamin D was within normal limits, it was always at the very bottom. Dr. Amen suggested I get a DEXA scan to check my bone density and sure enough, I was on the verge of osteoporosis. My doctor wanted to start me on Alendronate, but Dr. Amen suggested I increase my daily dose of vitamin D from 1000 mg to 5000 mg daily. 18 months later, I had another DEXA scan and my doctor couldn’t believe there was actual improvement in my bone density, something he’d never seen before.
I call that great news!
Because every person’s brain is different, Dr. Amen specifically targets supplements that will benefit the individual. For the last decade, I’ve been taking:
- Brain & Memory Power Boost
- NeuroVite Plus
- Omega-3 Power Squeeze
- Brain MCT Energy
- Vitamin D3 5000
I’ve just felt great and have literally not been sick in the last ten years. It’s wonderful to know that these supplements are just right for me, and with the SPECT imaging there’s no more guessing or spending time in the vitamin aisle wondering if I should buy something because it looks like a good idea.
The education and inspiration I received from the Amen Clinic helped me move forward with my company, This Able Vet, LLC, with the specific purpose of supporting our military Veterans and their family members with non-pharmaceutical approaches to empowering their personal health. I’ve been able to help, encourage, and financially support our Veterans to receive brain SPECT imaging and begin to get them on a path of recovery and a fulfilling life.
BrainMD would like to thank Jill and all the brave men and women who’ve served or are still serving our nation. We’re only able to continue the work we do because of you.
Thank you for your service!
Colonel (R) Jill Chambers, US Army COL (Ret) Jill W. Chambers, CEO of This Able Vet, LLC, is widely recognized as the first person in the history of the U.S. Military to develop a successful, sustainable strategy designed to reduce the crippling stigma associated with mental health challenges in a Warrior culture. Her deep understanding of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) changed the military culture equipping those likely to face adversity with tools to help them positively process those experiences. Jill was inducted into the Army Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015 for her contributions in this area.
In recognition of her rare gifts as a leader and her many groundbreaking accomplishments over 30 years of service, Colonel (R) Jill Chambers was most recently selected, as a “Next Maker” by AOL and PBS honoring trailblazing women whose physical, intellectual, and emotional strength have opened doors, opened minds, and inspired change. She was also selected in as the Senior Professional Women’s Association Department of Defense Woman of the Year in recognition for her contributions that have positively impacted the community specifically with her work in her organization, This Able Vet, LLC, a Woman Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business.
With a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Human Resources, and another Master’s of Science in National Resource Strategy, Jill utilized her Post 9/11 GI Bill to further her education and earned two additional degrees; one is a Master’s in Health and Wellness with a concentration in Aromatherapy and the other is a Master’s in Complementary Alternative Medicine, both from the American College of Healthcare Sciences in 2019.
Jill is married to Country music superstar Michael Peterson, best known for his #1 hits, “From Here to Eternity,” “Drink, Swear, Steal and Lie” and “Too Good to Be True.”
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This content is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to substitute for medical or healthcare advice from a physician, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your healthcare provider before beginning a new health regimen.
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