Kung Fu just might cure my PTSD

Kung Fu just might cure my PTSD

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When I arrived, closing the door with shaky hands and walking in on stiff shaky legs, feeling my jaw go tight and wondering if I’d get a word out at all or just start stuttering and crying and sniveling all over myself or curling into a corner like a shuddering lunatic...
the former USMC captain kindly greeted me and then asked me to stick out my tongue.
Nobody was shouting. Nobody was fighting. Nobody was acting territorial or intimidating. And I stuck my tongue out at Captain Bibeau.
Whatever he noticed on my tongue, he immediately asked a couple of his other students over to gander it- asking each of them what they noticed first before confirming their observations with his own. They talked about the color, then talked about something in the back which indicated “heat” and also mentioned some sort of swelling on the sides that indicated “water retention”. After that, the Sifu gave me a brief overview regarding Chinese medicine and stuck some pleasantly sharp points into much of the hype and mythology that now bury the long practiced methods in an ambiguous 6 feet of horse shit.
As for symptoms I was aware of, I thought I was developing Parkinson’s before learning that this was part of the much stigmatized “PTSD”. Last year I finally opened myself up to taking a couple medications to help…which they did, but now I’m sometimes uncertain about what I’m experiencing as a symptom of PTSD and what I’m experiencing as a possible side effect to medications that are changing the serotonin and adrenaline levels in my brain. Anyway, the Sifu showed me two breathing exercises.
It didn’t matter what I was wearing. It didn’t matter what kind of shoes or socks I had on. It didn’t matter that I was a female. It didn’t matter what kind of combat experiences I had, or traumatic and stressful threatening events I had experienced in the past. I didn’t have to think about or focus on any of the former chaos, confusion, or inner conflict that I’ve yet to resolve.
All I had to do was stand the way he said to stand, move the way he said to move, and breathe the way he said to breathe. And for the first time since my discharge from the service in October of 2007, NOTHING was shaking!
Usually, I’ve had to make a conscious effort to keep some part of my body from shaking. I experienced this ability dwindling more and more after I began posing for fellow artists and finally had to quit. Even when I was not shaking it was hard to breathe unless I’d start running (running helped), and often I’d feel terrible pain in my chest or my arms or my knees would dance all over the place or if I stopped my knees my hands would shake or …
but none of that mattered. None of those details mattered!
He didn’t even need to know about that, he could see some of the tremor just by glancing at my hand, but we didn’t need to talk about it.
I did his breathing exercises for about 30 minutes.
We had a Marine to Marine chat afterwards, outside, seated in the shade of winter, and I realized that I was perfectly still and finally present. I felt no pain, I breathed naturally, and though I felt acutely alert of my surroundings, I was not reflexively responding inappropriately to any of the movements or sounds around us. My chest didn’t feel like a black hole or a vacuum, memories did not echo louder than life, and I didn’t stutter.
Needless to say, I’ll be going back for more.
If you are a veteran suffering from or just starting to realize that you are experiencing PTSD, we can help one another heal. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
I’m writing this from Albuquerque, New Mexico after my first class with Robert Bibeau
At this time I’m still taking fluoxetine, prazosine, and hydroxezine and I’m not cured of the tremor or the trauma but this has been the most surprising and beneficial experience I’ve had since starting fluoxetine. I was in the dojo today from about 2:30pm-4pm. I did not think this could actually help. I’ve been proven wrong in just 1.5 hours.
Mountain Path Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy is located at 7849 Tramway Blvd NE STE A, Albuquerque NM 87122. https://www.facebook.com/shenabq
You can learn more by calling Sifu Rob Bibeau at 505-681-5603, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visiting ShenAbq.com.

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