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Posts Tagged ‘healing’

Just what is a Machesah Healing Room?

Take a deep breath and imagine with me for a moment. Imagine a room that is devoid of any irritations or stressors. Imagine a healing space that is designed for calming and to stimulate the central nervous system to help reverse the effects of trauma. Imagine entering this area and feeling almost as if you were in the womb- safe and protected.

The Snoezelen Multi-Sensory Environment space is colorful and explores all of the senses, allowing the brain and central nervous system to deeply relax and heal.

The meaning of “Machesah” is simply a safe haven. Our executive director, Devorah England discovered this concept and technology while travelling in Israel. She spent some time at the Shiloh Therapy Center in Shiloh. This center is dedicated to helping families, children, and soldiers to have the resources they need to heal from PTSD and other wounds of terrorist attacks and wartime stressors.

When Devorah entered the Machesah healing room in Shiloh, she felt as if she immediately transcended the    worries, concerns, and stressors of the day. She was able experience the gentle music, swaying colors, and healing visual stimuli and activities and allowed her brain and body to decompress. She heard the stories of people whose lives had been changed by their time there. Her vision as executive director of Wounded Warriors – Sons and Daughters of America is that the Wounded Warrior Restoration Center would use this same technology to be a part of the healing therapies offered to help restore families and save the lives of wounded warriors. This therapy has proven to be especially helpful for combat wounded who are dealing with PTSD and TBI.

The technology used in the Machesah room was invented by two Dutch scientists nearly twenty years ago. Their research led them to discover that a multi-sensory environment allows for a complete rewiring of brain circuits in brain-injured and brain-traumatized patients. They also found that it heightens relaxation and creates a deep sense of grounding in those who do not live with the symptoms of trauma. Click here to find out more about the Snoezelen Multi-Sensory Environment.  

Wounded Warriors – Sons & Daughters of America is currently in process to secure a Snoezelen system and training via grants and fundraising.






We've been told that a good way to understand the experience of PTSD is the analogy of "The Incredible Hulk". Suddenly, without your permission, you are transformed into someone you don't want to be.

Daniel Carpenter, a distinguished member of our board, shared a bit of the story of his own personal struggles with PTSD and other combat injuries just a few months ago. We’ve been so busy working on getting this project up and running that we haven’t taken the time to share his compelling experiences.

It’s time to get the word out on what PTSD does on a personal level in our combat wounded veterans. This blog and part two of the same will open your eyes to the reality that hundreds of thousands of combat veterans wrestle with every day. His story is just one of millions that could be told about the horrors of PTSD and other injuries and how they wreak havoc in lives.

Daniel is well on the way toward healing and is planning to support the healing of others, like him, who feel like the “Incredible Hulk.” He feels that his work with WW-SAD will give him the chance to give back to others who are just beginning their healing journey.

Here are a few things to give you some understanding of what Daniel means. In the next Incredible Hulk blog, we’ll tell about Daniel’s overwhelming and distressing experience with PTSD by sharing excerpts of our interview. As always, stay tuned!

Daniel sent me this clip to help me understand a little of what PTSD is like: Click here to view.

If you’ve never seen this movie, you should be aware that powerful rage overtakes Dr. David Banister and despite his best efforts to control this rage that it turns him into a different person. He always seems to hurt the ones that he loves. This is the daily and very real struggle that many of our servicemen and servicewomen returning from the conflicts all over the globe experience daily.

This inability to control oneself affects their relationships, families, careers- basically it tends to wreak havoc in every possible social sphere. Check out the next in this series next week when we delve into Daniel’s personal and heartbreaking story. Join us in realizing that there is much to be done to confront this problem and to give our wounded combat veterans the fighting chance to enjoy life with their families.


Donate now and become a part of that change!


This '80's cartoon's theme song included lines like these: "He never gives up, He'll stay till the fight 's won. G.I. JOE is there!

I was born in 1972. When people in my generation were young, many of us would come inside from play and watch the cartoon,”GI Joe.” The show was a sterilized cartoon depiction of war and the good guys always won and never seemed to be affected by the weaponry, explosions, and destruction that make up the heart and soul of war. It’s easy to see why. Did the good guys ever die? No.  Did the bad guys ever bleed? No. Were non-combatants ever in the way? No. Did any of the heroes ever suffer from PTSD? No. One thousand times, No.

Unfortunately, real war is not this clinical. There is real blood. The military member that is wounded either physically or emotionally cannot just jump back up and start fighting in the next episode as if nothing ever happened. At times, we have an improper expectation of our servicemen and women. We expect them to never give up and never surrender. This is one of the reasons that we have a stigma that is associated with PTSD.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Yes, even the name has a stigma attached to it. It’s a disorder not an injury. “GI Joe never had PTSD, and neither should you recruit! Suck it up and get back out there!”

So many of our military who have served honorably fear coming forward with their symptoms of PTSD because they assume that they will be looked down upon and given little room for advancement. We’ve spoken with many who attempted to mask their symptoms even while their lives were falling apart at the seams.  Some of these individuals came forward and had to deal with the painful stigma of PTSD.

One former military member, Ron Capps, commented on this phenomenon in Time magazine’s blog recently:  ”Here’s the rub. It is entirely honorable to be wounded in the service of one’s country, but Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is seen as breaking under the stress of combat or as a pre-existing condition. Some service members view PTSD as weakness. The services apparently do as well: a blood-and-bone wound, or a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), warrants award of the Purple Heart medal; no Purple Heart medal is authorized for PTSD. Importantly, PTSD is caused by some outside influence, not—as in all other mental health illness—something internal. The trauma that brings on PTSD changes the way the brain functions and the physical size of parts of the brain. It is a wound.

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We need to allow our wounded combat veterans the time and space  that they need to heal from their inner wounds as well as their outer wounds. They need connection. They need healing in their families. They need to learn how to be themselves again. This is all possible especially when we get rid of the stigma and accept the fact that they have been through hell and back and need the time and space to make a full recovery.


Knowing that PTSD is a wound and that it can be treated with hands-on holistic therapies can give hope to many who feel trapped by the stigma of PTSD.

Hope. There are safe places that help facilitate the healing journey and the WW-SAD Restoration Center will be one of them. Not just for the wounded veteran but for the whole family.

Please donate to help this dream become a reality.



Soldiers attending to serious wounds in Iraq. We must pause to remember our servicemen and women's sacrifices.

As Devorah and Kalvin are out and about promoting the vision of the Wounded Warriors – SAD Restoration Center they’ve found a common thread. So many veterans and family members alike are saying that they wish that there had been something like that for them when they returned from combat. There is almost no one untouched by the effects of war in this nation, and the need for our work is great!

Countless families and relationships have suffered the consequences of the loss of loved ones, or a returning warrior whose silent wounds have scarred their persona and ability to relate to those around them. We seek to work in the effort to restore lives and support families in their journey of healing.

Click here to watch an awesome Memorial Day Tribute. As you watch, consider how you can serve.

We salute those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

We remember those who have braved many terrors to serve their country.

We honor those whose sacrifices have dealt them personal blows.

We are grateful for those who poured out blood, sweat, and tears on the field of battle.

Please pray for our troops on the ground and those wounded warriors returning who desperately need to heal.

It is our turn to serve our wounded.

Join the cause and donate funds, time, energy & prayers to this project!


They will come.

Devorah, WW-SAD executive director, walked the property with one of the members of the WW-SAD board,  Sgt Daniel Carpenter, who was discharged honorably with a full array of combat injuries in 2009. Daniel was so excited to envision himself and his family enjoying the retreat center. He could easily look forward to the day when he and his kids will fish in the river, ride horses, attend different therapies, sit around the bonfire telling stories and kick back on the deck with some green smoothies. Yum.

We shared some bittersweet moments and we all laughed and cried together as he told us the stories of his time in service; some of  his and his family’s sacrifices; and some of the traumatic ordeal of dealing with PTSD. We took video of these conversations so that you can join in and learn more about how this will impact our combat wounded and their families. Look for them on the website in the weeks to come.

Daniel will tell you that he is not one to seek the limelight and it was difficult for him to talk about his experiences on camera. Yet, he sacrificed his time and poured out his heart so that others could understand the immense need for the work that we are trying to do here at WW-SAD.

He even shared that he and a combat buddy had spent time in Iraq dreaming about a place “just like this.” …a place that they could be safe and share a sacred healing space while surrounded by others who share the common bond of combat. He wept as he shared that this friend had committed suicide because of the difficulty with coping with PTSD and other combat-related injuries. He wondered if the outcome would have been different if he could have come to the Wounded Warrior-SAD Health Retreat.

Daniel shared from his heart about how he understood what his friend was going through. He’d thought of suicide many times himself and has been able to overcome because of his counselling and other treatments. He also shared that there was hope. That he had hope to get better, maybe even be able to help others heal someday. He sees his work with Wounded Warrior-SAD Health Retreat and his chance to experience it with his own family as a part of the redemption that he needs to heal from and cope with his injuries.

He can’t wait to be one of the first families to attend the retreat center for adventures, fun, camraderie, wellness treatments and lots of smoothies! (YUM!)

Our goal is to offer fresh and delicious healthy foods that our wounded veterans and their families are sure to love!