The Army Wellness Center offers a variety of holistic health options to complement traditional medical treatments for Soldiers, civilians, retirees and their Family members.

On June 27, the Army and military health facilities recognized and participated in the National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day. It lets those who have not experienced PTSD an inside look at what the disorder is and how it can affect those who have experienced life changing trauma. It also let PTSD sufferers know they are not alone.

In addition to the variety of treatment plans available through the military health care system, the Army Wellness Center offers additional resources and programs that complement military health care.

“PTSD is the body’s way of recalling traumatic events and having a physiological response to it,” said Justin Seymour, Fort Jackson AWC director. “It can extend from war time activities like our Soldiers have faced or life events such as sexual assault or more traumatic things.”

“Having things like financial or relationship issues and work stress on top of that can compound PTSD responses and your fight or flight response. Your body is always rev'd up and never gets a chance to rest.”

Seymour explained how the Fort Jackson AWC offers help through counseling and their EmWave machine. The machine measures heart rate variability and coherent heart rate variability.

He explained that the machine shows the pattern of heart beats a person has when they are dealing with stress and can be used to measure the effectiveness of four techniques.

“The four techniques that we teach specifically are deep breathing, guided imagery, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation,” Seymour explained. “It shows whether or not their body is responding to the technique and de-stressing them.”

While using the EmWave machine can’t make a person forget their traumatic event, it can help discover what combination of techniques help reduce the pressure the event has on their body.

He also said the wellness center offers classes such as stress reduction and time management to help further reduce daily stress and prevent stress from building up.

“I don’t want Soldiers to think of the wellness center as a bad place,” Seymour said. “We aren’t just here because someone didn’t pass their body fat test. We offer so much more.”

The center does offer a variety of physical fitness programs as well.

“Almost everyone is a certified personal trainer there,” Seymour said. “We can make custom workout plans as well and can save you money.”

Working in conjunction with Moncrief’s nutrition department, Seymour and his team can make custom workout plans to fit the unique needs and physical limitations of the person while the nutrition department can provide customized food plans.

“We can’t tell you what to eat,” Seymour said. “But we can help you make better food choices.”

The center also offers recovery options such as massage chairs and a mediation room that patrons can use on a walk-in basis.

Seymour said active duty and reserve component Soldiers of all branches, Department of Defense civilians, retirees and their Family members over the age of 18 can take advantage of the wellness center’s offerings. Dependents under the age of 18 may utilize the center with a referral from their primary care provider.

“The good thing about our services is you generally don’t need a referral,” Seymour said. “You just need to stop by or call us.”

The Fort Jackson Wellness Center is located at 4512 Stuart Street and contacted by calling 751-6749.