Through anonymously surveying 254 participants, we have found that LOVE actually CAN improve symptoms experienced by military families.
by Jenny Owens
If you doubt this statement, I challenge you to remember what it felt like when you were a child and your mom kissed your scraped knee. Or the comfort that came when you were upset and a friend gave you a big hug.
Scientifically speaking, love is a powerful healing agent. It counteracts cortisol (the stress hormone), boosts your immune system, staves off depression, and relieves physical pain.
At REBOOT Alliance, we know this to be true. We’ve seen firsthand the healing power of love in the lives of thousands of veterans, first responders, and family members who have completed our trauma healing courses. In a span of just 12 weeks, lives are changed. Marriages restored. Families reconnected. Hope reborn.
But what’s truly amazing is that this healing and transformation is borne out by more than just heartwarming stories. Check out the data that proves our courses’ effectiveness:
From 2016–2018, we surveyed 254 participants at the beginning and end of our 12 week, peer-led trauma healing courses. We asked them to rate their health-related quality of life using the PROMIS-29, an NIH-developed tool that measures physical, mental, and social well-being.
The results were astounding! Statistical analysis showed significant improvements in 6 out of the 7 domains on the PROMIS-29. Across the board, participants reported healing in:
- Pain Interference (the extent to which pain interferes with daily activities)
- Sleep Disturbance
- Anxiety Symptoms
- Depressive Symptoms
- Social Participation
Participants also reported a 15% improvement in overall quality of life.
In 12 weeks, we didn’t introduce any medication into our participants’ bodies. We didn’t change their diets. We didn’t teach them deep breathing or relaxation techniques. We didn’t even provide traditional mental health interventions (cognitive behavioral therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing).
What our courses offered was something far more powerful than any medication. Something broader and deeper than any therapy. Something that has been healing hearts, minds, and bodies since the creation of man: love.
The heart of our mission is to equip everyday people to show love to their hurting friends and neighbors in practical, tangible ways. Our courses provide an environment where real, authentic relationships can grow and flourish and a platform where honesty and vulnerability are valued and respected.
REBOOT Alliance courses heal trauma by helping participants (re)establish loving relationships with themselves, others, and God. We believe that when people can offer and receive love in these three areas, they begin to live full lives—beyond their trauma. And, as the data has shown, their symptoms improve as a byproduct!
Jenny Owens is the Co-Founder and Director of Outcomes at REBOOT Alliance.