They called it "stress response syndrome" at the time, but what has plagued the life of a Vietnam veteran for the past 45 years is what we now know as PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is finally finding real relief for the first time from a very surprising source.
Retired Master Sergeant Jess Johnson served in the U.S. Army for 30 years as a Green Beret, followed by numerous missions even after retirement, including ten missions into Iraq.
Johnson began his long career in the U.S. military at the tender age of 18 as a medic serving on the front lines in Vietnam. He served in the 101st Airborne Division as their lead M.A.S.H. medic in charge of triage. Like many soldiers, he saw many unimaginable horrors in the heat of war. And like many soldiers, he has suffered from the effects of PTSD ever since, including nightmares, anger, and inability to sleep.
That is, until a chance meeting about seven months ago that has turned this vet's world around.
Sgt. Johnson met Dr. Gary Young, founder of Young Living Essential Oils, who told him about the possibilities of the remarkable plant-based oils. The first thing that came to his mind was the question, "Could they help with PTSD?"
Over the years, Johnson has tried to find relief for PTSD through all of the typical means, but the nightmares still continued. He still was unable to sleep for a full eight hours a night. He would typically wake up between 3 and 5 am, which was the time in Vietnam that young Johnson was on radio watch. During radio watch, a soldier had to be on high alert so that, if any situation arose, he could radio for support and wake up his men.
He was a driven man, re-enlisting for more combat duty, pushing himself to be in Special Forces, becoming a Green Beret, and helping other veterans here in the states when he was home, all in the hopes of finding relief for his PTSD symptoms. But none of that has been enough to pull him out of the PTSD or feel that he could live a normal life. But essential oils are making a difference, for the first time in his life.
At a packed Young Living Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, in late June, Sgt. Jess Johnson told his audience:
"I met Gary Young seven months ago -- his oils work! For the first time in 45 years, I now sleep a full eight hours and no longer experience the nightmares. So powerful!"PTSD has only been recognized as a clinical diagnosis since 1980. The Mayo Clinic defines PTSD as "a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event."
Although it is typically associated with veterans of war, PTSD also affects survivors of rape and abuse, accident victims, people impacted by natural disasters, and, perhaps surprisingly, sometimes mothers after giving birth. PTSD can occur after someone has been exposed to a trauma where they felt that they, or someone close to them, were in danger of death or serious injury. Symptoms fall into the following categories, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:
- Re-experiencing of the event, through nightmares, intrusive thoughts, or flashbacks
- Avoidance of things or people that may remind of the event
- Negative alterations in cognition and mood, as in dissociative amnesia, survivor's guilt, distorted blame of others or self, perception that the self is bad, or detachment
- Increased arousal symptoms - hyper-diligence, sleep disturbances, increased anger or irritability, exaggerated startle response
For Master Sgt. Jess Johnson, they have lasted for a lifetime. He tells The Inquisitr that, for many veterans, the symptoms only get worse over time. Time does NOT heal all wounds.
For the first time in 45 years, since Vietnam, he is able to sleep a full eight hours a night, without nightmares from PTSD. Johnson uses frankincense (boswellia carteri) and lavender oils to sleep. He reports that he applies Inner Child and Forgiveness oils to his spine to help him rest as well.
There are specific oils that he uses during the daytime for anxiety and to help him to focus and feel centered: Believe, Valor, Greatest Potential, and Frankincense. When he feels anger rising up, he puts the Young Living frankincense oil under his tongue, saying that it helps greatly. Idaho Blue Spruce is a relatively new oil that he uses every day. It is being studied by clinicians for its apparent ability to affect the emotional state, increasing oxytocin levels, and elevating the mood.
According to Sgt. Johnson, there are a couple of million cases of PTSD, and they are all experienced in a couple of million different ways. Each one is different. But there are specific needs that are common to all sufferers of PTSD that must be addressed in any protocol: sleep; changing from hate to something else, at least indifference; and daytime needs, for focus and anxiety.
He reports that his quality of life has greatly improved in all of these areas since meeting Gary Young and using the oils. He uses them "religiously."
Recently, Johnson took a group of veterans to Idaho to meet Dr. Young, who has been working with vets for years, and have them try out the essential oils to see if they helped them as well. He reports that they did. The vets all reportedly slept well, without nightmares, for a full eight hours, some of them for the first time since combat. To Jess Johnson, this is huge news for vets.
Johnson recently appeared onstage with Dr. Gary Young as they introduced a new set of oils designed to support veterans and others who have symptoms of PTSD, the Freedom Sleep and the Freedom Release kits. He briefly shared his remarkable journey of recovery from PTSD with the audience.
Kathy Farmer shared her tragic story of losing her son to suicide from his military-related PTSD. She said that more than 22 military veterans commit suicide each day as a result of PTSD. She is now promoting Young Living essential oils as the kind of help she wished she had known about for her son.
When asked where he goes from here, Sgt. Johnson says that his goal is to take Dr. Young's oils to veterans, then to their spouses and children, and then to police officers and firefighters. He wants distributors and others to talk to people and get this message out to veterans and sufferers of PTSD everywhere:
"Gary's oils can help you live a normal life."A website will be up soon where people will be able to ask questions of Master Sgt. Jess Johnson and others as well as share their testimonials of what is helping them with PTSD. Check back here for updates. Johnson also heads up a non-profit group, Vet to Vet, which takes Christmas meals and hats and coats to veterans.
Another veteran who is suffering from PTSD is Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, the young Marine who is being held unjustly in a Mexican prison. Sgt. Johnson believes that the essential oils could help him, and calm him down, but holds little hope that anyone could get them to him in his current situation. He hopes that he can get them at some point in time.
Johnson told The Inquisitr that the whole situation is a "great shame." Tahmooressi "shouldn't have been there a day." President Obama could have, and should have, demanded that he be freed. Yet instead, Johnson says that he is being used as "a political pawn."
Though there will always be residual effects from the event that precipitated the PTSD, there is hope that Vietnam veteran Master Sgt. Jess Johnson wants to share. His experiences have defined him and shaped him into the man he is today, and finally, now, he feels that he is improving and living a normal life at last, thanks to "Gary's oils."
[images via My Veteran, Sgt. Jess Johnson, YoungLivingSuccess.com, and USMC]