Working With Elite Soldiers & PTSD

In the 1980’s, Sylvester Stallone became famous for Rambo, a movie character who was the ultimate warrior. Many men and young boys, including myself at the time, idolized Rambo. 

I even had his posters on my wall as a kid thinking that’s who I want to be one day. But what I learned later as I became a bodymind therapist working with trauma and chronic pain; That even Rambo has a breaking point!

Growing up to "be strong” and not show weak emotions was ingrained in me and many other men because that’s just the way most men operated and were educated. Since I became a therapist over 20 years ago, for my own healing and sake I had to grow out of it.  To a point of redefining what It means to be a ‘strong man’ in today’s world

My father gave me some good building blocks and foundational pieces that have served me and worked for me in my life, but there was more that I needed and craved. 

Being naturally sensitive, I had to overcome my own pain , suffering and traumas. As I was on the path of healing myself I was fortunate to find my call and my purpose. I chose a path as a Shiatsu therapist, the path of the Healer.

It was the best thing I could have done for myself. 

Practicing the "Art and Science of healing", which Shiatsu therapy possesses. I was finally given the opportunity with the tools, the language, the theory and the guidance; to exercise and channel my sensitivity, which was tremendously empowering. 

I felt strength that was real and tangible and since then It has benefitted me and enabled me to help others. 

Being in the so called “lab of life” through my practice I have come to realise certain truths about what men today are experiencing and feeling. 

There are so many of us who suffer so much; quietly, secretly with guilt, shame, and regret. I call them the 3 poisons.It does not matter how strong and put together one seems on the outside, everyone has a breaking point. 

Once a man came to see me who was no ordinary man, he was the real Rambo! 

He physically looked like Rambo, talked like him, even had a look that would send chills down your back. He was the ultimate soldier, groomed by his retired General father to excel in the Israeli army and was later selected to the top special forces unit of the National Army. He was involved in covert operations in some of the most dangerous areas in the world. He could survive anywhere, anyplace no matter how extreme. This man was taught and trained not to feel pain, not to fear anything. He lived like this for years, until he reached a breaking point and was in front of me. 

When he came in he was ready to escape into the wilderness and live an Isolating life with the animals and nature. He did not trust a soul, except one that convinced him to come and see me to help him. The only reason he agreed, when the one he trusted showed him a picture of my dogs. Being a dog lover, he connected with that picture and agreed to come to see me. 

Initially he was asking me all the questions, he was putting me under interrogation to test me. Once I passed the test , he said that for the first time he felt understood and seen by someone. He opened up to me and was very honest and raw. He explained how he was terrified of the pain he felt inside…

“You can drop me in any war zone, stab me in the leg with a knife and dig it into me and I won’t feel any pain. But the kind of pain I feel inside of me from the traumas I’ve seen is frightening me. It is breaking me down and the only place I feel safe is in nature alone”

After his treatment, I discovered within him someone who saw more to life than what he was trained and molded to be. He was actually a poet, a believer in spirit/God, and a lover. 

His essence and what he was trained for were in conflict and turmoil. 

That’s why he was here, to run away from everything, to our Canadian woods and mountains where he thought he could hide from the pain inside him. What he discovered in our treatments was that there was another way. Using tools and allowing himself to experience healing. The seeds of a NEW LIFE were planted.

He ended up meeting someone here, getting a dog and falling in love. It is a story with a happy ending and I am fortunate to have seen a few of them over the years. But there are some who could not heal, not ready to heal and continue to be in wars, hired mercerneries. The life without the war feels more terrifying than the war zones that become comfortable and "safe". 

I worked on soldiers that have been captured and tortured and experiences severe PTSD. Healing the traumas are not my focus Initially it is to bring them and their physiological bodies to a restorative, safe way of operating and experiencing their bodymind. 

The work is gentle and done together at their own pace, but at the same time with accountability and tools that they can use at home, work and daily life experience. With time comes confidence and trust and more innate resources to deal with the traumas. 

About the Author: 

Mihael is a Master Shiatsu therapist and created NeuroPath Reset Method. He focuses on reconnecting the communication between the mind and body. Since becoming a Therapist in 2001, he has helped over 15,000 clients change and transform through his treatments which look at the complete person. Through 25 years of self development,  he has a gift to understand and translate what your body is trying to communicate.