Guest Blog: Finding Restoration and Hope
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The Healing Warriors Program team understands that managing pain, and the anxiety of Post Traumatic Stress, is critical for restoration of quality of life. For this reason, we work in partnership with the veteran’s medical team to provide an integrative approach to healing, one that includes restoration, wellness and hope.

One of our first clients, Brian, came to us on referral from his VA therapist for Post Traumatic Stress. Here’s how he tells of his transformation through the program.

“My introduction to the Healing Warriors program came when I visited the VA to request disability compensation for service connected injuries. It was suggested that I visit a psychiatrist along with other appointments that were necessary. I refused to take anything the psychiatrist would have prescribed. She thought for a moment, and then suggested that I visit the Healing Warriors Program. I believe I was one of the first few veterans that were introduced to the Healing Warriors Program. I have seen it grow just as much as I have over the years. It is almost equally unrecognizable for both of us because the transformation has been so amazing.”

But Healing Warriors Program does not need a medical referral for service.  Scheduling services can be done with a phone call and proof of military service.  With the high rate of suicide in our service member community in general, and Colorado in particular, Healing Warriors Program wanted to ensure that we made services available to our Service Members with as few obstacles as possible

Brian made use of his free sessions to try out all three of the therapies Healing Warriors Program offers: Acupuncture, CranioSacral therapy and Healing Touch therapy.

Brian assisting at a Veterans Stand Down event

Brian assisting at a Veterans Stand Down event

“…I never realized how broken my spirit and self worth had become. I was a depressed and paranoid house of cards held together by a jittering anxiety. I drank alcohol to calm down in a habitual way…”

As time went by, Brian went even further.  Noticing a shift in himself, he became interested in understanding more about the therapies HWP provides.  Although carrying a full schedule at the university to finish his degree, when a Healing Touch Level 1 training became available, he immediately jumped into the training.  His objective was to give back and help fellow veterans as he himself had been helped.

Brian’s story brought into sharp focus for our entire team the reason our clinic exists: to provide a non-narcotic therapy option to help restore quality of life for our service members with pain and PTS. Brian came back to Healing Warriors Program, to participate in volunteer events, including homeless Veterans Stand Down. While Brian has since moved out of state, he continues to seek opportunities to give back to fellow veterans.

“By providing a non-narcotic approach to help alleviate pain and anxiety, we help our service members participate in their life; in those activities, traditions and family events that characterize who we each are, as individuals and as a family: fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, daughters and sons,” said Executive Director and Co-founder, Ana Yelen, “We are beginning to realize that helping our service members heal is a community effort.  The grant from Disabled Veterans National Foundation has enabled us to reach further and deeper into our community and provide more free clinics.”

Brian says it best “…I don’t recognize the person I used to be because my brain doesn’t think as it once did. My attitude of fear has dissolved….”

Ana Yelen is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Healing Warriors Program. To see more about this program, visit,


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The Disabled Veterans National Foundation exists to provide critically needed support to disabled and at-risk veterans who leave the military wounded—physically or psychologically—after defending our safety and our freedom.

We achieve this mission by:

  • Offering direct financial support to veteran organizations that address the unique needs of veterans, and whose missions align with that of DVNF.
  • Providing supplemental assistance to homeless and low-income veterans through the Health & Comfort program and various empowerment resources.
  • Providing an online resource database that allows veterans to navigate the complex process of seeking benefits that they are entitled to as a result of their military service, as well as additional resources they need.
  • Serving as a thought leader on critical policy issues within the veteran community, and educating the public accordingly.

Media Contact: Doug Walker, Communications Director, (202) 737-0522

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