Kelsey L. Larsen and Elizabeth A. Stanley. “Conclusion: The Way Forward,” invited concluding chapter in Bulletproofing the Psyche: Preventing Mental Health Problems in Our Military and Veterans, Kate Hendricks Thomas and David Albright, Eds. (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Books, 2018), 233-253.
“Rewiring” brains and nervous systems after prolonged stress or trauma may effectively combat the wide-ranging negative health outcomes caused or exacerbated by military service. This conclusion takes a step back to consider whether the mind-body skills training regimens that successfully treat the wounds of service could be effective at preventing those wounds in the first place. If mind-body skills training recalibrates how the mind-body system recovers from prolonged stress and trauma, could moving similar programs into military training environments actually prevent the damaging effects of such stress and, in doing so, protect future service members? To answer this important question, we consider the benefits and challenges of widely implementing mind-body skills training regimens throughout active-duty military populations.