ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Local veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and other anxieties are finding a new way to deal with the pain.
After nine years in the Marine Corps and one tour in Iraq, Webster resident, Anthony Coniglio, is learning how to handle his own battle of post traumatic stress disorder.
“My PTSD makes me feel out of place mainly,” said Coniglio, Warrior Salute program member. “Lot of social anxiety, lot of it is terror in public places during events. Some things that should be normal to a person ends up being terrifying.”
“I work on a lot of mindfulness techniques and stuff like that and it’s really helped me progress,” Coniglio said.
Now, through the Warrior Salute program and BodyMind Float Center, he is adding one more unique tool to his tool box. Floatation therapy combines water warmed to skin temperature with 800 pounds of dissolved Epsom salt for a session the owner said can reduce pain, stress, and help with sleep disorders.
“It allows you to get in there for 90 minutes in your own space and it feels like you’re in space,” Coniglio said. “It just allows you to dig deep into your mind and either not think about anything or focus on one thing at a time and really dig into it.”
“You have to be able to get into it,” said Todd Post, Warrior Salute program member. “You have to be able to tap into something different while you’re in there. It’s not about just laying there and expecting to feel good. You really got to meditate in there.”
For 10 weeks, with two sessions per week, Warrior Salute is tracking several veterans’ progress, with hopes it could one day become a regular part of the program.
“The veterans will have a pre and post-float assessment that they do each time that they come in here and all that information will be tracked over the course of the 10 weeks that they’re coming in,” said Warrior Salute Program Development Manager Chad Curtis. “We’re basically looking for signs of reduced anxiety, reduced depression, those sort of things they’ll be reporting on.”
While Coniglio said it doesn’t completely cure his stress and PTSD, he does say he could see himself using the therapy in the future to relieve it.
“For the rest of my life it’s going to be something I battle, but at least I’m being taught the tools to deal with these battles,” Coniglio said.
The center gave four Warrior Salute veterans free float sessions after winning 2,400 pounds of Epsom salt.