New technology may help veterans with PTSD

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It’s like pedaling on a bike with a twist.

“It was a lot of benefits for the suffering,” said U.S. Army veteran Edward Butler.

The end goal is to reduce the symptoms of PTSD and reduce the risk of suicide in veterans.

It’s the Vasper Veteran Pilot study.

Nearly 20 veterans are taking part in the study, each using the bike twice a week for 30 minutes for a total of 12 weeks.

It measures their quality of life, sleep, posture and balance.

Experts at the Human Performance and Rehabilitation Center say the Vasper has cooling cuffs that go on your thighs and arms, and allows you to keep going while feeling the burn of the workout.

“The combination of those two things then raises the lactate, the brain, once you get with the exercise basically things you’ve done a heavy weight training workout due to the levels of lactate. And so, then it begins to do a dump of hormones basically that you usually on see with heavy weight training. So, testosterone, growth hormone, and reducing cortisol levels, the stress hormone,” said Pat Marques, director of exercise therapy and performance training at Human Performance and Rehabilitation.

“I didn’t believe initially, that the cuffs made a difference till I tried exercising without them. And whereas I would normally go approximately 20 minutes exercising, I could go only go 5 without them. So, it was a big difference,” Butler said.

Those who completed the study say it’s the missing piece to helping vets transition into civilian life.

“We do a good job on trying to focus on the mental aspects: recovery, PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and other cognitive injuries, but we don’t focus very well on the physical aspect. You know, there is no one that goes to their house and say, ‘Come on out, we need to you to run 5 miles today or two miles, or do push ups or side set of hops,’ or anything like that,” Butler said.

HPR says so far, they’ve only seen positive results from the Vasper.

“What we’re normally seeing is that sleep quality increases on the nights they’re doing the Vasper and then as the weeks goes on, that sleep quality increases and spreads out throughout the week so that it’s a continuous sleep quality increase,” Marques said.

“I wish I could take the machine home, but they won’t let me do that,” Butler said.

The Vasper isn’t just for veterans, it can be used by anyone looking for a more effective workout.

>> Click here for more information on how you can try it out.

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