Alternative Sceptics

Working with filmmaker Jackie Passmore VIP produced a documentary about alternative therapies. VIP have been testing out a range of holistic therapies including yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, reiki and reflexology on film. The group are openminded sceptics hoping to demystify the world of alternative therapy by researching, road testing and analysing their effects as well as exploring exactly what is available and how to access. VIP’s Bernadette O’Connor blogged about her experience of trying the different therapies here.

We’re really pleased to introduce to finished documentary here:


In the film you’ll see VIP trying lots of different forms of therapy, including:


VIP visited Dare to Care, a community holistic healthcare centre in Liverpool, to experience auricular acupuncture (acupuncture which involves needles being inserted into specific points of the outer ear)

VIP’s Phil blogged about his experience here:

We did some research on acupuncture before we experienced it and found that it is increasingly being used by the US military.


Article from Acupuncture Today magazine about the use of acupuncture in addressing symptoms of PTSD, anxiety and stress in veterans.

Here is an article on how acupuncture is a good cure for stress & anxiety.


VIP visited a local Buddhist centre to experience meditation but there are dozens of different forms of meditation, from ancient Eastern religious and spiritual meditation to more contemporary secular forms of meditation such as Mindfulness and Transcendental Meditation.

VIP’s Bernadette O’Connor blogged about her meditation experience here.

In researching meditation we found that it has been explored in terms of how it might be beneficial to veterans suffering with PTSD, anxiety, addiction and depression.

Article from the RAF Families Federation magazine about the experiences of a veteran and his wife attending a meditation day for veterans run by London Meditation Project

We also found this video about a veteran who has found that practicing meditation has been a life changing experience



There are lots of different types and styles of yoga out there, VIP tried a form called Hatha yoga. Other styles include:

  • Ashtanga, which is a physically demanding style of yoga and follows a specific sequence of postures
  • Bikram, which is practiced in a room heated to approx. 40°C
  • Vinyasa, which is a fluid and movement-intensive practice

Kelly blogged about her experience here

When we were researching different forms of yoga and how they might be useful for veterans health and wellbeing we found this great video about Arthur Boorman, a Gulf War veteran, who was told he would never walk unaided again. This video tracks his journey as he explores how yoga might change this diagnosis.



VIP had a taster session of aromatherapy which included massage and oil burning.

Common essential oils used in aromatherapy include:

  • Peppermint, said to enhance mental alertness, reduce irritation and aid digestion
  • Lavender, which, in addition to aiding stress-relief and relaxation, has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Tea Tree is one of the most popular essential oils for aromatherapy use due to its many healing properties including antibacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial as well as boosting the immune system

In researching we found very little information about aromatherapy and veterans but did find this article about the potential benefits for people suffering from PTSD

And here are some links to blogs from participants: