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Can a Ping Pong Paddle Relieve PTSD Symptoms? Some Vets Think So

You may have heard of “Ping Pong Diplomacy” and how it began the diplomatic thaw between the U.S. and China in the early ’70s. Well the game with the little white ball has returned in a whole new heroic role as the latest weapon in the battle against PTSD.

Yes, you read that right. Ping pong.

It seems that a little ping pong club in Denver has come up with the novel approach – and so far the signs have been positive.

A group of veterans gather at the Zing Table Tennis Club in Denver to receive coaching in the game, get the basics down, and relax for a while. Even that – the fact that for an hour or two all they have to think about is that little white ball – is therapeutic in itself.

The guys are even in training for a tournament against fellow vets in New York.

“A lot of guys have never tried ping pong before. This is an experience for them,” says Vietnam vet James Merritt. “It gives them a chance to get out and socialize [and] do something that’s new.”

And when you think about it… why not ping pong? For all the reasons above – socializing, exercise, stress relief – it certainly fills the role of PTSD relief. So, if you haven’t thought about ping pong since you were in your neighbor’s basement a decade or more ago, give it a shot. You might find be surprised to see it makes you feel better!

If you’d like to take a free, anonymous online screening for PTSD, go here.

Adrian Zupp is the marketing and communications writer for Screening for Mental Health, Inc.