Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans showed a 50% reduction in post-traumatic stress disorder after eight weeks of TM
The accumulated evidence that Transcendental Meditation (TM) helps alleviate anxiety, high blood pressure, drug and alcohol misuse, crime rehabilitation and stress generally, have inspired researchers to study the effect of the daily practise of TM on people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Iran Iraq war veterans helped by TM
In the latest study the researchers evaluated five war veterans, aged from 25 to 40 years-old. All had served in either Iraq or Afghanistan or even both theatres of war and as a result suffered from PTSD or combat stress. The subjects had served a minimum of 10 months and up to two years in action involving moderate or heavy moderate combat.
Using the ‘Clinician Administered PTSD Scale’ (CAPS) to measure the effectiveness of TM practice on PTSD symptoms, the researchers found that TM produced:
- Significant reductions in stress and depression,
- Marked improvements in relationships,
- An improvement in the overall quality of life.
An important consideration for ease of use is that the technique was well accepted by the veterans and they found it easy to perform.
The paper’s senior researcher, Norman Rosenthal, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School and director of research at Capital Clinical Research Associates in Rockville, Maryland. Dr. Rosenthal was the first to describe seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and pioneered the use of light therapy as a treatment.
Rosenthal is quoted as saying:
“Even though the number of veterans in this study was small, the results were very impressive. These young men were in extreme distress as a direct result of trauma suffered during combat, and the simple and effortless Transcendental Meditation technique literally transformed their lives …. Transcendental Meditation quiets down the nervous system, and slows down the ‘fight-or-flight’ response.”
Effects of Transcendental Meditation in Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom With Post traumatic Stress Disorder: A Pilot Study
Rosenthal, Joshua Z; Grosswald, Sarina; Ross, Richard; Rosenthal, Norman
Norman Rosenthal is the author of a new book, “Transcendence: Healing and Transformation through Transcendental Meditation,” released by Tarcher Penguin.
Military Medicine, Volume 176, Number 6, June 2011 , pp. 626-630(5)
TM helped Vietnam veterans with PTSD
In an earlier study, researchers worked with 28 sufferers of PTSD who had served in the US forces during the Vietnam war. The control group undertook psychotherapy and the experimental group learned and practised Transcendental Meditation (TM) during the study period.
The TM group displayed a range of valuable benefits including:
- Decreased emotional numbness,
- Decreased anxiety,
- Decreased depression,
- Decreased use of alcohol,
- Decreased insomnia.
As a result of these psychological benefits the TM subjects generally recorded improved employment status and decreased family problems.
Significantly, the control group undertaking psychotherapy showed little improvement over the same period. On the other hand, most of the TM group required no further treatment other than their daily meditation practice.
Research study title
Transcendental Meditation in the treatment of post-Vietnam adjustment
Participating research institutes
Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Medical Centre, Denver, Colorado; Denver Veterans Administration, Vietnam Veterans Outreach Program, Denver, Colorado
Journal of Counselling and Development, 1985
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