“It was the difference between heaven and hell” Veterans on TM Relieved from PTSD
After one month of transcendental meditation, 80 percent had symptoms reduced to below the clinical level.
Wonderful news for those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after harrowing events – practicing the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, can offer a powerful reprieve according to a new study published in Military Medicine.
The 41 veterans and 5 active-duty soldiers in the study had been diagnosed with clinical levels of PTSD, as measured by the PTSD Checklist-Civilian (PCL-5). After one month, 87% had a clinically significant decrease of more than 10 points. The reduction was so great that 37 participants (80%) had their symptoms reduced to below the clinical level, meaning that they were no longer considered to have a disorder.
Before continuing, you may be interested in this powerful video produced by the David Lynch Foundation in tandem with the study:
The effect size, which is a measure of the magnitude of a treatment, was 1.91. This is unusually high, with a value of .8 considered to be a strong effect. In addition, the very low p-value (p < 0.0001) indicates these results were probably not due to chance. The study included a 90-day posttest; PTSD symptoms continued to improve.
Lead author Robert Herron remarked:
It’s remarkable that after just one month we would see such a pronounced decrease in symptoms, with four out of five veterans no longer considered to have a serious problem with PTSD.
More effective than standard treatment
By way of comparison, the standard treatment, which entails veterans attending counseling and re-experiencing their trauma as part of the therapy, is typically only partially successful, with approximately two-thirds still suffering from PTSD after being treated.
“Transcendental Meditation is very easy to do and results come quickly,” said James Grant, Director of Programs for TM for Veterans, which provided partial funding for this study. “TM promotes self sufficiency – it’s a tool that the veteran can use for life, on his or her own.”
In addition, research has shown that Transcendental Meditation has a positive benefit for many of the conditions associated with PTSD, such as high anxiety, insomnia, depression, and high blood pressure.
“Because it works on the neurophysiological level to reduce stress, it has broader impact than cognitively-based therapies,” he said.
Veterans able to help themselves
An interesting facet of the study was that the veterans were recruited through media advertising rather than through a veterans hospital.
Lead author Robert Herron added:
The importance of this study is that it shows that veterans are able to help themselves. After learning about the opportunity to participate in the study, they went to local Transcendental Meditation centers to be instructed in the practice.
Dr. Herron said that because of their huge caseload, the Veterans Administration hasn’t been able to help all veterans in a timely manner. And veterans are often in desperate need of help.
“The veterans involved were pleased that they were able to do this on their own, and no doubt the VA hospitals appreciate that there are therapeutic approaches that can be undertaken without the costly intensive care of a therapist that treatment typically entails,” he said.
Dr. Grant said some veterans are reluctant to go to counseling because of the perceived stigma, but that there’s no stigma associated with meditation, which is widely practiced by healthy people.
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Ideally, we’d have no more war and soldiers would come home from foreign posts. However, many of them are unaware of what they are in for when they leave, and must live with moral injury when they return disenfranchised from occupying other countries. Some of them are coming back to inform others of PTSD. Modern veterans are committing suicide at a rate of 20 people per day! We don’t think anyone deserves that kind of hell and hope that TM along with other techniques can help anyone with PTSD.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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