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US: On Memorial Day, honoring and supporting veterans through the Transcendental Meditation program
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29 May 2017
Today, Memorial Day in the United States, is a day of honouring and commemorating the men and women of America's Armed Forces who have devotedly served their country. It also brings to the forefront the plight of hundreds of thousand of veterans who suffer from the nightmare of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Many veterans have found relief from their PTSD symptoms after learning the Transcendental Meditation technique, with the help of the David Lynch Foundation — giving them access to a simple, evidence-based, highly effective tool to reduce stress.
Extensive research has fueled the growing interest in Transcendental Meditation to address trauma and stress. The National Institutes of Health (US) has provided $26 million to research the effects of TM on hypertension, atherosclerosis, stroke, and cholesterol. The Department of Defense has provided $2.4 million to study the effects of TM on PTSD among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
Veterans like Leshonda, a platoon sergeant in Iraq who suffered from post-traumatic stress after returning home, have been able to find peace and healing through Transcendental Meditation.
Sean Villa, a US Army veteran, suffered from extreme post-traumatic stress after completing several tours in Iraq. ''Nobody tells you what it's going to be like when you get out,'' he says. He couldn't sleep. He would wake up angry, and often go into self-destructive rages. He had trouble maintaining personal relationships. And nothing helped:
''Nothing worked — psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers. . . . I tried taking their medications — 13 of them — and that didn't work. They basically turned me into a zombie.''
Fortunately, Leshonda and Sean, like many other veterans, learned Transcendental Meditation with scholarships from the David Lynch Foundation, through its Resilient Warrior Program. After learning to meditate, their lives quickly changed for the better.
When Sean learned the TM technique, it saved his life. ''The first time I did a Transcendental Meditation session, I felt like a rock had just been lifted off of me,'' he reports. He slept through the night for the first time in six years, and eventually no longer needed his prescription drugs. He gained peace of mind and found purpose and passion in his post-Iraq life.
More videos of veterans including Leshonda, as well as first responders who have benefited from the Resilient Warrior Program are available on the David Lynch Foundation website.
On June 5, the Foundation is presenting a ''A National Night of Laughter and Song'' at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The star-studded gala concert, to be headlined by Jerry Seinfeld, is a benefit to support teaching Transcendental Meditation to 10,000 at-risk veterans and youth in the Washington area.
So many veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress have nowhere to turn. With the help of Transcendental Meditation, veterans and their families are gaining a life-changing, lifelong tool for healing, empowerment, and growth.
Click here for more information, including opportunities to support the David Lynch Foundation's initiatives to help veterans reduce symptoms of PTSD and major depression, and develop greater resilience to stress.
Sources: David Lynch Foundation, with excerpts from Enjoy TM News
Copyright © 2017 David Lynch Foundation and Maharishi Foundation USA
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