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Dramatic improvement in PTSD in Iraq, Afghanistan veterans practising Transcendental Meditation
by Global Good News staff writer
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13 December 2010
Recent research on veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan shows dramatic reductions in the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), soon after they began twice-daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation Technique.
This research was reported by Sarina Grosswald, EdD,* continuing her presentation at a 13 December conference in New York City. The conference launched 'Operation Warrior Wellness'—the David Lynch Foundation's nationwide initiative to offer the technique to 10,000 war veterans and their families.
Dr Grosswald conducted this research with eminent psychiatrist Dr Norman Rosenthal,** who spoke later in the conference.
As in research on Transcendental Meditation with Vietnam-era veterans (described earlier by Dr Grosswald) the current research 'found again, within three months, very dramatic reductions in the symptoms of post-traumatic stress'. There were also dramatic improvements in veterans' quality of life—'these men and women were actually able to return to active life, remember who they really are.'
The researchers were 'very surprised' by how quickly these effects were seen—even within four weeks of veterans' beginning Transcendental Meditation—and then continued as the study progressed, with measurements at 8 and 12 weeks.
She also described related research on Transcendental Meditation and cardiovascular disease. 'The Army's research shows that returning veterans who suffer from PTSD have a much higher risk of cardiovascular disease—heart attacks, stroke, immune system disorders,' she said. A study funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) looked at mortality from heart attack and stroke, comparing those who received health education to those practising Transcendental Meditation.
'What they found was—again within three months—40% lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or mortality; and among the high stress group, a fairly dramatic 70% reduction.
'The long-term health of those who suffer from PTSD is very much compromised,' Dr Grosswald continued. She described further research findings on practitioners of Transcendental Meditation 'over 16 disease categories, almost all aspects of health: significant reductions in all areas of health care utilization, stays in the hospital, visits to the doctor—and in the area of cardiovascular disease, a very dramatic 87% reduction in stress'.
'So we can see very clearly that there's a very strong scientific foundation for the use of the Transcendental Meditation Programme for treating the symptoms of combat stress and post-traumatic stress disorder,' Dr Grosswald concluded. 'This is a resource and a tool that can be very beneficial in the various approaches to treating PTSD.'
Global Good News will feature the presentation of Dr Norman Rosenthal in the coming days.
* Sarina Grosswald, EdD, is a George Washington University-trained cognitive learning specialist and published researcher on the effects of Transcendental Meditation on PTSD and ADHD.
** Norman E Rosenthal, MD, was a senior researcher in psychiatry and psychobiology for 20 years at the National Institute of Mental Health. He is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School, and conducted research on Transcendental Meditation and Iraq veterans with PTSD.
Watch replays of David Lynch Foundation live webcasts from New York City—13 December:
∙ Launch of 'Operation Warrior Wellness'
Paley Center for Media, New York City, 13 December - morning
Click here for replay.
∙ 'Change Begins Within' Benefit Gala
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 13 December - evening
Click here for replay.
Healing the Wounds of PTSD Through Meditation
DLF.TV — David Lynch Foundation Television
To view a bibliography for research on Transcendental Meditation, stress and stress-related disorders, click here.
Global Good News comment:
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