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How could one technique help with so many areas of dysfunction found in people with PTS?

Operation Warrior Wellness    Translate This Article
15 December 2011

Ask the Experts

Sarina Grosswald, Ed.D.
, is a research investigator at the NIH-funded Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention. She is a principal investigator in a series of trials studying the effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM) on post-traumatic stress (PTS) and resilience among military personnel and veterans.

Q: How could one technique help with so many physical, emotional and psychological areas of dysfunction that are found in people with PTS?

Dr. Sarina Grosswald:
During the practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM), the mind transcends its own active thinking levels and experiences pure consciousness, or expanded awareness. At this level, we're enlivening the root—the foundational levelbmdash;of the brain, body, and emotions.

In contrast, other PTS treatments, such as medication and psychotherapy, are dealing with the symptoms, not correcting the problem at its source. In the process of masking the symptoms, often the quality of life deteriorates—as when anger is dulled or masked, the experience of joy is also dulled or masked.

One of the treatments that is getting a lot of attention right now is that of re-experience.

Veterans are encouraged to re-experience the traumatic event by writing it down, talking about it, or repeatedly viewing video footage of it. The idea is that with repeated exposure to the traumatic memory, the stress response will be dulled. The risk is that by numbing your response to a highly emotional experience, you could numb your emotional responses to life in general.

With the Transcendental Meditation technique, the stress is gradually dissolved as you experience the restful, peaceful states of your own mind. Thus the symptoms disappear naturally over time, without the risk of emotional numbness.

One thing I'd like to make clear: the Transcendental Meditation technique is not an overnight cure. When practiced in conjunction with other therapies, it can help speed their effectiveness. Research shows that over time, TM can reduce the amount of medication needed, or even eliminate the need for medication altogether. Of course, anyone with PTS should consult his or her doctor before making any changes in medications.

The reduction in stress and anxiety that people feel when they practice the Transcendental Meditation technique is real—and it's not something that wears off, as the effects of a medication wear off when you stop taking it. It's a natural experience that enlivens the root level of the nervous system, creating balance and well-being in a simple, natural way.

Click here for more about Operation Warrior Wellness, including successful results using the Transcendental Meditation technique to gain relief in the epidemic of PTS among veterans returning from combat.

That page includes links to videos from the recent global press conference in Los Angeles, launching Operation Warrior Wellness, the David Lynch Foundation's initiative to grant $1 million to teach veterans Transcendental Meditation.

© Copyright 2011 David Lynch Foundation

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