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'I'm free': African refugee shares her experience with Transcendental Meditation
by Global Good News staff writer
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27 April 2013
A study published in April in the Journal of Traumatic Stress showed the positive effects of using Transcendental Meditation to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in African refugees. The study found that even within 30 days, participants' level of PTSD had been reduced to asymptomatic.
But putting statistics and numbers aside, directors of the African PTSD Relief Project wanted to show the results of Transcendental Meditation on a personal level. A video produced by the project includes interviews with several refugees before and after they learned the technique, to hear firsthand whatever changes they felt.
In one of the 'before' interviews, Esperance Ndozi shared her story of being brutally attacked, and went on to describe the traumatized state of mind, body, and emotions she continued to experience long afterwards in her day-to-day life.
Ms Ndozi described her PTSD symptoms in simple, non-clinical terms: 'I think too much. My sleep is not okay. I sleep little and I get myself awake, but my mind all the time [is] thinking too much, too much. . . . I have a lot in my mind.'
She expressed little hope for her life to improve in the future. 'We are hoping for good things for the good of my children, not me. Me, now I'm old, I don't mind my life. But for my children, I can do anything for the good of my children.'
After learning Transcendental Meditation and practising twice a day for a week, Ms Ndozi was interviewed again. Her demeanor had changed greatly, and she spoke delightedly, with a big smile:
'When you start meditating it is like somehow, something is going off you and you feel you are relaxing, your mind and your body relaxes. You feel you are out of the outside world. You are just in your peaceful world . . . no negativity.'
She described more of what she had felt before learning Transcendental Meditation: 'Tears would come. These tears, we don't force it. Because of your heart inside, and [because] the mind is stressed, you get tears that just come. You can't control [it].'
But now, Ms Ndozi said, 'even if you want me to cry now, I can't. I can't. It is not there in me.'
And she is sleeping again. 'Wow, I sleep! I'm telling you, wow, I sleep. . . . [In the past] I would wake up at midnight, remembering . . . . But now I feel like it was in—somebody's body. Not me. Me, I'm free. I'm a free woman.'
She summed up this new-found state of freedom and happiness by saying, 'This is wonderful. This is wonderful for me—and the whole world should know that.'
Click here to learn more about the African PTSD Relief Project, teaching Transcendental Meditation to refugees.
See related articles:
∙ Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces posttraumatic stress in African refugees
∙ Africa: Transcendental Meditation helps treat war victims suffering from PTSD
∙ Congolese refugees in Uganda catalyst for African PTSD Relief Project
∙ Africa: Transcendental Meditation helps Congolese refugees with PTSD become asymptomatic
Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service
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