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Overcoming post-traumatic stress: U.S. Army physician answers questions on Transcendental Meditation for veterans
by Linda Egenes
Transcendental Meditation Magazine Translate This Article
17 November 2013
Colonel Brian M. Rees, M.D., is a member of the Medical Corps, U.S. Army Reserve, and has over 37 years of commissioned military service. A graduate of the U.S. Army War College and veteran of five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he is a board-certified family physician who received his medical degree and master's degree in public health from Tulane University. Currently Colonel Rees is the Command Surgeon for the 63rd Regional Support Command, Moffett Field, California, and a physician at the Veterans Administration clinic in San Luis Obispo, California.
Research shows that a large percentage of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In this interview, Colonel Rees answers common questions he hears from military veterans wanting more information on PTSD.
This landmark study, conducted at a Veterans Center in Denver, Colorado, USA, pioneered the investigation into the effects of the TM technique on veterans suffering from PTS. The veterans were randomly assigned to TM or conventional counseling. After just three months of practice, the veterans experienced across-the-board reductions in emotional numbness, anxiety, and PTS symptoms.
Q: I came back from service in Afghanistan, and I've been diagnosed with PTSD. Can Transcendental Meditation help me?
COL Rees: While each case is unique to the individual, available evidence would indicate that the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique could help you. Controlled studies have shown improvement in combat veterans and in civilian refugees suffering from post-traumatic stress. Many other studies have shown improvement in a host of symptoms related to PTSD.
Q: I'm on a lot of medication for PTSD. Can the Transcendental Meditation technique help me to reduce my meds?
COL Rees: While we cannot yet say that the TM technique can help reduce the amount of medication one takes for PTSD, available data show that it reduces symptoms associated with PTSD. We anticipate that as health grows and symptoms decrease, your need for medication should lessen.
Q: How does TM reduce stress? Can it really help with something as severe as PTSD? Is there any research?
COL Rees: TM is the best in the realm of relaxation and stress-busting techniques. It produces a deep, healing state of rest in the body and mind. There are literally hundreds of studies on TM from dozens of leading institutions published in peer-reviewed journals. We have evidence that TM gives a break to the part of the brain that had been ''permanently switched-on'' by traumatic events, thus enhancing sleep, decreasing hypervigilance, and helping restore healthy relationships.
∙ Read more about the benefits of the TM technique for PTSD.
∙ Learn about Operation Warrior Wellness, sponsored by the David Lynch Foundation.
Global Good News will continue to feature this interview with COL Brian Rees about the benefits of Transcendental Meditation for PTSD.
SOURCE: Adapted from Enlightenment: The Transcendental Meditation Magazine
Copyright © 2013 Maharishi Foundation USA
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