DOD Sponsored Research Meditation can help people with PTSD


Meditation monk. Transcendental meditation could soon be offered as an alternative to treatment with exposure to military veterans suffering from PTSD. With the help of medicines it has been proven that transcendental meditation has reduced the symptoms of the disorder. ( Sasin Tipchai | Pixabay )

Transcendental meditation could assist the soldiers in dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, according to a study backed by the US Department of Defense.

In a clinical trial, researchers found that the effects of transcendental meditation were almost identical to the benefits of exposure treatment, which is the method of treatment chosen by the Veterans Department.

The study was published in a medical journal Lancet.

Problem with exposure therapy

Exposure Therapy is the most commonly used psychological treatment in patients who are involved in PTSD. It involves a psychologist who creates a safe environment in which an individual, in this case a military veteran, survives his combat experience to reduce their fear.

However, for some, exposure to treatment may be too great. Many military veterans abandon treatment or do not even want to try.

Researchers wanted to find an alternative, which would not be contrary to traumatic experiences. They found that transcendental drug medication can be as effective as exposure therapy for PTSD patients.

Coping with PTSD with meditation

The researchers performed randomized, controlled trials with 203 veterinarians who were diagnosed with PTSD. The participants were divided into groups: transcendental meditation, exposure and education classes. The test took place over a period of three months.

Approximately 61 percent of those who were assigned to transcendental meditation significantly improved their condition. For comparison, only 42 percent of the treatment exposure group said that their condition improved after treatment.

On average, transcendental meditation reduced PTSD symptoms in patients by 14.6 percent, compared to 8.7 percent of participants who went through treatment exposure.

"As exposure to trauma can be difficult for patients, similar effective non-exposure treatments such as transcendental meditation could be of interest to veterans and other groups with PTSD," said Sanford Nidich of Maharishi University of Management, he led a study.

Approximately 10 to 20 percent of military veterans are diagnosed with PTSD and more than a third do not recover after years.

In addition to psychological benefits, transcendental meditation can be done at home and at no additional cost. However, Vernon Barnes, who is not involved in the study, warned that researchers should be demonstrated in major tests before being widely implemented.

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