Posts Tagged ‘lower stress levels’

The Norwich Guidon: Rooks experiment with meditation

October 8, 2011

Rooks experiment with meditation

By Thomas Carson
Norwich Guidon Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Norwich University has received a $40,000 grant from Foundations of America to conduct a study on how to lower stress among rooks. One rook platoon is using Transcendental Meditation (TM) twice a day, every day, to see if meditating helps, according to Dr. Peg Meyer, director of academic achievement and educational effectiveness.

“The big thing about the TM practice is that it is an individual tool, people will say, ‘What about a team performance or a platoon performance’ but it is really about what it does for you,” said Shelby Wallace, the director for student success. “I have been TM’ing for almost a year now this December, and it has definitely helped with a level of prioritization.”

“I can handle situations in a more effective way, and reduce my stress, so I have seen a lot of positive results in a personal and professional way,” said Wallace.

Last February, Norwich conducted a study with the men’s lacrosse team to test TM.

“The spring study was more or less an intro for the university to take a cross section of students, staff and faculty who were trained, as well to learn a little more about the TM practice to understand if this was something that we wanted to do,” said Wallace.

After seeing good results, Meyer, Wallace and President Richard W. Schneider went to New York to meet with the David Lynch Foundation to get trained in TM and to see its effects firsthand.

After receiving the grant, Norwich sent out emails to the rooks of 4th Company, 3rd Platoon, asking if they would participate.

Twenty-eight rooks volunteered.

“I received an email, I volunteered, and now I am apart of this great study,” said Frank Ruscito, an 18-year-old freshman study of war and peace major from Rome, N.Y. “I feel it has worked better than I expected.”

“I see other people falling asleep (in class), and I am energized and focused,” Ruscito said. “I’m doing much better in my classes than I expected.”

The 4-3 platoon cadre are trained in TM and do it with the platoon, as well as by themselves when needed to. The rooks are free to meditate whenever they please as well. The platoon meditates at 0800 and between 1620 and 1630 as a platoon.

“My stress levels are down. As far as academics, everything seems to be clicking very well,” said Scott Heimann, a 18-year-old freshman computer security major from Colorado Springs, Colo. “I do believe with the help of the TM, my rookie knowledge is sticking very well.” Heimann added, “I strongly believe that I will continue TM after rookdom.”

“It has helped me with my academics tremendously. I feel more alert, I can focus better on my homework,” said Timothy Hunter, a 18-year-old freshman biology major from Stratham, N.H. Hunter also described how the effects of the TM helped him with his rookie knowledge, and how it relieved the stresses of balancing the rook environment and school work.

All the rooks who were interviewed said TM should be done by everyone; and that they will continue doing TM.

“I feel more organized, I feel I have more energy, I’m more productive, and it helps relieve stress,” said Madison Dupouy, a 22-year-old senior physics major from Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Dupouy went to a dinner for people interested in this new study. After discovering that TM actually helped him with his academics, his stress and his energy level, Dupouy decided to get involved as one of the cadet officers who will oversee the study.

“I have always been interested in meditation,” said Brandon Jennings, a 21-year-old senior history major from Gales Ferry, Conn. Jennings found out about the study, and when he tried it for himself he noticed an improvement in his energy levels, organization habits and his academics.

“I took 23 credits with two seminar classes last semester, and I got a 3.407 GPA for the semester,” said Jennings. These good results got him interested in being a part of the study, and he became one of the officers in charge.


Combating Stress in Police Work and Preventing Crime, Terrorism, and War

September 28, 2011

Combating Stress in Police Work

By: John Theobald, M.S.
Former N.Y.P.D. Officer and Former Professor of Criminal Justice at the New York Institute of Technology

With: David Leffler, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS)


In 1965 I was a member of the New York City Police Department, assigned to a specialized anti-crime unit. In this capacity, I saw firsthand the types of stressors police officers were subject to, and the maladaptive ways in which many dealt with them. I subsequently left the department and returned to college and then graduate school. I eventually started a criminal justice program through the continuing education department of the New York Institute of Technology. The program grew, and in the 1970s reached an enrollment of 12,000 police officers from various police agencies across the New York metropolitan area.

At that time it was becoming increasingly clear that the stress factor in police work was manifesting in high rates of divorce, alcohol abuse, suicides, and other acting-out behaviors. Having experienced it firsthand, I was determined to seek some method that could help ameliorate this situation.

I began to research the various stress-reduction methods available. The Transcendental Meditation® program appeared to be the best approach because it was widely available, could be practiced anywhere at any time, and had unparalleled success at addressing these personal problems faced by police. Research indicated that Transcendental Meditation (TM®) practice could help alleviate the negative effects of stress. It was clear that the TM technique would also increase awareness of potentially dangerous situations, preparing anyone for any possible outcome.

Shortly after learning the TM technique, I noticed the marked reduction in my own stress levels, and decided to make this opportunity available to the students in the college program. It was only later, when many police officers were practicing the TM technique, that I fully realized how beneficial it truly was.

I arranged through centers in the ten metropolitan counties to teach any police officers who wanted to learn. At this time, college courses were offered in various police precincts and other locations throughout the New York Metropolitan area. Introductory TM lectures were offered at some of these locations, with interested officers going to their individual TM centers to learn the practice. Word spread to their associates and about 6,000 police officers learned to meditate.

Feedback from students was received for many years, both in the college program and, in some cases, years later, by individual police officers who said they were “still TM-ing.” Comments from students consistently indicated overwhelmingly positive results. One of the most common reports was an increase in their shooting scores. Others reported feeling more aware, especially in life-threatening situations. This is important because in an effort to protect and save lives, law enforcement officers may sometimes resort to using deadly force.

For example, there was a story of an officer and his partner who were called to a situation in a very dangerous part of New York City. While walking in an alley, they were ambushed. A shot rang out, and his partner fell wounded to the ground. This officer drew his revolver and quickly shot five assassins, killing four and disabling the fifth. He later reported if it were not for his regular TM practice, he would have been killed. Despite the overwhelming odds against him, the policeman said he was able to maintain his composure under fire. He skillfully and accurately shot his weapon during this dangerous and highly stressful situation. (The revolvers used by New York area police at that time could only fire six rounds, so the situation was much more critical than it would be in modern times where weapons can fire fifteen or more rounds.)

Read the entire article at:

This article was published in India, USA, Somalia, Ethiopia, South Korea and Australia in The World News: The International News Magazine, The Mangalorean, Mareeg, The Seoul Times, Ethiomedia.

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