Posts Tagged ‘medication’

Healing the Hidden Wounds of War: open forum for Iowa veterans and their families affected by PTSD, sponsored by Operation Warrior Wellness

July 10, 2012

Healing the Hidden Wounds of War, an open forum for Iowa veterans and their families affected by PTSD, sponsored by Operation Warrior Wellness, a division of the David Lynch Foundation, in Fairfield, Iowa.

Veterans are overcoming PTSD through meditation and reclaiming their lives. Meditation Saves A Veteran From Suicide is a video of Iowa veteran Luke Jensen describing his experiences in Afghanistan, how he tried to deal with his PTSD, and what finally worked for him.

After reading about Luke’s situation in a Des Moines Register article: Former undercover cop, MP battles PTSD: How Afghanistan service affected one soldier, Jerry Yellin, co-director for Operation Warrior Wellness, reached out to Luke and offered him a scholarship from the David Lynch Foundation to learn Transcendental Meditation.

As a result of learning to meditate, and the relief it brought him and his wife, Abi, Luke wanted to join Jerry in making this program available to other Iowa veterans and their families suffering from PTSD. They are organizing a special open forum, Healing the Hidden Wounds of War, to take place Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 2 pm in the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center in Fairfield, Iowa.

Iowa veterans can find relief from combat-induced stress and escape the self-destructive cycle of drugs, alcohol, and depression. To learn more, or to register, visit http://operationwarriorwellness.org/iowa.

Uploaded by on Jul 10, 2012

Some excerpts from the video:

“The first week I was there three soldiers got killed there….I was certain I wasn’t going to make it back home and I started thinking about suicide. I felt I was going to die anyway, so why be miserable day after day when it’s going to happen? I was just certain it was going to happen….I tried five or six different kinds of depression medicine, two or three different kinds of anxiety medicines. When I continued to try and try and try and things weren’t helping, hopelessness really was taking over and I still continued to think almost daily that suicide was going to be the option.”

In 2011, Luke Jensen learned the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique – a stress reducing practice, proven to combat the effects of PTSD.

“For the first time in I don’t know how long I felt hope….I don’t take anxiety medicine at all anymore….It’s made me a better father, a better husband. I’d consistently thought about suicide before I learned TM. It was the first thing to kind of get that away and get that off my mind. It changed everything.”

To support the David Lynch Foundation’s Operation Warrior Wellness program: http://www.operationwarriorwellness.org/how-to-help

Operation Warrior Wellness has been championed since 2010 by a coalition of meditating veterans spanning four wars. Their mission is to deliver rapid and profound relief to veterans and active-duty military suffering from PTSD, promote resiliency among military personnel and cadets, and provide much needed support to military families serving the rewarding but often taxing job of caring for their loved ones.

See this KTVO News report: Veterans speak out on post-traumatic stress, offer a proven way to heal PTSD.

A few related articles: POLITICO: Coping with PTSD  |  Post Traumatic Stress and How Transcendental Meditation Can Help [Infographic] Transcendental Meditation Drastically Turns Life Around For Veteran With PTSD  |  Star Tribune: Meditation brings peace to war vets  |  Ruben Rosario: Recovered veteran’s latest mission: helping those like him

Here is a wonderful  interview with Jerry Yellin and Lisa Cypers Kamen of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio July 18th. You can listen online to Jerry Yellin, Operation Warrior Wellness and Debbie Gregory, Military Connection or download the the podcast.

Meditation for Students: Results of the David Lynch Foundation’s Quiet Time/TM Program in San Francisco Schools

December 24, 2011

David Lynch Foundation Event in San Francisco: Meditation for Students

The David Lynch Foundation held a benefit gala in San Francisco on June 1 at the Legion of Honor, to showcase the successes of a five-year project to bring the stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation technique to students in inner-city San Francisco schools. In this video, you will hear James Dierke, principal of Visitacion Valley Middle School talk about the unprecedented academic achievements of his meditating students; iconic filmmaker David Lynch talk about the inspiring work of his foundation among at-risk populations; and Dr. Norman Rosenthal, internationally renowned psychiatrist and NY Times bestselling author, discuss the amazing results of scientific research on the TM technique. See other featured past events posted on the David Lynch Foundation website. To hear more about the David Lynch Foundation and it’s programs, please visit: http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org.

Uploaded by on Jul 7, 2011.

See selected highlights of Inspiring results from the TM-Quiet Time Program in the San Francisco Unified School District.

PsychCentral reviews Norman Rosenthal’s book Transcendence: Transcendental Meditation: What Is It and How Does It Work?

September 16, 2011

Transcendental Meditation: What Is It and How Does It Work?

By Therese Borchard

Transcendental Meditation: What Is It and How Does It Work?Being that my job is to feature and review books on psychology, spirituality, and especially the intersection between the two, I receive my share of books on meditation. And as a person who has been trying to meditate for two years, but who just can’t seem to get the hang of it, I always open the cover a tad sinister, looking for a magic bullet.

The book Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation was on my decline stack until I read the short bio on Norman Rosenthal, M.D. and became intrigued. He’s a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School. He conducted research at the National Institute of Mental Health. And he was the one who first described and diagnosed seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Ironically, I knew of him through my good friend Michelle, who had been one of the case studies for him on SAD.

So, with those credentials I opened the book and began to read stories that inspired me and gave me hope that one day I might be a meditator too.

Rosenthal won my trust in that he clearly states in the introduction that Transcendental Meditation is not a stand-alone treatment for emotional disorders, especially when effective treatments are available and work (if not full proof). He writes, “The fact is that no single treatment works every time for any given set of symptoms. We often have to try several different medications or treatment approaches before we find the right mix. I am suggesting that TM should be part of that mix, especially when conventional approaches prove unsatisfactory.” Rosenthal would in no way advise a person to go off his meds and try this type of meditation. However, he believes that practicing it can be the difference between a life of coping and a life of living.

Before reading Rosenthal’s book, I was unaware of the ways different kinds of meditations activate neurons in distinct regions of the brain. For example, Mindful Meditation increases the activity of neurons not only in certain emotional areas of the brain, but also in frontal regions, which are responsible for decision making and other functions. In Transcendental Meditation, there is a more global effect. Characteristic brain wave patterns are seen in many different parts of the brain, so the meditator has a better chance of experiencing the effects of meditation long past the meditation session.

What, exactly, is this Transcendental Meditation? Rosenthal writes:

Transcendental Meditation is always taught one-on-one, at least initially, by a teacher who is a longtime meditator trained not only to instruct new students and provide follow-up, but also to customize the approach for each student. Initial instruction has seven steps: two lectures and a personal interview with a certified teacher, then four teaching sessions on four consecutive days. Each session lasts about ninety minutes. Ideally, the fledgling meditator then follows up with the teacher, perhaps weekly for the first month and monthly thereafter. These thirty-minute “checking” sessions give students a chance to ask questions and make sure their technique is still on track, so they will derive the maximum benefit.

Basically, TM is a nonreligious practice that involves sitting comfortably for twenty minutes twice a day, while using a silent mantra, or nonverbal sound, to attain a profound state of aware relaxation. And just like yoga or martial arts, says Rosenthal, in order to learn it correctly, you need ongoing guidance with a teacher.

A profound gift of TM is that regular practice increases brain wave coherence, meaning that the frequencies of brain waves in different parts of the brain work together as a result of TM. In seasoned meditators, brain wave coherence can be found throughout the day, not only during meditation. Electroencephalograms (EEG) indicate that TM calms the brain while organizing the prefrontal brain regions so that meditators can improve their focus, decision-making, and job performance.

Especially enlightening to me were Rosenthal’s chapters on how TM can help treat acute anxiety, major depression, and bipolar disorder. This psychiatrist and some of his colleagues obtained a grant to study TM in a group of bipolar patients. In the study, eleven people received immediate TM training, while fourteen people were placed on a wait list. Both groups continued with their previous medical treatments. A few from the TM group reported a drop in manic symptoms, however, depressive symptoms were especially relieved, as stated in the patient reports but also upon inspecting the results of TM by Rosenthal and his team. Explains Rosenthal:

Several patients reported increased calmness, improved focus, and improved ability to stay organized and set priorities–no surprise, given TM’s known effects on the prefrontal cortex. TM helped bipolar patients improve their executive function, just as it did for people with anxiety disorders and ADHD… All in all … our study study suggests that TM might be very helpful for bipolar patients. In fact, all the clinicians who worked on the study are now referring certain of their bipolar patients, particularly those with residual depression, for TM training–along with their other treatments.

Check out Rosenthal’s book, Transcendence, for more information on the science and benefits of Transcendental Meditation.

Therese J. Borchard is Associate Editor at Psych Central, where she regularly contributes to World of Psychology. She also writes the daily blog, Beyond Blue, on

Beliefnet.com. Therese is the author of Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes and The Pocket Therapist. Subscribe to her RSS feed on Psych Central or Beliefnet. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter @thereseborchard.

APA Reference
Borchard, T. (2011). Transcendental Meditation: What Is It and How Does It Work?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 14, 2011, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/2011/transcendental-meditation-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work/

Scientifically Reviewed
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jul 2011
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

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Also listen to an excellent interview with Norman Rosenthal and Jenny Crwys-Williams on South Africa’s 702 Talk Radio. Click to download Podcast. It’s mentioned in this post: Meditation for Health, Happiness and Spirituality.

Veteran Dan Burks on Overcoming the Stresses of War with Transcendental Meditation

January 18, 2011

Veteran Dan Burks on Overcoming the Stresses of War with TM

DavidLynchFoundation | December 12, 2010

Transcription: “December 18th 1967 – Newsweek, five days after my birthday. This is a story called ‘The Days Work.’ And this is my unit, we went out and got ambushed, and this is me doing my job. We were attacked at this place called Buddha. That fight went on for two weeks. The first night I killed 14 people. There were 25 hundred of them, 250 of us. The next morning in front of my fighting position there were 18 of our men dead. So this is very, very, very distressing, and it creates huge amounts of distress in your system.”

“Later in the magazine there’s this… this is an article Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and a couple guys in my platoon, one of them got the magazine and came running over and said ‘Burks, you gotta read this!’ So I did. And I said, ‘I’m going to do that….’ Because it talks about stress release, about becoming a whole person.”

“The next part of the story is about getting home. And that’s a whole big deal, because things changed. All of a sudden you’re in a different culture. They don’t understand you. They have no idea. They don’t understand that you’re always still in the rubber plantation in the jungle. You’re always on an adrenalin high. You’re looking to protect your buddies, you’re looking to protect yourself and you’re looking to kill the enemy.”

Help us heal our Veterans – http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org

See two other videos: AFP: Meditation soothes war veterans and 50% reduction in PTSD symptoms within 4 weeks of Veterans practicing Transcendental Meditation.

See AFP’s How Clint Eastwood keeps his cool, Meditation May Ease PTSD for Vets, and watch highlights of the David Lynch Foundation‘s Operation Warrior Wellness press conference and the second annual Change Begins Within benefit gala.

50% reduction in PTSD symptoms within 4 weeks of Veterans practicing Transcendental Meditation

January 18, 2011

Reduction of PTSD Symptoms in Veterans with Transcendental Meditation

DavidLynchFoundation http://www.davidlynchfoundation.org/

Norman Rosenthal, M.D. (Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical School): Over half a million of our veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These are people who have been exposed to violence on the battlefield serving for our country. And, as one of my patients said, it can happen once in your life but a hundred times in your mind. The echos linger on.

Sarina Grosswald, Ed.D. (Cognitive Learning Specialist): With traumatic stress it’s really some enormous stress that’s more than the body can process, and it leaves a big impression on your brain. The estimates are that at least 30% of returning veterans are experiencing PTSD and really the estimates are that it’s probably much greater than that. I think that maybe as many as 50% who are experiencing these symptoms aren’t actually even seeking help.

Dr. Rosenthal: They get bombarded on a daily basis by memories and flashbacks and it’s a shocking statistic that 18 veterans every day commit suicide.

Dr. Grosswald: We’ve lost more to suicide than actually have been lost in combat. That’s the first time ever.

Dr. Rosenthal: One thing that we who are interested in Transcendental Meditation are seeking is could TM be one of the answers or one of the ways in which we can treat PTSD?

Dr. Grosswald: We put together a pilot study with returning veterans from the OEF-OIF war, which is the Iraq/Afghanistan war, and what we saw was for these young men there was, within 4 weeks, a 50% reduction in the PTSD symptoms. That’s pretty dramatic, I don’t think there’s anything that shows that level of response that quickly.

Dr. Rosenthal: Because of TM’s ability to settle down the nervous system, to quiet it down, to slow down the fight-or-flight response, I believe it is a very promising direction for us to explore. I think it’s definitely something we should be trying and testing and studying.

See AFP: Meditation soothes war veterans

Meditation: Effective New Aid for Students with ADHD

September 14, 2009

David Lynch Foundation
Office of ADHD and Other Learning Differences

714 19th St. S. • Arlington, VA • 703-823-6933 • ADHD-TM.org • sgrosswald@tm.org
Contact: Ken Chawkin, 641-470-1314, kchawkin@mum.edu

Meditation: Effective New Aid for Students with ADHD

National conference to showcase research and classroom experience during National ADHD Public Awareness Month

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 • 12:00 NOON (ET)
Webcast online at ADHD-TM.org http://adhd-tm.org

A panel of physicians and scientists will report on the benefits of a simple meditation practice for aiding students diagnosed with ADHD during a national medical webinar, which will be hosted by the David Lynch Foundation on Wednesday, September 30, 12 noon (ET).

The webinar, which comes on the final day of National ADHD Public Awareness Month, will report on published research on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique for improving academic achievement and executive brain function while reducing learning disorders, anxiety, depression, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease.

Conference panelists

Sarina Grosswald, Ed.D. George Washington University-trained cognitive learning specialist; lead researcher on a pioneering study on the Transcendental Meditation technique and ADHD; and Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation’s Office of ADHD and Other Learning Differences.

Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D. Senior Researcher in Psychiatry and Psychobiology for 20 years at the National Institute of Mental Health; currently Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University; and Medical Director of Capital Clinical Research Associates in Bethesda, MD.

William Stixrud, Ph.D. Clinical Neuropsychologist and Director of William Stixrud and Associates, specializing in the evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with learning, attention, and/or social/emotional difficulties; Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center.

Over 50% reduction in stress and anxiety, and improvements in ADHD symptoms

One recent study, published in the December 2008 issue of the peer-reviewed Current Issues in Education followed a group of 10 middle school students with ADHD who were practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique twice a day in school. After three months, researchers found over 50% reduction in stress and anxiety, and improvements in ADHD symptoms.

“The effect was much greater than we expected,” said Sarina J. Grosswald, Ed.D., a George Washington University-trained cognitive learning specialist and lead researcher on the study. “The children also showed improvements in attention, working memory, organization, and behavior regulation.”

Grosswald said that after the in-school meditation routine began, “teachers reported they were able to teach more, and students were able to learn more because they were less stressed and anxious.”

Prior research shows ADHD children have slower brain development and a reduced ability to cope with stress.

Stress interferes with learning

“Stress interferes with the ability to learn—it shuts down the brain,” said William Stixrud, Ph.D., a Silver Spring, Maryland, clinical neuropsychologist and co-author of the study.

“Medication for ADHD can reduce the symptoms for some children, but it is marginally or not effective for others. Even for those children who show improved symptoms with the medication, the improvement is often insufficient,” Stixrud said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost 50% of the 4.5 million children (ages 4-17) in the United States diagnosed with ADHD are on ADHD medication—and the majority of those on medication stay on it in adulthood. Stixrud said there is growing concern about the health risks and side effects associated with the common ADHD medications, including mood swings, insomnia, slowed growth, and heart problems. In 2006 the FDA required manufacturers to place warning labels on ADHD medications, listing the potential serious health risks.

These high risks and growing concerns are fueling parents’ search for alternatives that may be safer for their kids.

“There is already substantial research showing the effectiveness of the TM technique for reducing stress and anxiety and improving cognitive functioning among the general population,” Dr. Grosswald said. “What’s significant about our findings is that among children who have difficulty with focus and attention, we see the same results. TM doesn’t require concentration, controlling the mind or disciplined focus. The fact that these children are able to do TM and do it easily shows us that this technique may be particularly well suited for children with ADHD.”

The David Lynch Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), which has provided more than $7 million in scholarships to teach Transcendental Meditation to over 100,000 at-risk students throughout the United States, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

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Additional resources

1. Transcendental Meditation reduces ADHD symptoms among students: New study Dissatisfaction with medication spurs interest in meditation

2. Transcendental Meditation buffers students against college stress: Study Research at American University shows meditating students react better to stress, are less fatigued, have more ‘integrated’ brains

3. New study shows Transcendental Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students A non-drug approach to enhance students’ ability to learn

4. Girls with ADHD more prone to depression, anxiety than boys; meditation helps

5. TM improves brain function in ADHD students


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