Posts Tagged ‘scientific research’

Veterans who learn TM find relief from PTSD. New study shows symptoms had reduced by 80% to below the clinical level in one month

January 11, 2018

SUMMARY: A study published in Military Medicine showed that after 30 days of practicing the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, 80% of the 46 veterans and active-duty personnel no longer had PTSD. All participants had been clinically diagnosed with PTSD using a standard assessment. By comparison, standard treatments for PTSD—prolonged exposure therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and medication—are only partially successful: approximately two-thirds of patients receiving cognitive processing therapy or prolonged exposure still have PTSD after treatment.¹

PTSD Graph (figure 1)

Participants in the study went from an average PCL-5 pretest score of 51.52 (with a score of 33 or above indicating PTSD) to an average posttest score of 23.43 after 30 days of practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM).

Veterans of the war in Vietnam, the Gulf War, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) found significant relief from their symptoms as a result of practicing the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, according to a new study published in Military Medicine. (PDF

The 41 veterans and 5 active-duty soldiers in the study had been diagnosed with clinical levels of PTSD, as measured by the PTSD Checklist-Civilian (PCL-5). After one month, 87% had a clinically significant decrease of more than 10 points. The reduction was so great that 37 participants (80%) had their symptoms reduced to below the clinical level, meaning that they were no longer considered to have a disorder.

The effect size, which is a measure of the magnitude of a treatment, was 1.91. This is unusually high, with a value of .8 considered to be a strong effect. In addition, the very low p-value (p < 0.0001) indicates these results were probably not due to chance. The study included a 90-day posttest; PTSD symptoms continued to improve.

“It’s remarkable that after just one month we would see such a pronounced decrease in symptoms, with four out of five veterans no longer considered to have a serious problem with PTSD,” said lead author Robert Herron.

More effective than standard treatment

By way of comparison, the standard treatment, which entails veterans attending counseling and re-experiencing their trauma as part of the therapy, is typically only partially successful, with approximately two-thirds still suffering from PTSD after being treated.

“Transcendental Meditation is very easy to do and results come quickly,” said James Grant, Director of Programs for TM for Veterans, which provided partial funding for this study. “TM promotes self sufficiency – it’s a tool that the veteran can use for life, on his or her own.”

In addition, research has shown that Transcendental Meditation has a positive benefit for many of the conditions associated with PTSD, such as high anxiety, insomnia, depression, and high blood pressure.

“Because it works on the neurophysiological level to reduce stress, it has broader impact than cognitively-based therapies,” he said.

Veterans able to help themselves

An interesting facet of the study was that the veterans were recruited through media advertising rather than through a veterans hospital.

“The importance of this study is that it shows that veterans are able to help themselves,” said lead author Robert Herron. “After learning about the opportunity to participate in the study, they went to local Transcendental Meditation centers to be instructed in the practice.”

Dr. Herron said that because of their huge caseload, the Veterans Administration hasn’t been able to help all veterans in a timely manner. And veterans are often in desperate need of help.

Veteran practicing Transcendental Meditation #1.png

Veteran practicing Transcendental Meditation

“The veterans involved were pleased that they were able to do this on their own, and no doubt the VA hospitals appreciate that there are therapeutic approaches that can be undertaken without the costly intensive care of a therapist that treatment typically entails,” he said.

Dr. Grant said some veterans are reluctant to go to counseling because of the perceived stigma, but that there’s no stigma associated with meditation, which is widely practiced by healthy people.

Practiced 20 minutes twice a day

The participants learned the standard Transcendental Meditation technique, which is practiced 20 minutes twice a day. The study found that the veterans who practiced twice a day as recommended had greater benefits than those who practiced once a day.

This approach to meditation, which was introduced in the West by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi beginning in the late 1950s, has been widely researched over the past 50 years, with over 400 peer-reviewed studies. It is unique in that it doesn’t entail contemplation or concentration and is easy to learn and effortless to practice.

“Researchers have been calling for new approaches to PTSD treatments, and Transcendental Meditation seems to be particularly effective,” Dr. Grant said. “Veterans who elect to learn Transcendental Meditation themselves can find significant reductions in PTSD. The results are promising and suggest that this is a treatment modality that deserves more rigorous study as a potential treatment for PTSD.”

DoD supports research on TM

The current study follows four previous studies on veterans that suggested a benefit for PTSD. Because of these promising findings, the U.S. Department of Defense has supported a randomized controlled trial involving 210 veterans that is now nearing completion.

“The evidence is mounting that Transcendental Meditation is an effective treatment for PTSD,” said Colonel Brian Rees, MD, coauthor of the current study. Dr. Rees was the lead researcher on two earlier studies on Congolese refugees suffering from PTSD, and found a significant benefit after just 10 days of TM practice.

Watch a video conference held at the US Institute of Peace on Dec 2016, Exploring the Science of Meditation on Trauma, Stress, and the Brain: Military Panel, where leading experts in the field of military and veteran health discussed the benefits of utilizing TM in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

###

Funding for veterans to learn the Transcendental Meditation technique in this study was provided by Christopher H. Wege and the Wege Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

To hear veterans talk about the effect that practicing TM had on their lives, watch this video, Real PTS Relief for our Veterans, made by the David Lynch Foundation.

1. Steenkamp MM, Litz BT, Hoge CW, Marmar CR: Psychotherapy for military-related PTSD: A review of randomized clinical trials. Journal of the American Medical Association 2015; 314(5): 489–500. (PDF)

2. Robert E Herron, Ph.D., MBA, Brian Rees, M.D., MPH, MC, USAR (Ret.): The Transcendental Meditation Program’s Impact on the Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder of Veterans: An Uncontrolled Pilot Study. Military Medicine, 29 December 2017.

Source: EurekAlert!: Veterans who learn Transcendental Meditation find relief from PTSD, new study shows.

 

Advertisements

Capetown’s Shafiq Morton interviews David Leffler on a solution to the violence in Kiev

February 20, 2014

The VoicThe Voice of the Capee of the Cape’s after five Drivetime Show has a national and international flavor focusing on issues making news where the biggest story of the day or week is analyzed. South African host Shafiq Morton interviewed American Dr. David Leffler this week, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, on a unique solution to the growing violence in Kiev.

Dr-David-LefflerDavid R. Leffler, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) at the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. He spoke on IDT, Invincible Defense Technology, as a viable solution to the rising crisis. Dr. Leffler explained how increasing stress levels erupt into opposing factions, violence and war, and how group practice of Transcendental Meditation and its advanced procedures can defuse such collective stress and prevent war, softening the atmosphere for people and groups to more harmoniously discuss solutions to their problems without resorting to violence.

Listen to the 20-minute interview on 91.3 FM http://iono.fm/e/74837.

I was so impressed by Morton’s questions and responses to Leffler’s informative answers, I posted this comment:

When Marconi said we could communicate through the airwaves they thought he was crazy. He was just using a technology that was able to take advantage of the electromagnetic field that was already there. Invincible Defense Technology similarly uses an advanced procedure to allow our minds to collectively enliven the all-powerful, all-nourishing Unified Field, the source of all the force and matter fields, the home of all the laws of nature, for the good of society, and the world, depending on the size of the group. Thank you for exposing your listeners to this hopeful and intelligent out-of-the-box proven approach to creating world peace!

The editorial piece referred to in the interview was co-authored by Dr. Leffler and Dr. Mykola Didukh, National Director for TM in Ukraine. Titled, “Proven Strategy to Prevent Turmoil in Ukraine,” how Invincible Defense Technology could be implemented to solve the crisis, the Op-Ed was published earlier this month in a number of locations: NEPAL: Review Nepal; WORLD SERVICE: The Common Ills; UNITED STATES & CANADA: Times of Earth; INDONESIA: Sigma News; and UKRAINE: Evening Lugansk, which was also published in Russian and Ukrainian.

(more…)

Australian TV show objectively reports on TM

January 30, 2014

Transcendental Meditation on ABC’s Catalyst Sydney, Australia

Published over a year ago, this report on Transcendental Meditation, by the ABC’s Catalyst in Sydney, Australia, takes an objective look at the uniqueness of the practice, and its personal and health benefits. One skeptical physician says most people would sooner pop a pill to lower their blood pressure than waste time meditating. But, based on the scientific research, the American Heart Association now recommends that physicians may safely prescribe only TM for those patients who want to lower their blood pressure naturally, instead of taking long-term costly medications with potentially harmful side effects.

Dr. Robert Schneider’s tour in Australia and New Zealand educating physicians on the value of TM for heart health

Dr. Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, a leading medical researcher on the application of Transcendental Meditation for heart health, toured Australia and New Zealand in the fall of 2013. He presented the breakthrough scientific research findings of TM’s ability to reduce heart attack, stroke and early death by about 50%.

Dr. Schneider also mentioned the AHA statement, based on meta-analyses of data on different relaxation and meditation techniques, that physicians could only recommend TM to their patients wanting to naturally lower their HBP. You can see a video clip from a presentation made at Macquarie University Hospital in Sydney, Australia.

While making presentations in New Zealand, Dr. Schneider appeared on NZTV’s Breakfast ONE News program explaining how TM improves heart health, and the response from the medical community. You see that lively interaction here.

Related: @MaharishiU’s Dr. Robert Schneider presents @TMmeditation research to @uiowa Hospitals and Clinics medical staff | George Stephanopoulos interviews Jerry Seinfeld & Bob Roth on the importance of Transcendental Meditation for PTSD | Transcendental Meditation May Help Fight Heart Disease—article on Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s blog | Effects of TM Practice on Trait Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Article reports meditation studies done on stressed students with beneficial outcomes

April 24, 2013

Here is an informative article. I applaud the authors’ efforts for putting together this collection of beneficial meditation studies related to stressed students dealing with the pressures of school and college, inspiring them to not only consider the idea of meditation, but also the practice of it. I didn’t change a word, except capitalize Transcendental Meditation to honor its unique trademarked practice. Comments and additional information are added at the end of the article.

10 Telling Studies Done on Student Meditation

Posted on Monday March 26, 2012 by Staff Writers of Best Colleges Online

As the semester draws to a close, many college students are starting to feel the pressure of completing projects, writing final papers, giving presentations, and of course, studying for finals. Add to that holding down a job and you’ve got a perfect storm of stress. How to calm your mind? Meditation may be the answer.

Scientific studies are increasingly revealing some pretty amazing benefits of regular meditation practice, both for the general public and students in particular. Meditation can help you better deal with stress and may make your life as a student healthier and happier overall, a great tradeoff for just a few minutes of mindful thinking a day. Read on to learn about some of the latest and most telling studies on student meditation to learn the amazing benefits it can offer you this finals season and beyond.

Meditation improves standardized academic achievement

A 2009 study of 189 students in California who were performing below proficiency levels in English and math found that meditation actually helped to improve their test scores on the California Standards Tests. Students were asked to practice Transcendental Meditation twice a day over a three-month period. At the end of that period, 41% of students participating in the study showed improvement in both math and English scores, sometimes moving up an entire performance level, compared with just 15% who didn’t participate in the program showing improvement.

Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students

Those who have ADHD may find meditation an effective method for improving concentration and brain function, at least according to one study published in The Journal of Psychology. A paper called “ADHD, Brain Functioning, and Transcendental Meditation Practice” appeared in the journal just last year, showcasing the results of a study that followed a group of middle school students with ADHD as they participated in a program that asked them to meditate twice a day for three months. At the end of the three-month period, students reported 50% reductions in stress, anxiety, and ADHD symptoms. Researchers also found improved brain functioning, increased brain processing, and improved language-based skills among ADHD students who practiced Transcendental Meditation.

Meditation can reduce academic stress

Several studies have been conducted on the effect of meditative practices on reducing academic stress, all with a similar finding: it works. In 2007 researchers at SIU in Carbondale, Ill. released a multi-year study on 64 post-baccalaureate medical students who participated in a deep breathing meditation program. Students in the study were found to have reduced perceptions of test anxiety, nervousness, self-doubt, and concentration loss. Another study of students at American University had similar results, finding that students who participated in three months of Transcendental Meditation practice reported lower levels of stress (as well as increased concentration, more alertness, and greater resistance to the physical effects of stress, as well as brain function changes) during finals, often the most stressful part of the academic year.

Meditating may improve the integrity and efficiency of certain connections in the brain

It should come as no surprise that meditation practice can cause physical changes in the structure of the brain; monks have been saying this for years. Yet a surprisingly small amount of meditation can have an impact, even with as little as 11 hours of meditating. A 2010 study looked at 45 University of Oregon students, having 22 of them participate in an integrative body-mind meditation training program while the control group simply completed a relaxation program. The IBMT students were found to have changes in the fibers in the brain area related to regulating emotions and behavior, changes which became clear via brain imaging equipment with just 11 hours of practice. The same changes were not seen in the control group. Researchers believe that meditation may help students to better control their actions, resolve conflict, and manage stress by actually physically changing the brain connections that regulate these functions.

Meditation reduces drug and alcohol abuse

It’s no secret that many college students go overboard with drugs and alcohol, many binging on potentially dangerous substances multiple nights a week. Yet meditation practice may help limit the desire to engage in these activities, a study in Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly reveals. Looking at both students and adults, the study found that daily Transcendental Meditation practice greatly reduced both substance abuse problems and antisocial behaviors. The results held true for all classes of drugs including illegal substances, alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription medications, with meditation being in many cases two or three times more effective than traditional drug prevention and education programs.

Meditation reduces behavior incidents and absenteeism in high school students

In 2003, researchers Vernon Barnes, Lynnette Bauza, and Frank Treiber set out to study the effects of meditation on adolescents, specifically looking at the way it could potentially reduce stress and affect school infractions. Their results were pretty striking. Forty-five high school-aged African-American students were studied, some in a control group and others practicing Transcendental Meditation on a daily basis for four months. At the end of the study, the researchers found that the meditation group had lower levels of absenteeism, lower levels of behavior incidents at school, and lower levels of suspension. On the flip side, these behaviors actually increased in the group that didn’t meditate, suggesting that the meditation helped reduce the psychological stress, emotional instability, or hostility that was leading to negative and often self-destructive behaviors in these teens.

Meditation may make students happier and boost self-esteem

Meditation might not just help your studies, it might also help you be happier and more satisfied as well. Researchers at the University of Michigan found 60 sixth-graders to participate in a study, asking a group of them to take part in daily practice of Transcendental Meditation over a four-month period. At the end of the study, researchers reported that students had undergone some positive changes in emotional development, with students getting higher scores on affectivity, self-esteem, and emotional competence than when they started the program and when compared to their peers who did not meditate.

Meditation has heart health benefits

Meditation is as good for your body as it is for your mind, a study at American University reports. A study published by the university in conjunction with the Maharishi University of Management found that regular Transcendental Meditation helps to reduce blood pressure, anxiety, and depression among college students. The study chose 298 students at random to either be part of the meditation group or a control group, with a subset of students at risk for hypertension also analyzed. After three months, students were measured on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping ability. Students who were formerly at-risk of hypertension showed a major change in blood pressure, associated with a 52% lower risk of developing hypertension in later years.

Meditation reduces depression and anxiety

Feeling a little overwhelmed with college life? You’re not alone. Studies are demonstrating that meditation may offer one solution to better coping with the stress, anxiety, and even depression that many college students experience. Research at Charles Drew University in LA and the University of Hawaii in Kohala found that adults who participated in a Transcendental Meditation program showed significant reductions in depressive symptoms (an average of 48% lower than the control group), even those who had indications of clinically significant depression. Similar results have been found in students, with decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms at significant levels after participating in a meditation program.

Meditation may increase intelligence

A study done by the Maharishi University of Management suggests that meditation is a great way to work out your brain and that it might even have positive effects on intelligence when practiced regularly. Looking at three different studies, the university found that high school students who participated in a Transcendental Meditation program had significant increases in creativity and intelligence levels, compared to those who took part in a napping or contemplative meditation program. Students in the Transcendental Meditation group saw increases in brain function across the board, but most dramatically in measurements of creative thinking, practical intelligence, and IQ.

Comments and further information

There were 8 comments posted at the end of this article making the same point. The reason being, I think, is that the authors gave simple instructions taken from various websites on how to meditate, then listed 10 studies on meditation, 9 of which are all done on one specific meditation technique, Transcendental Meditation® (http://www.tm.org).

Assigning all improvements to a generic notion of meditation can be misleading and could generate false expectations in those willing to experiment on their own. That’s why the comments contributed to a better understanding of the subject. Still, the authors’ efforts were sincere, and those readers who are interested in learning meditation can always seek out more information and actual classes.

Since most of the studies listed were on the Transcendental Meditation technique, I would naturally recommend those interested to find a certified TM teacher in their area. Call 888-LEARN-TM (888-532-7686) or go to http://www.tm.org/contact-us.

A recent paper published in Consciousness and Cognition gives a scientific explanation of different categories of meditation from major traditions, their practices, brainwave signatures and outcomes. See Are all meditation techniques the same?

Op-Ed peace piece spreading around the world: Reducing Tension in the Middle East

November 29, 2012

In a response to the current volatile situation in the Middle East co-authors David Orme-Johnson and David Leffler ask if we want to continue repeating history, killing and destroying to solve political problems, or transform ourselves with a more enlightened alternative approach that’s been scientifically proven to create peace.

Modern unified field theory supports the perennial philosophy of all major cultural traditions that there exists a transcendental field at the most fundamental level of natural law, which can be directly accessed as the silent transcendental level of the human mind. Hundreds of studies have shown that experience of transcendental consciousness breaks the chain of conditioned reflexes coming on from past behavior, as seen in reduced addictive behaviors of all kinds, decreased prison recidivism, and reduced behavioral problems in inner-city children.

Are we as nations to go on like rats trapped in a conditioning cage, reacting the same way decade after decade? Or shall we step out of the cage into the transcendental level of our own consciousness and grow up into enlightened human beings, rather than continuing to resort to destroying and killing? This is the choice we have right now.

Read this paradigm-shifting Op-Ed piece on how we can put an end to war and create permanent peace: Reducing Tension in the Middle East. It’s being posted on news websites and online journals around the world. The AsiaN published it as Transcendental meditation proved helpful in solving enmity among nations. The Israel Herald published it under: Lasting peace in Middle East may need warring parties to meditate, and the Palestinian News: Meditation cited as possible remedy to reduce tensions in Mideast conflict.

Here is a list of publications under dates in the countries where the article was published, over 50 times so far: Israel, Afghanistan, Romania, UK, Nepal, USA, Pakistan, Greece, Cyprus, Ghana, Liberia, Balkans, India, Ivory Coast, Africa, Australia/Tonga, Canada, Jordan, Balkans, Palestine, South Korea, Kashmir, Ireland, China, South Africa, Egypt, Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Thailand. Check them all posted here: Op-Ed Piece “Reducing Tension in the Middle East” by Drs. Orme-Johnson and Leffler is Available Worldwide in over 50 Locations.

For more information on this powerful benign approach, see: The Power of The Collective, by John Hagelin and John Hagelin — “Only Higher Consciousness Can Transform Our World” — Beyond Awakening Blog. Here are reports: Group Meditations Reduce Crime, As Predicted and Explanation to Steady Decline in Major Crime in the US.

The H20 Network on Blog Talk Radio interviews Janet Hoffman about Transcendental Meditation

May 2, 2012

Click on this link to go to the website and listen to this great interview! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theh2onetwork/2012/05/02/transcendental-meditation-with-janet-hoffman

Janet Hoffman has 42 years of experience working on the international, national, regional, and local levels of the Transcendental Meditation program in leadership, organizational, creative development, and teaching positions. After 40 years of directing the New York City TM center, Janet became the nationwide Director of the TM program for women professionals She learned the TM technique in 1968, became a TM teacher in 1971, and directed five TM teacher training courses under the guidance of the program’s founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

To sign up for the July conference on women and consciousness go to: http://www.gmdousa.org/4Day.

For more information on the Transcendental Meditation program: http://tmwomenprofessionals.org, http://www.tm.org, 800-635-7173.


%d bloggers like this: