Posts Tagged ‘Veterans Administration’

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 the Wege Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Watch veterans describe their PTS symptoms and how TM changed their lives in this video made by the David Lynch Foundation: Real PTS Relief for our Veterans.

A more recent DLF video, Training from the Inside: Treating PTS with Transcendental Meditation, appears in a report on the study published in Issue 20 of Enjoy TM News: Military Medicine: New Study Shows Veterans Gain Dramatic Relief from PTSD Symptoms | 80 percent dropped below the PTSD threshold after just 30 days of TM practice.

Peter Swan, host of Maharishi’s Global Family Chat, interviewed Robert Herron about his study (Jan 15, 2018): Transcendental Meditation Reduces PTSD Symptoms.

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.

 

Norwich University President Receives “Resilient Warrior Award” at National Veterans Summit in Washington, DC

May 4, 2012

Norwich University President was honored with the “Resilient Warrior Award” during a National Veterans Summit in Washington, DC for his leadership in exploring the use of Transcendental Meditation in building resilient warriors

“The disturbing prevalence of PTSD among returning troops underlines the need for more effective resilience training among our cadets.” — Norwich University President Richard W. Schneider, RADM USCGR (Ret.)

Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 03, 2012

Dr. Richard W. Schneider, RADM USCGR (Ret.), the 23rd President of Norwich University in Northfield, Vt., received the inaugural “Resilient Warrior Award” for 2012 during a national summit on “Resilience, the Brain and Meditation,” held on Thursday, May 3, at the Army and Navy Club in Washington D.C.

The award was presented to President Schneider by veterans of four wars who direct Operation Warrior Wellness, a division of the David Lynch Foundation 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which has provided Transcendental Meditation (TM) scholarships for more than 250,000 at-risk youth and veterans and their families who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The award cites Schneider for “leading and training a new generation of resilient warriors who will safeguard America and secure the peace with honor and integrity.”

Under Schneider’s leadership, Norwich University recently completed the initial phase of a long-term, longitudinal, randomized controlled trial with 60 cadets, investigating the effects of TM on psychological distress and resilience. Key results of the first nine-week period included reduced perceived stress, improved constructive thinking, decreased state anxiety, increased behavioral coping, reduced depression and improved dispositional resilience.

“Norwich is proud to be in partnership with the David Lynch Foundation and the Educational Foundation of America for providing the resources for this wonderful effort,” Schneider said.

“The disturbing prevalence of PTSD among returning troops underlines the need for more effective resilience training among our cadets. Based on existing data and preliminary results of ongoing trials at Norwich, I believe the Transcendental Meditation technique represents an essential tool to promote resilience in cadets.”

Ed Schloeman, CMS (Ret.), national co-chair of Operation Warrior Wellness, praised President Schneider for “equipping his cadets with the most important of tools—one that will help them overcome stress and promote resilience throughout their life in the military—throughout their life. He is a great educator, a wise man, and a true leader.”

After receiving the news of the award, Schneider said: “I am honored to accept this award on behalf of all those who have worked so hard on this project to experiment with providing our future soldiers, sailors, and airmen the tools necessary to become more resilient, even better warriors, and better human beings.”

Other speakers at the Summit included W. Scott Gould, the US Deputy Secretary of the Veterans Administration, and Norman Rosenthal, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical School and author of a breakthrough research study, which found a 50% reduction in the symptoms of PTSD among veterans who practice TM.

Reported in newstimes.com. Related articles: Washington Post: Does Transcendental Meditation help veterans with PTSD? | POLITICO: Coping with PTSD | Washington Post: VA testing whether meditation can help treat PTSD |


%d bloggers like this: