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Experts present research on benefits of Transcendental Meditation for veterans with PTSD
by Global Good News staff writer
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13 December 2010
Sarina Grosswald, EdD,* and Norman Rosenthal, MD,** eminent researchers and experts on the effects of the Transcendental Meditation Technique on health, cognitive functioning, anxiety, and depression, presented compelling research 13 December on the benefits of the technique for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in combat veterans.
The two spoke at a conference in New York City that launched 'Operation Warrior Wellness'—the David Lynch Foundation's nationwide initiative to offer the technique to 10,000 war veterans and their families.
Earlier in the conference, veterans of combat in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan described their experiences with PTSD and the profound relief and renewal they found after learning Transcendental Meditation. Also speaking on behalf of the initiative were renowned film directors Clint Eastwood and David Lynch.
'What exactly is PTSD?' asked Dr Grosswald, who is also co-author with WWII veteran Jerry Yellin of the new book The Resilient Warrior. 'PTSD occurs when a traumatic event is so severe that it causes lasting changes in the brain. Often the victim doesn't even realize that the experience was so severe as to cause that kind of change—for months, or even years, as you've heard from the experiences here.'
The symptoms of PTSD, Dr Grosswald explained, include 're-experiencing—the sounds, or the smells, that bring that experience back; emotional numbing; the inability really to enjoy life; difficulty sleeping, insomnia; and often self-medicating with alcohol or drugs.
'The Transcendental Meditation Technique has been studied extensively, and research has shown that it can be very effective in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,' Dr Grosswald stated.
She showed slides of research conducted on Vietnam veterans in the 1980s, 'who had returned suffering from combat stress—at that time it was called Vietnam Stress Syndrome. Research showed that TM was an effective approach for reducing emotional numbness, for reducing anxiety, for reducing the symptoms of PTSD.'
The research also found 'reduced substance use as a way of self-medicating, and reduced depression,' Dr Grosswald said. 'In fact, 70% of those who were in that study, after three months said that they'd no longer needed the services of the veterans center where they were attending.'
Dr Grosswald went on to present research she conducted recently with psychiatrist Dr Rosenthal, who also spoke later in the conference. Global Good News will feature this research, along with Dr Rosenthal's presentation, in the coming days.
* Sarina Grosswald, EdD, is a George Washington University-trained cognitive learning specialist and published researcher on the effects of TM on PTSD and ADHD.
** Norman E Rosenthal, MD, was a senior researcher in psychiatry and psychobiology for 20 years at the National Institute of Mental Health; clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School, who conducted research on TM and Iraq veterans with PTSD.
Watch replays of David Lynch Foundation live webcasts from New York City—13 December:
∙ Launch of 'Operation Warrior Wellness'
Paley Center for Media, New York City, 13 December - morning
Click here for replay.
∙ 'Change Begins Within' Benefit Gala
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 13 December - evening
Click here for replay.
Healing the Wounds of PTSD Through Meditation
DLF.TV — David Lynch Foundation Television
To view a bibliography for research on Transcendental Meditation, stress and stress-related disorders, click here.
Global Good News comment:
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