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Transcendental Meditation studied at oldest private military college in the USA
by Mario Orsatti
Transcendental Meditation, USA
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11 May 2012
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The military allocates untold monies and resources to treating post-combat stress. Now, for the first time, research is being conducted at the USA's oldest private military college, Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont, to determine whether the Transcendental Meditation technique may provide an important addition to the promoting of resilience among military men and women, to prevent the trauma in the first place.
The article includes excerpts from a report by Steve Zind of Vermont Public Radio on the progress of this important research:
Freshman cadets at Norwich University are overworked, sleep-deprived, and are way, way down in the campus pecking order. ''Practicing TM, it's made me calmer. It's made me better able to deal with the everyday stress here,'' said a freshman cadet, one member of a platoon that learned the technique as part of the study and spends twenty minutes twice a day meditating.
Over the decades there have been scores of studies showing TM's ability to reduce stress and improve performance. That appears to be true for the Norwich cadets too. ''Basically we've found that negative kinds of affect or feelings like anxiety or depression, perceived stress or bad moods, all of that decreased significantly for the TM group but not the control group,'' says researcher Carole Bandy.
Last year a pilot study showed a reduction in PTSD symptoms among veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Bandy says that the Norwich University study will break new ground by following these cadets into their military careers as officers. Tracking the students for seven or eight years might provide clues whether TM can used as preventive medicine, essentially inoculating soldiers to protect them from the most severe effects of combat stress.
Before signing on to the study, Norwich University president Richard Schneider says he took some convincing. ''You know, I thought it was a little hocus-pocus, but the more I read about it, and got to talk with other people, I thought there was something there.'' Schneider also learned the technique.
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