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Africa: Transcendental Meditation helps Congolese refugees with PTSD become asymptomatic
by Global Good News staff writer
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27 April 2013
A study conducted with Congolese refugees suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) found that Transcendental Meditation (TM) provides profound relief.
The study, conducted at refugee camps in neighbouring Uganda, matched two groups based on age, gender, and their score on the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for Civilians (PCLC). One group was taught Transcendental Meditation and practised the meditation every day, while the control group continued life as usual.
Dr Fred Travis, a neuroscientist who helped design and analyze the study, explained the results.
In the initial test, both groups were evenly matched. 'They both have very high levels of Post-Traumatic Stress; they are around 65 [on the PCLC scale]. Anything higher than 47 on the scale is considered to be an indicator of Post-Traumatic Stress symptoms.'
Researchers tested the two groups again after 30 days and found very different results.
In the control group, the level of PTSD increased. Dr Travis explained why this might be. 'They are refugees in a country; they can't work, but they are trying to feed their family. They don't speak the language. It's a very stressful time.'
However, he pointed out, 'the TM group went from severe symptoms down to non-symptomatic'. He added that in the PCLC test, anything below a 34 is considered asymptomatic.
After 135 days, both groups were monitored again. Once again, the control group had high levels of PTSD while the Transcendental Meditation group continued to experience decreases in PTSD symptoms, remaining below the asymptomatic line.
Dr Travis concluded, 'What we see is Transcendental Meditation [helped] these individuals in a very trying situation—they not only had the traumatic stress, but were trying to survive and maintain life in Uganda. They were able to find a place to meditate and their TM practice was able to allow them to begin . . . to heal.'
The research study was published in April in the Journal of Traumatic Stress.
Click here to learn more about the African PTSD Relief Project, teaching Transcendental Meditation to refugees.
See related articles:
∙ Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces posttraumatic stress in African refugees
∙ Africa: Transcendental Meditation helps treat war victims suffering from PTSD
∙ Congolese refugees in Uganda catalyst for African PTSD Relief Project
Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service
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