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African PTSD Relief Project aims to help thousands of refugees with Transcendental Meditation
by Global Good News staff writer
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27 April 2013
A study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress in April found such quick relief from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that the study's team of scientists have expanded the project.
The study focused on Congolese refugees suffering from high levels of PTSD. One group was taught Transcendental Meditation (TM) and practised twice a day, while the control group continued life as normal, but had the option to learn the technique once the study was over.
The idea for the study originated with David Shapiro, who had been working with Transcendental Meditation teachers in Uganda; they brought to his attention the nearly 70,000 Congolese refugees living near Kampala.
'As soon as we received the 30-day results which showed this very dramatic drop in PTSD, far beyond what any of us had actually expected, the idea came up right away to set up a project,' he said.
The initiative, called the African PTSD Relief Project, focuses attention on an affected but underserved population. Mr Shapiro is founding director and president of the project.
The David Lynch Foundation helps support the project. As explained on its web page, 'In the past 20 years, 18 African nations have been ravaged by war. Tens of millions of Africans have been victims of violence or witnessed horrific acts of terror—and now suffer from PTSD. . . . In many ways, this disorder keeps affected African communities under the shadow of war, long after the violent conflict has passed.'
The initial study, though small in scale, found dramatic results. The Transcendental Meditation group felt such great reductions in their PTSD symptoms, that they were considered asymptomatic after just 30 days of practising the technique.
'We've got evidence of a very powerful solution to PTSD,' Mr Shapiro said. The plan for the African PTSD Relief Project is to work with humanitarian organizations and raise funds to provide the TM technique to over 5,000 refugees, scaling up the number in subsequent years.
Click here to learn more about the African PTSD Relief Project.
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
∙ Africa: Transcendental Meditation helps Congolese refugees with PTSD become asymptomatic
∙ 'I'm free': African refugee shares her experience with Transcendental Meditation
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