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At summit on resilience, government looks to meditation to help treat PTSD
by Global Good News staff writer
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6 August 2013
At the National Summit on Resilience, the Brain, and Meditation, military leaders gathered to find possible solutions for the growing epidemic of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among veterans and active duty personnel. A new video with highlights of the summit was recently produced by the David Lynch Foundation, which organized the event.
The summit aimed to spread awareness of the remarkable benefits researchers have found treating PTSD with Transcendental Meditation (TM). For decades, studies have shown that TM is a powerful stress-management technique, but within the last few years, with the increased visibility of PTSD in soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, a new focus for research has emerged to investigate the effects of Transcendental Meditation on the symptoms of PTSD.
The summit, held at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, DC, was introduced by Candy Crowley, the Emmy Award-winning host of CNN's 'State of the Union with Candy Crowley'.
Ms Crowley, herself a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, spoke about the purpose of the summit.
She said, 'Today we want to look at the research and the applications of TM to promote resilience, help overcome Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other stresses among veterans, active duty personnel, cadets, and their families.'
One of the first speakers at the event was W. Scott Gould, Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Deputy Secretary Gould explained the VA's interest in Transcendental Meditation as treatment for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress.
'[The] VA supported three clinical trials and nine evaluation projects to study the effectiveness of meditation on PTSD,' he said. 'This summit will shed more light on the studies that have been performed, areas of promise, and on opportunities for future study.'
The summit also included discussion of one mechanism through which Transcendental Meditation affects stress-fueled behaviour—by calming the part of the brain responsible for hypervigilance.
Researchers have explained that during acute stress, the amygdala goes on high alert. This is a normal reaction and non-problematic. But after some experiences of acute stress, the amygdala doesn't settle back down. This means the fear centre of the brain is on constant high alert, or hypervigilant, and perceives threats everywhere, even where none exist.
Studies have shown that Transcendental Meditation is able to restore balance to the brain and relieve the amygdala from its hypervigilant state.
Copyright © 2013 Global Good News Service
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