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Transcendental Meditation brings deep, healing rest to mind and body: US Army physician about PTSD
by Linda Egenes
Transcendental Meditation Magazine Translate This Article
19 November 2013
Colonel Brian M. Rees, M.D., member of the Medical Corps, U.S. Army Reserve, and veteran of five tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, is currently Command Surgeon for the 63rd Regional Support Command, Moffett Field, California. Colonel Rees continues to answer common questions he hears from military veterans wanting more information on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Please see Part I of this article: Overcoming post-traumatic stress: Army physician answers questions on Transcendental Meditation for veterans
Q: PTSD involves a huge range of symptoms. How can one technique help with so many physical, emotional, and psychological areas of dysfunction?
COL Rees: That's an excellent question. Unlike medications or techniques that dull or mask symptoms, TM produces a deep state of rest in the body by allowing the mind to experience its own silent inner nature. This experience is healing and rejuvenating. By promoting health at this fundamental level of life, all aspects of mind and body are enlivened and supported.
Q: How can I tell whether I have PTSD or not?
COL Rees: If you're a combat vet, your post-deployment health questionnaire should have identified whether you are suffering from PTSD or not. If you're not sure, there are simple questionnaires available from your military branch website or from the VA. If you have any question, you should seek care.
Q: Is it only people who have been to war that experience PTSD?
COL Rees: PTSD is not limited to combat. Any traumatic stressful event, such as an assault, natural disaster, or accident, can cause PTSD symptoms. Children who witness or are victims of violence can also experience PTSD. Reducing stress and trauma through TM can help people of any age to overcome PTSD.
U.S. Department of Defense Research Project
New research on active duty U.S. military personnel at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, USA, who suffered from the effects of post-traumatic stress, found the twice-daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique markedly reduced symptoms of PTSD. This research, published in the July 2013 issue of Military Medicine, is the third research study to show TM's significant benefits for those with PTSD.
More recent studies, published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, found that Congolese refugees suffering from post-traumatic stress had markedly reduced symptoms within ten days of learning TM, and were non-symptomatic within 30 days.
These new findings follow the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Defense that it will provide a $2.4 million grant to study the effect of the TM technique on PTSD among veterans at the San Diego VA Hospital.
The need for evidence-based, alternative approaches for reducing PTSD is enormous, says Dr Norman Rosenthal, clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School. Dr. Rosenthal co-authored a study on Afghanistan and Iraq veterans that found a 40 to 50 percent reduction in PTSD symptoms, including depression, anxiety, flashbacks, and insomnia; and reduced stress levels and quicker recovery from stress. Dr. Rosenthal also found decreased smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse.
∙ Read more about the benefits of the TM technique for PTSD.
∙ Learn about Operation Warrior Wellness, sponsored by the David Lynch Foundation.
Source: Enlightenment: The Transcendental Meditation Magazine
© Copyright 2013 Maharishi Foundation USA
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