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General recommends proven approach for relief from stress of war and violence: Media in many countries report
by Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Kulwant Singh, Dr. David Leffler and David Shapiro
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16 May 2014
As published in AUSTRALIA: The International News Magazine SOUTH SUDAN: South Sudan Liberty News ETHIOPIA: Ethiomedia NIGERIA: TheInfoStrides INDIA: Mangalorean, Indian Muslim Observer NIGERIA: The Abuja Voice LIBERIA: The Liberian Dialogue, also featured in Liberia News NEW ZEALAND: Scoop SIERRA LEONE: also as featured in Sierra Leone Times MALAYSIA: The Malaysian Insider NEPAL: Review Nepal GHANA: Expose Ghana UNITED STATES & CANADA: The Times of the Earth SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka Guardian UKRAINE: Evening Lugansk (Russian, Ukrainian) EUROPE: featured in Europe Sun GHANA: All Ghana News PAKISTAN: World Tribune Pakistan BALKANS [Croatia, Slovenia, and Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, continental Greece (including the Peloponnesus), Bulgaria, European Turkey, and SE Romania]: Balkan Chronicle SENEGAL: Senetoile News (French) GUINEA: Guinee Conakry
[Click here to see this list with a live link to each publication.]
In the past 20 years, 18 African nations have been ravaged by war. It is estimated that up to 100 million Africans have been victims of war, violence, sexual abuse or natural disasters or witnessed horrific acts of terror and now suffer from post-traumatic stress (PTS).
PTS disables Africans and prevents people from living happy productive lives. Its influence ripples out, affecting the lives of friends and families, co-workers, communities, nations and Africa as a whole. In many ways, PTS keeps affected communities under the shadow of trauma, even after the overt disturbance has passed. Left untreated, PTS cripples functioning and puts its victims at greater risk for self-destructive and violent behavior: severe depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, anxiety, emotional numbness, unemployment, family problems and suicide.
Experts acknowledge that PTS has been resistant to the many conventional approaches used to treat psychological disturbance. Particularly in Africa, with limited numbers of psychiatrists and psychologists and limited access to physician-prescribed drugs, there is a pressing need for simple, cost-effective and easily sustainable treatments. There is, however, an alternative approach that is highly effective in treating PTS. We suggest that all Africans and in particular all African militaries implement the Transcendental Meditation program because there is a large body of evidence supporting the positive benefits of this alternative approach.
A number of pilot studies published in refereed journals have demonstrated that Transcendental Meditation® (TM) can rapidly reduce symptoms of PTS and with regular practice these symptoms are further reduced and a wide range of other benefits is gained.
Transcendental Meditation, also known as TM, is an evidenced-based solution, with a substantial amount of published, peer-reviewed research that has accumulated since 1970. In both case studies and clinical trials, TM has vastly outperformed other modalities by dramatically reducing stress, anxiety, depression and a host of PTS symptoms.
Here are some evidence-based examples showing reductions in *PTS:
∙ The February 2014 issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress documents significant reductions in PTS symptoms within ten days among African war refugees from the Congo who were taught TM. In a month, eleven subjects were virtually free of symptoms.
∙ An April 2013 study in the same journal showed that PTS symptoms among African refugees went from ''severe'' to ''non-symptomatic levels'' after 30 days of TM and remained low at 135 days.
∙ In 2011, the journal Military Medicine published a study showing the effectiveness of TM in reducing PTS in veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Participants had a 50 percent reduction of symptoms after eight weeks of TM.
∙ And in 1985, a report in the Journal of Counseling and Development demonstrated a significant reduction of symptoms among Vietnam War veterans practicing TM for at least three months. A control group using psychotherapy was found to have had no significant improvements.
Global Good News will feature Part 2 of this article in the coming days.
*Note: A table listing the American Psychological Association's twenty DSM-5 symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) along with the scientific research conducted on the Transcendental Meditation program published in peer-reviewed scientific journals addressing each of these symptoms/criteria is available online at: http://www.davidleffler.com/tm-reduces-twenty-symptoms-of-ptsd
About the authors:
Major General (Ret.) Kulwant Singh, U.Y.S.M., Ph.D., leads an international group of generals and defense experts that advocates Invincible Defense Technology. He was awarded the Uttam Yudh Sewa Medal, the second highest decoration for senior officers during operations in Sri Lanka as part of IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force).
David Leffler, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS). http://www.StrongMilitary.org/. He served as an Associate of the Proteus Management Group at the Center for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College. Dr. Leffler is the author of ''A New Role for the Military: Preventing Enemies from Arising - Reviving an Ancient Approach to Peace.'' He is on Twitter.
David Shapiro, M.A., is Founding President of African PTSD Relief (Twitter: AfricaPTSRelief, YouTube video), an Iowa, US non-profit, charitable corporation dedicated to reducing PTS across Africa by teaching the Transcendental Meditation program to individuals or groups with PTS or at risk of getting PTS. He is a co-author of the two research studies on TM and PTSD in Uganda. For information on African PTSD Relief or to implement a program, please contact David Shapiro at email@example.com.
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