This is lead author Col. Brian Rees, MD, MPH, US Army Reserve Medical Corps
Civilians in many African countries have seen some terrible things throughout their lives; some have experienced the threat of violence or death, and many have witnessed the abuse, torture, rape, and murder of loved ones. As a result, for example, many Congolese that have left their homeland and now reside in refugee camps in Uganda are experiencing the terrible effects and symptoms of sever post traumatic stress disorder (more commonly known as PTSD).
New research shows that Congolese war refugees who have learned the Transcendental Meditation technique had showed a significant reduction in post traumatic stress disorder in just 10 days, according to a study released in February’s issue of Journal of Traumatic Stress (Volume 27, Issue 1, 112-115).
According to the study, “Significant Reductions in Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms in Congolese Refugees within 10 days Transcendental Meditation Practice,” eleven subjects were assessed after 10-days and again after 30-days of TM practice. After merely 10-days, PTSD symptoms dropped by roughly 30 points.
“An earlier study found a similar result after 30 days where 90% of TM subjects dropped to a non-symptomatic level. But we were surprised to see such a significant reduction with this group after just 10 days,” said study author Brian Rees, MD, MPH. The study participants were tested using the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for Civilians (PCL-C), which rates the severity of PTSD on a scale of 17 to 85. A score below 35 means that the symptoms of PTSD have been abated.
Eleven Congolese refugees who had been tested three times over a 90-day period on the PCL-C, which rates the level of PTSD on a scale from 17 to 85, began with an average score of 77.9. They learned Transcendental Meditation within 8 days of the third test and after 10 days their average score dropped to 48, which was highly clinically significant. They were retested 30 days later measuring an average score of 35.3. With scores below 35 considered non-symptomatic, they were practically symptom free.
Initially, the subjects at the beginning of the study had an average PTSD score of 77.9. After merely 10 days of practicing TM techniques, their PTSD score dramatically dropped to an average score of 48, considered statistically and clinically significant. Thirty days later the subjects were again tested and were found to have an average PTSD score drop further to an average 35.3 – meaning that they were nearly symptom-free.
“What makes this study interesting is when we tested them in the 90 days before they began the TM technique, their PTSD scores kept going up,” said coauthor Fred Travis, director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management. “During that period their scores were rising, from 68.5 at the beginning to 77.9 after 90 days. But once they started the Transcendental Meditation technique, their PTSD scores plummeted.”
Generally, during TM technique practice, one experiences a deep state of restfulness and alertness. Repeating this experience for 20 minutes twice a day cultures the nervous system to maintain settled mental and physical functioning for the rest of the day. This helps to minimize disturbing thoughts and memories, sleep difficulties, and other adverse PTSD symptoms.
Esperance Ndozi was one of the Congolese refugees traumatized by the civil war. The 35-year old mother of 5 was part of the group of refugees that learned TM. Before learning the effortless technique, Esperance couldn’t find relief from a flood of dark disturbing memories. She could hardly sleep. After a week of meditating 20-minutes twice a day she describes increasing relaxation and relief from PTSD symptoms. “Your mind, your body relaxes. You feel you are out of the outside world. You are just in your peaceful world. No negativity. It doesn’t come near me now.” Like other refugees in the study the calm and peace grew to last throughout the day. Watch the video below:
from Initiatives for World Healing http://ift.tt/1iddIc7