Transcending…and remarkable examples of relief from Traumatic Stress
One study showed 50% less PTSD symptoms after eight weeks of TM practice…a result never seen before
The body has an amazing power to heal itself, as long as we give it a chance to activate this power. This is seen to striking effect when TM is used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is normally considered incurable because most of the stresses involved are rooted deep in the psyche, beyond the reach of most therapeutic methods. And still, recent studies suggest that the impact of these stresses can be reduced significantly and, sometimes, rapidly, with the practice of TM.
Like many of the effects mentioned on this site, the effect on PTSD appears to be unique to the experience of transcending. Ordinary relaxation does not have the same effect.
This was verified through a recent analysis of 6 high-quality, randomized controlled studies, where the effectiveness (effect size) of 3 TM studies was compared to the effect of Mindfulness. The results are striking.
1. Transcendental Meditation compared to psychotherapy (Brooks, 1985)
A study at the University of Colorado Medical Center, in Denver, USA, compared the effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation to accepted methods of psychotherapy for Vietnam war veterans receiving treatment for traumatic stress. Several problem areas were studied, including PTSD, depression, insomnia, anxiety, emotional disconnect, family trauma and alcohol abuse.
The TM group showed a very significant improvement in all of the areas researched within 3 months.
– Depression p<.001*,
– Post Traumatic Stress Disorder p<.001,
– Anxiety p<.001,
– Emotional Disconnect p<.005,
– Alcohol Abuse p<.01,
– Insomnia p<.001, and
– Family Trauma p<.01.
* what does a p-value mean?.
The improvement was so significant that, after 3 months, 70% of the patients required no further treatment and were allowed to go home. The psychotherapy group showed no significant improvement in any area.
2. Reduction of PTSD in African refugees. (Rees, 2013)
In April 2013 the journal, Journal of Traumatic Stress, published an even more remarkable study showed that Congo refugees with severe symptoms of PTSD (as a result of rape or other war violence) were completely free of PTSD symptoms after 30 days of TM practice. The improvement was stable after 4 1/2 months. The control group showed no improvement.Ref.Journal of Traumatic Stress 26(2), 295-298, 2013
Here is one woman’s experience with TM and PTSD
It has been two years since I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The way I describe the feeling of living with PTSD is like being stripped of the person I once was. It became difficult to relate to the world around me because of the symptoms I was experiencing daily, such as flashbacks of the assault, heightened anxiety, depression, numbness, and extreme bouts of anger. I could no longer relate to feelings of happiness, love, or peace. One of the hardest things to experience is having the world and your loved ones, progressing through each day in a state of normalcy around you, all the while, feeling stuck in what I would best describe as a mental quicksand. And nobody can understand why you don’t just pick yourself up and get on with your life.
And then I learned Transcendental Meditation.
TM has given me a renewed outlook on life. I have been practicing TM for three weeks and already my quality of life has dramatically improved. I can’t remember the last time I had an anxiety attack. The deep anger that sat in my system day after day has ceased to be. I used to cry numerous times a day. I cried once in the last three weeks since starting TM. It has helped me to overcome the darkness that once surrounded me daily. TM has given me the hope that I had been looking for, an end to the debilitating symptoms of PTSD. I finally feel a peace inside of me.
Debra Lawless, British Columbia
How can a simple technique do so much?
600 studies confirm the effect of TM with:
- Less stress
- How TM works
- Emotional stability
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Better Health
- General Health
- Becoming Younger