Scientists have been searching for an answer on how to treat veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who have shown signs of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent research has found that transcendental meditation may drastically improve symptoms of the condition in affected individuals.
The study, which can be found in the June issue of Military Medicine, examined five veterans between the ages of 25 and 40 who experienced moderate or heavy combat during their tours of duty. The results suggested that after eight weeks of practicing transcendental meditation the group had a 50 percent reduction in PTSD symptoms. According to the National Institutes of Health, PTSD symptoms include being easily startled, feeling emotionally numb and nightmares.
“Even though the number of veterans in this study was small, the results were very impressive,” said senior researcher Norman Rosenthal, M.D. “These young men were in extreme distress as a direct result of trauma suffered during combat, and the simple and effortless transcendental meditation technique literally transformed their lives.”
Rosenthal claims that meditation decreases blood pressure and moderates stress response. The researchers called for more studies to be conducted on a larger scale to determine if meditation could be implemented as a part of mainstream PTSD treatment.