VA testing whether meditation can help treat PTSD

Steve Vogel: Seeking new ways to treat post-traumatic stress, the Department of Veterans Affairs is studying the use of transcendental meditation to help returning veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Veterans Affairs’ $5.9 billion system for mental-health care is under sharp criticism, particularly after the release of an inspector general’s report last month that found that the department has greatly overstated how quickly it treats veterans seeking mental-health care.

VA has a “huge investment” in mental-health care but is seeking alternatives to conventional psychiatric treatment, said W. Scott Gould, deputy secretary of veterans affairs.

“The reality is, not all individuals we see are treatable by …

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For veterans, yoga can offer peace

March 20, 2012

Audra D.S. Burch: Yoga and meditation may be therapeutic for returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering with PTSD or the stress of returning to civilian life.

One week into his second tour of duty, U.S. Marines Sgt. Hugo Patrocinio was wounded by a suicide bomber who drove a dump truck stocked with 1,000 pounds of explosives into a house in al-Anbar, on the outskirts of Fallujah. He had been attacked before, hurt before, but this time Patrocinio was just 20 feet from the explosion.

He would eventually recover from the wounds — the shrapnel in his foot and leg the severe concussion — but the psychological …

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Transcendental meditation studied for military use

March 12, 2012

Steve Zind, Vermont Public Radio: The military devotes a lot of money and resources to training for combat and to treating post-combat stress. Now there’s research underway at Norwich University in Northfield that uses a tool more associated with peace than warfare to prepare military men and women.

The study is looking at whether Transcendental Meditation will not only make better soldiers, but inoculate them from the psychological trauma of combat.

VPR’s Steve Zind has this story on a group of cadets that some are calling ‘Om Platoon’.

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Early evidence shows meditation helping veterans with PTSD

November 12, 2011

The flashbacks and nightmares came often for Robert Singh.

U.S. Army veteran Singh served three tours in Iraq, from 2004 through 2010. He was an Army medic for most of that time. It was a violent, dangerous and intense job. Singh was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2007.

After he left the military in 2010, it became obvious that the drugs Singh was prescribed for PTSD weren’t helping.

So when Singh learned of VetMind, a novel study being conducted at Oregon Health & Science University to understand how mindfulness meditation helps veterans’ PTSD symptoms, he enrolled.

And he’s happy he did.

The meditation exercises Singh learned in the study and continues to practice considerably … Read more »

Veterans learn about meditation for treating post traumatic stress

September 18, 2011

Matt Hoffman: Studies show up to 35 percent of our veterans return home with post traumatic stress disorder. But an old world technique is being used in a new way to help veterans, and some say it’s having great success.

Veterans in Eau Claire heard from Jerry Yellin. He fought in World War Two as a fighter pilot, but when he returned home he couldn’t escape the horrors of war he experienced.

“I saw the remnants of 28,000 bodies on 8 square miles of land. 90, 000 soldiers were fighting. 28,000 were killed, and I flew with 16 guys that didn’t come back,” recalls Jerry.

But unlike during today’s…

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Could transcendental meditation help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder?

Dr. Norman Rosenthal: As Memorial Day approaches, it is fitting that we remember the debt owed, in the words of Winston Churchill, by so many to so few — those men and women who have fought and, in some cases, paid the ultimate price, so that the rest of us can live in freedom and safety.

Here in Washington, D.C., there will be formal ceremonies at Arlington Cemetery and informal ceremonies at the monuments that mark the wars that claimed too many. Likewise, throughout our great country, people will be remembering, grieving, reflecting.

Allow me to share with you the stories of five veterans, who are very much on my mind this Memorial Day. These … Read more »

Veterans find peace with yoga in ‘Connected Warriors’

March 11, 2011

Boca Raton Some local veterans’ combat days are long gone, but they still have nightmares, edginess, short fuses and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

Many seek help from support groups, psychologists and drugs. But some are finding that a different kind of therapy releases the tension: yoga.

Connected Warriors, a weekly class at studios in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Wellington, is filled with veterans and their families who seek to manage their stress through yoga poses. They learn how to breathe, meditate, stretch and balance with people who understand their battlefield encounters.

“I am learning to stop being on the defensive,” said Maria Mariska Allsopp, of Dania Beach, who retired after 25 years as … Read more »

David Lynch offers music for meditation

March 9, 2011

Acclaimed film director David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Mulholland Drive) released a 17-track charity compilation on March 8 to support his foundation, which encourages healing through meditation. The album features exclusive tracks by Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel, Moby, Ben Folds, and others.

In exchange for a pledge of $18 (€13), the David Lynch Foundation, founded in 2005, will provide all of the tracks in digital format over the course of the next six weeks. Proceeds go to the organization’s global effort to teach meditation to 1 million at-risk youth and 10,000 veterans of war with post-traumatic stress disorder.

A supporter of transcendental meditation, dubbed TM for short, … Read more »

Operation Warrior teaches meditation to vets with PTSD

January 6, 2011

After the horrors of World War II, everyday life seemed impossible for one Vero Beach man.

But 20 years later in 1965 he said something pulled him through. Jerry Yellin, now 86, has started an organization that helps soldiers with post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, in an unusual way and he wants to share that secret with today’s combat veterans.

His new organization, Operation Warrior Wellness, is a division of the David Lynch Foundation, which is a national nonprofit started in 2005 that pays for the teaching of meditation to at-risk populations.

The kind of meditation used is called transcendental meditation, a form practiced in India for thousands of years that requires only 20 … Read more »

Meditation for overcoming trauma

Award winning mental health blogger Seaneen Molloy sets out on a quest to meet people who have a different take on working with emotional distress. This month, Seaneen meets Valerie Mason-John, a writer and anger management coach who advocates ‘mindfulness’ practice for mental wellbeing.

With my feet firmly in the 21st century, I see Buddhism as something belonging to the past – irrelevant to the modern world, except perhaps to the most laid-back of hippies. As for meditation, I can’t even imagine assuming the lotus position, and humming, “Ommm…” without wanting to guffaw!

Mindfulness is said to encourage a calm awareness of, and connection to, the body and the world around us. Its practice has … Read more »