Military Experimenting with Meditation to Treat PTSD
Published March 18, 2013
With several hundred thousand veterans now believed to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder in the United States, the military is experimenting with new ways to help reduce the intensity of the symptoms. One avenue that the military is exploring is the use of meditation techniques to reduce symptoms of PTSD.
On the face of it, it seems like an insurmountable challenge to get hardened military veterans to practice meditation techniques. In fact, the normal methods of treatment for post traumatic stress disorder are drugs, behavioral therapy and other techniques. However, as California veterans disability benefits lawyers often find, many of these techniques simply don’t work for a growing category of veterans.
In the kind of meditation techniques that are being studied by the military, a person focuses all his concentration on a single activity for a set time. The time can last between 15 and 20 minutes, and the activity can be as simple as focusing on the person’s breathing.
According to the researchers, such mindful meditation can actually lower stress levels, and reduces the severity of the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. These techniques have been used with great effectiveness in other categories of the population, and the researchers believe that these techniques can also be used with similar success by service members for dealing with the stress of combat.
In fact, so effective are these techniques that the researchers believe that learning to meditate should be an essential part of the training of every military service member.
As part of the study, a group of Marine reservists were given training on meditation just before they went on combat duty in Iraq, while another support control group did not receive any training. The researchers found that the group of veterans that had the benefit of the meditation training showed much lower levels of stress and anxiety.