Wednesday , June 23 2021

Transcendental Meditation is just as effective as the therapy of long-term exposure to PTSD



An image of Sanford Nidich

Sanford Nidich

Transcendental meditation, intervention without injuries, did not give way to long-term exposure to reduce the severity of PTSD and coexisting depression in veterans with PTSD, as determined by a randomized controlled trial.

These results, published in The Lancet Psychiatry pointed out that Transcendental Meditation can be effective as an alternative therapy for veterans with PTSD.

"There is an urgent need for government agencies to discover and implement evidence-based evidence-based treatment, including non-trauma, to address PTSD in veterans and other vulnerable populations." Sanford Nidich, EdD, Director of the Center for Social and Emotional Health at Maharishi University of the Management Research Institute, Fairfield, Iowa, said Healio Psychiatry. "The current randomized, controlled clinical trial … was funded by the US Department of Defense to assess the effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation, trauma-free practice, to reduce the symptoms of PTSD in veterans."

Researchers compared Transcendental Meditation with long-term therapy in an informal, randomized, controlled trial to investigate the change in the severity of PTSD symptoms within 3 months using the PTSD scale provided by a physician (CAPS). They also compared both therapies with PTSD health education control, a hypothesis that the reduction of self-reported PTSD symptoms via the PTSD checklist – military version (PCL-M) would be greater in these therapies than in the case of PTSD health education. In addition, they examined the effect of treatment on co-existing depression using the Patient's Health Questionnaire (PHQ) -9.

Researchers randomly assigned 203 veterans from PTSD to receive one of three treatments in 12 sessions in 12 weeks with daily practice at home. Participants usually received transcendental meditation and PTSD health education in the group, while prolonged exposure therapy was conducted individually.

A total of 68 veterans were assigned to the transcendental meditation group, 68 to the long-term exposure therapy group and 67 to the PTSD health education group. In total, 61% of veterans receiving Transcendental Meditation, 42% of those receiving extended exposure, and 32% of those receiving health education showed clinically significant improvement in the severity of PTSD symptoms.

Transcendental meditation was significantly worse than the treatment of long-term exposure in the severity of PTSD symptoms as measured by CAPS, symptoms reported by PTSD measured with PCL-M and concomitant depression measured by PHQ-9 score after adjustment to covariates.

In addition, Transcendental Meditation and prolonged exposure therapy were superior to control treatment. Using standard comparisons, Nidich and colleagues found that both Transcendental Meditation and long-term exposure therapy resulted in a significant reduction in CAPS scores compared to PTSD health education.

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Transcendental meditation was just as effective as long-term symptomatic therapy in reducing PTSD symptoms among veterans, as research has shown.

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"The results of the clinical trial show that Transcendental Meditation can be a viable alternative to treating PTSD veterans," said Nidich Healio Psychiatry.

"Transcendental meditation can be easily implemented in government health systems in the US and other countries to help treat veterans who do not respond to trauma-oriented therapies or avoid them," Nidich continued. "[It] it can also be considered as an adjunctive treatment, and licensed physicians are encouraged to work with certified Transcendental Meditation instructors to provide the best treatment possible for veterans based on veteran preferences and treatment responses. "

These findings provide evidence that supports Transcendental Meditation for PTSD, but more research is needed to determine the economic effect of this intervention, Vernon Anthony Barnes, PhD, from the Augustus University, he wrote in a related editorial. Previous research has shown that the use of health care and costs decrease due to the practice of transcendental meditation – he explained.

"Because patients with PTSD have high medical costs throughout their lives, especially in the case of many chronic diseases, at least cumulative cost savings can be made," Barnes wrote. "[Transcendental Meditation] training can have a significant impact on health as an addition to the standard of care and can have significant value for improving the quality of life of members of the military service. " – by Savannah Demko

Disclosures: Nidich does not report any material financial disclosures. See the research on all significant financial disclosures of other authors. Barnes does not report any material financial disclosures.


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