We’ve got an epidemic of prescription drug use among our military – a mess we helped to create through overprescribing downrange – and now we need to find ways to reduce drug dependency and find healthy, non-narcotic alternatives. That’s why this TM study is so important.
As you know, we have in production a wonderful, new Yoga Nidra meditation by Julie Lusk. And June is PTSD Awareness Month. And June 21st is International Yoga Day. So, hey, for all these reasons, don’t you think the study below is relevant and timely? Check this out!
A small pilot study out of the Tacoma V.A. examines iRest, also called Yoga Nidra, a form of guided mindfulness meditation, and its ability to reduce the symptoms of sexual trauma, including military sexual trauma (MST), in a sample of women seeking psychotherapy services at the VA.
Here’s another study that shows how our military and veterans programs are increasingly reaching out to test mind-body tools, establish efficacy and offer real help – user-friendly, self-administered, empowering and inexpensive interventions for our service personnel.
Researchers from Georgia Regents University and the TBI Clinic at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon, GA investigated whether the regular practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) increased well-being and decreased the need for psychotropic drugs needed for managing anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Researchers from The Ohio State University evaluated the impact of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion training on the sleep, resilience and burnout of 213 young health professionals and trainees at a major Midwestern academic health center.
The average age of the respondents was 28 years old and 73% were female. Professions included dieticians (11%), nurses (14%), physicians (38%), social workers (24%), and other (12%).
The Australians always seem to have a fresh take on mind-body methods and apps for healing mental health issues, which is why I’m always posting their findings. Their strong interest probably stems from Australia having such wide spaces between cities/resources – they have to lean heavily on apps, computers and listening devices to get therapy to veterans and others in need.
Whatever the reasons, here is yet another strong study showing the importance of using a form of cognitive behavioral therapy for trauma survivors. Love those Aussies!
In Japan, they actually call this “Forest Medicine”, and they build forest parks on the rooftops of hospitals.
In this pilot study, researchers from Chiba University and Nippon Medical School in Japan studied the impact of brief forest walking on middle-aged, hypertensive adults, seeking some hard evidence of positive effects.
This study represents a real advance in the way we think about meditation, away from our former, simplistic, stereotypic thinking about what it is and what it can do. It’s been a long time in coming.
These researchers make it clear that, contrary to the notion that meditation is always relaxing, resulting in reduced stress and physiological arousal, the reality is sometimes yes, and sometimes no - it depends on what kind of meditation we’re talking about.
There’s been mixed opinion about how effective mindfulness-based therapies are for different conditions and mental health challenges.
So, a research team of investigators from Erasmus MC in the Netherlands and Harvard University in the U.S. systematically reviewed the evidence of the effectiveness MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) in different health and mental health challenge categories.
The authors of this study out of Spain, from the University of the Basque Country, point out that most MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) studies tend to look at reducing negative symptoms. These investigators instead asked if mindfulness could improve a sense of well-being and pump up positive feelings.
They conducted a randomized controlled trial with 42 physicians, giving the experimental arm an eight-week MBSR program, with an additional 10-month maintenance period.
This line of inquiry looks like it’s worth pursuing by other investigators – it’s a ready-made curriculum for stressed teens that seems to be effective, and it’s got a self-compassion component that most adolescents could use. I also suspect that programs like this could reduce bullying. Check it out!
In this pilot study, researchers from the University of North Carolina and the University of Tennessee explored the effects of a mindfulness training program on the emotional well-being of a community sample of 28 teens. They also looked at the impact of a self-compassion component to mindfulness practice.