Breathing Meditation Is a Powerful Ally for Veterans With PTSD

November 11, 2014 5:13 PM

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The issues our veterans face are very important to me. I'm a big supporter of Congressman Tim Ryan's work to improve the quality and variety of care that America's heroes receive and what Mindful Nation does with the military as well as in schools and hospitals, so I was excited to read the recent research from Emma Seppala, Ph.D., associate director of Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, about how meditation and breathing exercises can help veterans recover from post-traumatic stress disorder. According to Seppala, this is the first randomized controlled study on a form of meditation or yoga for veterans with PTSD that has shown such long-term, lasting effects. I was touched by how much of her heart she put into her science when she said, "This study was the most moving research experience of my career. The veterans in the study told me things like, 'Thank you for giving me my life back.'"

Traditional medication and therapy are not always effective in treating or preventing the flashbacks, severe anxiety, and high suicide rates associated with PTSD. To see if meditation could provide help and answers, Seppala and her colleagues worked with 21 veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and ...

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