A study of 203 soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (ESPT) showed that meditation can be as effective a treatment against the disease as some therapies already used for this disorder.
It has been proven that meditation has great psychological benefits for those who practice it regularly.
O meditation Can be so effective to treat the victims of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as the therapies used Currently, according to a study conducted among former US soldiers published on Friday in the scientific journal Lancet Psychiatry.
ESPT can be given after a person experiences a traumatic experience, related, for example, to death, violence or sexual assault. It is characterized mainly by repetitive memories, nightmares, attempts to avoid everything that remembers the event, states of irritability and depression.
It occurs mainly among victims of attacks and soldiers (it is estimated that 14% of the US military serving in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from ESPT).
Among the current treatments, the most exposure therapy. It consists in exposing the affected person to situations, places, images, sensations, noises, smells … associated with the traumatic event, so that his organism "gets accustomed" to not reacting so intensely, reducing stress little by little.
But this technique is painful for the victims of ESPT and between 30 and 45% of patients leave treatment, according to the study.
That's why researchers at three American universities tested meditation in a 203 ex-soldiers affected. The military, women and men, were divided into three groups: one practiced meditation, the second offered exposure therapy, and the third received a theoretical course on ESPT.
O 60% of ex-soldiers who practiced 20 minutes of daily meditation recorded a significant improvement of the symptoms and in this group were more that reached the end of the study than among those who underwent exposure therapy.
Meditation is to focus the spirit on something concrete, such as breathing or an object, to reach the focus in the present moment, which is called the state of full consciousness. In this way, you can distance yourself from painful thoughts or feelings.
This practice "can be practiced on its own, practically anywhere and anytime, without the need for specialized equipment or personalized support," Sanford Nidich, lead author of the study, told AFP.
"Faced with the growing problem presented by ESPT in the United States, Britain and other parts of the world, alternative therapies such as meditation should be part of the options offered by health authorities," he said.