Transcendental meditation may be an effective treatment for PTSD

A new study has found that transcendental meditation could be effective in reducing or even reversing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among young adults.

For the study, researchers from Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont and the Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, recruited 34 students – all young adults – who exhibited traits of PTSD. All the participants took part in transcendental meditation.

Researchers recruited an additional 34 students, to act as a control group, with a similar diagnosis but without having received any treatment or participated in meditation.

The participants were instructed to undergo transcendental meditation for a duration of 3 and a half months to observe possible efficiency against PTSD. Scores were measured as part of a PCL-C test, which assesses symptoms of the condition.

At the start of the study, all participants scored 44 and over on the PCL-C test, indicating a high likelihood of PTSD symptoms. Towards the conclusion of the study, the majority of participants from the group who took part in transcendental meditation saw lower scores: below 34, indicating a significant reduction in the severity of symptoms.

The findings suggest, based on the drastic reduction in the severity of symptoms among the test group, that transcendental meditation may be more effective as a treatment for alleviating PTSD than previously known.

“Our study shows, that after 3 months of meditation, this group, on average, was out of PTSD. It offers a way for others to effectively deal with this problem,” said Michael Dillbeck, co-author of the study.

The findings appeared in Psychological Reports.