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Mantra Effective For PTSD

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  • medit8ionsociety
    As reported in Medicalnewstoday.com: Latest Research Shows How Mantrams Can Even Tackle Post-traumatic Stress Main Category: Complementary Medicine News
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2006
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      As reported in Medicalnewstoday.com:

      Latest Research Shows How Mantrams Can Even
      Tackle Post-traumatic Stress
      Main Category: Complementary Medicine News
      Article Date: 05 Mar 2006 - 13:00pm (UK)

      Repeating mantrams can help control the symptoms of
      post-traumatic stress disorder, have a calming effect
      in traffic and even ease the boredom of exercise,
      according to a study in the latest issue of Journal
      of Advanced Nursing.

      83 per cent of veterans and hospital staff surveyed
      after a five-week mantram course told researchers
      from the US Department of Veterans Affairs that they
      found the technique â€" which involves silently and
      continuously repeating calming words or phrases
      throughout the day - useful on a number of occasions.

      Just under a quarter of these occasions (24 per cent)
      related to traffic and work-related stress, 13 per cent
      to insomnia and 12 per cent to unwanted thoughts. More
      than half (51 per cent) related to emotional situations.

      "Repeating the mantram seemed to stop post-traumatic
      stress disorder-type dreams that had occurred for 10
      to 11 years" said a former veteran and one of the 66
      people taking part in the survey.

      "I have racing thoughts. I think about a ton of
      things " what I'm going to do about this and what
      I'm going to do about that " and then I start the
      mantram and it helps" added another.

      A third found that using a mantram had an unexpectedly
      healthy side effect, commenting: "I use it sometimes
      when I'm on the treadmill at the gym. When I'm wishing
      that the time would go a little faster. And I'll just
      start using my mantram and then I forget about it and
      it helps me exercise a little longer."

      "The people taking part in the study found that silently
      repeating a specific word or phrase helped them to handle
      a number of difficult situations" explains lead researcher
      Jill E Bormann, Research Nurse Scientist at the
      Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System in California.

      Dr Bormann and her fellow researchers " from the
      Universities of California and North Carolina deliberately
      chose two highly stressed groups to take part in the study.

      "Veterans are well known to have many chronic physical
      and mental health symptoms that interfere with their
      quality of life and their ability to live normal
      everyday lives. Similarly, hospital employees have
      high levels of job stress, leading to decreased job
      satisfaction and subsequent increases in healthcare
      costs" she explains.

      People taking part in the five-week course, which
      comprised a one-and-a-half hour session a week, were
      taught to choose and repeat a cue word or mantram
      frequently during the day, using guidelines drawn
      from The Mantram Handbook by Eknath Easwaran of the
      Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in Tomales, California.

      Easwaran describes mantrams as a "spiritual formula
      for transformation". Dr Bormann calls them a "jacuzzi
      for the mind", adding that "using a word that embodies
      spirituality helps to initiate the relaxation response and

      "People taking part in our study were encouraged to
      use the mantram during ordinary and relaxing times,
      so that they associated it with a calming effect when
      they needed to use it during times of turmoil" she
      explains. "Easwaran advises that people use it when they
      need it and use it when they don't!"

      Most of the volunteers from southern California who took
      part chose words or phrases that reflected their
      religious beliefs. People without specific beliefs
      chose other soothing phrases.

      29 of the 30 veterans were male, with an average age
      of 63. Seven had been diagnosed with a psychiatric
      disorder and six suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

      31 of the 36 hospital staff were female with an average
      age of 50 and two had a psychiatric diagnosis.

      "Mantram repetition may be useful in diverse modern
      populations for managing a variety of internal emotional
      states that sometimes appear endemic to technological
      society, such as anger, frustration and impatience" says
      Dr Bormann.

      Dr Bormann has just received research funding from the
      Department of Veterans Affairs to carry out further
      investigation into the benefits of mantram repetition
      for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

      She has also been working on a project to see if mantram
      repetition decreases anger and increases spiritual faith
      in adults with HIV.


      Further information and press copies of the full paper are available
      from Annette Whibley, Wizard Communications wordwizard@...

      Notes to editors

      # Mantram repetition for stress management in veterans and employees:
      a critical incident study. Bormann et al. VA San Diego Healthcare
      System, San Diego, California, USA. Journal of Advanced Nursing.
      Volume 53.5. Pages 502-512. (March 2006).

      # The Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System provides acute and
      primary care to San Diego veterans through its medical center and
      community clinics. It is a designated Center of Excellence for Post-
      Traumatic Stress Disorder.

      # Journal of Advanced Nursing, which is celebrating its 30th
      anniversary in 2006, is read by experienced nurses, midwives, health
      visitors and advanced nursing students in over 80 countries. It
      informs, educates, explores, debates and challenges the foundations
      of nursing health care knowledge and practice worldwide. Edited by
      Professor Alison Tierney, it is published 24 times a year by
      Blackwell Publishing Ltd, part of the international Blackwell
      Publishing group. http://www.journalofadvancednursing.com/

      Contact: Annette Whibley
      Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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