The TM program for First Responders
Preventing and Reversing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the lives of Veterans, Military, Police, Firefighters and other First Responders
“PTSD victims may experience a disabling cluster of symptoms, including anxiety, excessive vigilance, an exaggerated tendency to startle, nightmares, flashbacks to the traumatic event (which may be triggered by any associated memories), insomnia, outbursts of anger, and social withdrawal. …I am eager to see efforts – by the Veterans Administration, funding agencies, and private charities – to make TM accessible to veterans suffering from PTSD…for whom current approaches are both costly and inadequate. .. I have been astonished at the strength and scope of the research on TM – and of the technique’s potential for healing and transformation”
– Dr. Norman Rosenthal, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical School
The data shows:
- Over 500,000 U.S. troops deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001 suffer from PTSD.
- Among women Veterans of those conflicts almost 20% have been diagnosed with PTSD, and 27% of women Vietnam Veterans suffered from PTSD sometime during their postwar lives.
- 40% of all homeless people are veterans and 8% of these are women veterans.
- Health care costs for all veterans with PTS are an estimated $12.4 billion annually.
- As many as 18 percent of police are suffering from PTSD according to nationwide estimations, with police women showing higher rates.
- Up to 37% of firefighters meet criteria for a current diagnosis of PTSD. .2% of all firefighters are female.
Listen: TM is a Successful Solution to PTSD with Veteran Supriya Vidic
Watch Slideshow: Reducing the Effects of Stress in First Responders
One practical solution
Healing post traumatic stress requires an approach that directly impacts the physiology and neurophysiology. Thankfully, there is a solution. Over 600 research studies document benefits from the TM practice in all fields of life. Practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique for twenty minutes twice daily provides deep healing rest which decreases: stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, insomnia, relationship problems, and addiction.
The TM practice is unique among meditation techniques, distinguished by its simplicity and profound, immediate results. It is not a religion or philosophy and involves no change in lifestyle. It is easy to learn and enjoyable to practice, requiring no effort, concentration, or special skills. More Information about the Transcendental Meditation technique
600 Scientific Research Studies
The TM program is by far the most extensively researched program for self development. Scientists at over 250 independent research institutions including Harvard, Yale, and UCLA Medical School have conducted research on the TM program, finding practical benefits that are significant to all fields of life: improved mental capacity, health, career success, relationships, and inner peace. More importantly, 364 of these studies have been published in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals. More information.
Reduction of stress in first responders
Brain and Mind
Stress dramatically interferes with the ability to maintain attention and focus. The part of the brain responsible for both developing coping strategies and handling stress is compromised. Chronic stress damages the brain and creates fatigue. Reduction of stress results in improved brain function—increasing focus and attention, memory, ability to plan, and successful relationships.
Research shows that the TM practice uniquely enlivens the function of the prefrontal cortex, often called the “CEO” of the brain, allowing for more organized thought and better decision-making. The brain functions with greater coherence—associated with more integrated and effective thinking and behavior. Other benefits include improvements in analytical thinking, creativity, learning ability, I.Q., and memory.
Stress also, as we all know slows reaction time, reduces mind-body coordination and creates illness and can lead to unhealthy life choices such as the use of drugs and alcohol. The deep rest gained during the TM practice restores balance in the physiology, reducing high blood pressure, improving sleep and increasing mind-body coordination. Transcendental Meditation technique reduces stress and stress-related disorders, including hypertension, atherosclerosis, and metabolic syndrome. TM also improves health overall including increased stamina, energy, flexibility, immunity and quality of life.
How TM Changes the Brain – Dr. Sarina Grosswald
“Severe stress can shut down the prefrontal cortex, which is like the commander-in-chief of the brain,” said Dr. Sarina Grosswald, the executive director of PTSD and stress-related disorders for the David Lynch Foundation. “TM rebalances the brain chemistry…. TM creates the brain waves associated with settledness,” said Dr. Grosswald. “As you experience it over and over, these brain connections get stronger, and the connections related to trauma begin to fade away.”
According to Dr. Grosswald, the military takes an academic approach to stress reduction, requiring soldiers to complete stress management courses before deployment. If soldiers were equipped with meditation they might be less likely to develop PTSD during combat. “You can teach somebody something from a book, but a lot of that goes out the window when trauma happens,” she said. “With TM, you’re training the brain so the threshold for stress is different… Soldiers could come back to a baseline quicker, responding in a clearer way.”
M.D., Cardiology and Fellow of the American College of Cardiology
“As a clinical cardiologist, I’ve found the Transcendental Meditation technique to be a simple, universally applicable technique. It significantly improves neurophysiological coordination and psychological balance, both of which have a major impact on the four major cardiovascular risk factors.”
M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical School
“If a pharmaceutical company had a pill which was capable of doing all these things, and they had all these studies to show all the help it could give, that pill would be a billion dollar blockbuster.”
M.D., PhD., Neurologist and Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology
“The TM technique simply and naturally allows the mind to settle down to experience a state of inner coherence and calm during which time the left and right hemispheres and the front and back of the brain begin to work in harmony with each other. This brain wave coherence has been correlated with improvements in memory, problem-solving and decision-making abilities. In fact, everything good about the brain depends on its orderly functioning. This change in brain functioning also affects the rest of the physiology, reducing high blood pressure, strengthening the heart, and overall improving health.”
Joanne E. Frankel
“The gains I’ve seen in my patients who took the TM instruction include increases in emotional stability, intuition, self-confidence, and mind-body integration. As a therapist, I feel fortunate that such a powerful yet easy technique is available to my patients.”