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Time for Re-training: Time for Healing

Written by David Shapiro and Dr. Scott Terry

Protesters gather in downtown Minneapolis. Unrest in Minneapolis over the May 25th death of George Floyd.

Life in the United States and around the world these days has many stressors: the Coronavirus pandemic, police brutality, the resulting protests, stress of unemployment and the immense financial burdens accompanying limited income, relationship challenges in lock-down, or challenge of lack of relationships, being more on one’s own, with increased risks of mental health collapse and drug abuse that may accompany home confinement. In the political arena, reflected in the media, a yawning division is seen between parties vying for control of the nation.

With the horrible death of George Floyd on May 25 from the brutal action by four policemen in Minneapolis, groups have protested across the United States, even while CoVid-19 ravages the land. We all see the problem, but do we see the solution?

There are many possible effective approaches to finding a solution. In this article, we will look at one unique stress-reduction tool, Transcendental Meditation, which has over 350 peer reviewed studies ( showing a broad range of support for both prevention and stress reduction.

It is often stress that leads police to over-react to the challenges of their job. As with health care first responders, the stress can build up year after year in police, creating high levels of stress or post-traumatic stress. Some policemen are simply in the wrong profession and should be removed. However, in many cases, a well-intentioned officer can become overwhelmed by daily pressures and stressful events and begin over-reacting.

So, to prevent build-up of stress and to reduce stress when it does build up too high, the most effective, rapid and side-effect free modalities should be made available to police across the nation. Common psychological tools include gold standard Prolonged Exposure and cognitive behavior therapy. Pharmaceuticals, less effective than psychotherapy, may also be used.

There are also a wide range of complementary and alternative protocols that have been shown in scientific studies to be highly effective and have minimal or no negative side effects. In the light of the need for treatments to help the 66% of US Veterans not coming out of PTSD with psychotherapy (Jama, Aug. 4, 2015), many groups are investigating alternatives, including use of horses and dogs to provide companionship, diet and exercise routines, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and different types of meditation. The US Government has gone so far as to spend 25 million dollars to test implantation in the head of a chip that would desensitize an area of the brain that may be associated with PTSD.

One well-documented protocol for reducing stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the Transcendental Meditation technique (TM). According to a 2018 research study in Lancet Psychiatry, TM is at least as effective as Prolonged Exposure (PE) without risking re-exposure to the traumatic events. The study showed that whereas 40% of veterans showed significant reduction in PTSD with PE, at least 60% of veterans who were TM practitioners showed significant reduction in this chronic and debilitating mental condition.

TM VS prolonged exposture lancet per cent w significant improvement TM PTSD Veterans – Nidich.jpg

In addition, regular TM practice has been shown to structure resilience, thereby helping to maintain lower levels of stress in daily life.

One police officer, a woman who asked to remain anonymous, faced many murders, deaths, many types of violence for years and ended up with trouble sleeping, horrible dreams, anger, drinking problem, hypertension, feeling numb, always worried and fearful. After years of service and stress, she was diagnosed with PTSD by a mental health professional.

She tried many drugs but they made her feel numb or some of them had negative side effects, such as losing her hair

Then, she heard about Transcendental Meditation, read a book about it, and decided to learn it.

With TM she was able to sleep better. “I had fewer dreams about the incident and policing and I felt I was able to talk about it without getting too upset. I just felt more myself.”

“When I was meditating I felt at peace.”

“I felt as if I had fewer flashbacks. That feeling of being on high alert and waking up at 3 in the morning and checking out the entire house, or feeling jumpy any time I heard a loud bang: that went away.”

“I was drinking less alcohol. I felt a lot calmer around my kids and husband.”

The Transcendental Meditation technique is a natural, easily learned practice that provides deep rest to body and mind and thereby begins to reverse the accumulation of stress within the practitioner. Studies show TM can alleviate high blood pressure and insomnia.

A police officer who is calmer, able to think more clearly, and less on edge will be better equipped to spontaneously implement techniques to defuse a potentially explosive situation, rather than to escalate it. The manifold health benefits of TM practice can reduce work hours lost and increase overall effectiveness among law enforcement officers. If veterans of foreign wars with PTSD can find rapid relief from stress through TM practice, how much easier will it be for police to find inner peace and become models of community support?

By choosing to practice TM daily, not only can police take control of their lives and no longer over-react to challenging situations, but anyone who practices TM regularly chooses to grow more settled in mind, less reactive to the many external stressors, and more able to enjoy the progressive possibilities that arise for progress for themselves and their society.

The police officer who implements TM not only reduces the likelihood of getting PTSD or reduces the PTSD if he or she has become highly stressed, but he experiences Post-Traumatic Growth if he has been in traumatic situations. Not only do anger and violence diminish and sleeplessness and disturbing memories of past traumas fall away, but one begins to appreciate the nourishing qualities of oneself and others. One becomes happier and more creative. Over 350 peer reviewed studies show a very wide range of improvements through Transcendental Meditation. All these are measures Post-Traumatic Growth. ( Now the pressures of the job and of life stimulate the police officer or anyone to make even greater progress without accumulating stress.

All of us, whether a policeman facing daily challenges under the stress and needing to stay calm and act appropriately, or the store clerk helping customers every day but fearing that he or she is getting or giving others CoVid-19, or the family staying at home and unable to enjoy the company of so many of their friends, need a tool to become less stressed, more calm to be able to find the best in each day, even as the world vigorously changes in front of our eyes, like turbulent waves in an ocean storm. Here is a tool to help us re-unite ourselves and the nation.

About the authors:

Dr. Scott F. Terry, Ed.D., M.A., IL.-L.M.F.T., IL.-L.C.P.C., IA.-L.M.F.T., IA.-L.M.H.C., Ch.T., and AAMFT approved supervisor. With 25 years of practice as a doctoral level clinician, supervisor, professor, clinical and executive director of five large mental health organization practices, including the Ardent Counseling Center, and a radio show.

David Shapiro, M.A. Philosophy, B.A. cum laude chemistry, the founding President of PTSD ReliefNow and its African PTSD Relief projects and Alliance for PTSD Recovery (both are 501C3 charities)

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Transcendental Meditation Brings University Students Rapid and Profound Recovery from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Depression

A new study on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) found that Transcendental Meditation (TM) brought a group of university students in South Africa with PTSD below the threshold for PTSD. This same group showed significant recovery from depression. A comparison group with PTSD who did not learn TM showed no change in PTSD or depression levels over the 105 days of testing.

This new study has been published with 8 international authors in Psychological Reports.

Bandy, C, Dillbeck, M., Sezibera, V., Taljaard, L., de Reuck, J., Wilks, M., Shapiro, D., Peycke, R. (Psychological Reports. on-line: February, 2019) Reduction of PTSD in South African University Students Using Transcendental Meditation Practice. DOI: 10.1177/0033294119828036 link:

The summary may be found here:

So far, within 2 days, the following articles have been published commenting on this new study:

  1. EurekAlert!! Feb 19, 2019 Title: New study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in South African college students. Link:
  2. News Feb 19, 2019. Title: Transcendental meditation can help relieve PTSD symptoms. Link:
  3. ZME Science. Feb 19, 2019. Title: Transcendental meditation reduces PTSD in South African students. Link:
  4. MD India. Feb 19, 2019. Title: Transcendental Meditation Technique Can Reduce Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms. Link:
  5. Flipboard. Feb 19, 2019. Title: New study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in South African college students Link:
  6. 7thSpace. Feb 19, 2019. TitleNew study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in South African college students: Link:
  7. Feb 19, 2019. Title: New study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in South African college students. Link:
  8. Counsel and Heal. Feb 19, 2019. Title: New study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in South African college students. Link:
  9. Medical News Today. Feb 20, 2019. Title: Transcendental meditation can help treat PTSD L ink:
  10. Feb 20, 2019. Title: New Study show Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in South African College Students. Link:
  11. Mental Daily. Feb 20, 2019. Title: Transcendental meditation may be an effective treatment for PTSD. Link:
  12. Healthy News: Chochiling stream group. Feb 20. Title: Transcendental meditation can help treat PTSD. Link:
  13. News on Medical. Feb 20, 2019. Title: Transcendental meditation can help treat PTSD. Link:
  14. Medical News. Feb 20, 2019. Title: Transcendental Meditation Can Help Treat PTSD. Link:
  15. My Healthy XYZ. Feb 20, 2019. Title: Transcendental Meditation Can Help Treat PTSD. Link:
  16. Health Problems News. Feb 20. Title: New study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in South African college students. Link:
  17. UC News. Feb 20. Title: Transcendental meditation can help treat PTSD Link:
  18. Norwich Newsroom. Title: An Esteemed Mind Explores Mysteries of the Brain, Trauma, and Well-being Link:\
  19. Psych Central. Feb 20. Title: Transcendental Meditation Can Ease PTSD Symptoms in College Students Link:
  20. Science Magazine. Feb 20. Title: New Study Shows Transcendental Meditation Reduces PTSD In South African College Students Link:

The study shows that both PTSD and depression fell below the non-symptomatic level for a group of students pracaticing TM, within 105 days of practice and the group became non-symptomatic for depression within 15 days of learning TM.

For contacting the researchers to help with future studies or to work on implementing projects in schools in at-risk communities, contact David Shapiro,

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Top Journal Publishes New Study Showing Reduced PTSD

Media around the world reported on a study published by Lancet Psychiatry, a top journal, that found that the Transcendental Meditation technique significantly reduced post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans compared to the standard treatment.


After three months of practice, 61% of the 68 subjects in the Transcendental Meditation group had a clinically significant reduction in symptoms compared to 42% in the group that used the standard treatment. In a second control group, which received health education, 32% of the subjects showed a clinically significant reduction.

In addition, the participants in the Transcendental Meditation group were more likely to participate in the treatment sessions than those in the standard treatment group.

Standard treatment, referred to as “prolonged exposure,” entails veterans re-experiencing their trauma through remembering and engaging with situations that remind them of the trauma in order to eventually diminish their stress response. Some 30–45% of veterans typically withdraw from the treatment because it’s so unpleasant.

“New treatments, including options not involving exposure to the traumatic experience, are needed for veterans who do not respond to treatment or drop out due to discomfort,” said MUM researcher Sandy Nidich, first author of the study.

Other MUM coauthors included Maxwell Rainforth, Robert Schneider, John Salerno, and Carolyn Gaylord-King.

Source: The Review, Vol. 34, #6, November 28, 2018
Copyright 2018, Maharishi University of Management

More info at “The Lancet Psychiatry”:

Maharishi University of Management Research Institute:

French article:

Article in German:

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New study showing the effectiveness of TM for reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress


Bob Roth, DLF, wrote: “This new study showing the effectiveness of TM for reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress among post-9/11 veterans, which was published yesterday in the prestigious Lancet Psychiatry, will help to open doors for many, many thousands of veterans to learn TM. Lives will be transformed, even saved. Thank you for your kindness and support!”


Source: Bob Roth, Chief Executive Officer
David Lynch Foundation


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Russell Brand: I am an Addict

Posted by David H Shapiro on August 27, 2018


Comedian Russell Brand explains: “The reason I became a drug addict is that all throughout my life I felt this sense of irritation, agitation, this emptiness…

I found every progressive drug: cannabis, LSD, crack, heroin. Each of them is greeted as tiny little powdery prophets, solutions to the problem of my inner angst.

None of them work.” ( )

Today we have a crisis in drug addiction care: less than one in five Americans with drug abuse problems receive any help ( ). Little do they know, all the rest can get rapid, available, effective and affordable tools to escape these painful, costly and even life-threatening attachments.

According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 20.1 million people (7.7 percent of the U.S. population) aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem in 2016. Only 3.8 million (19 percent of those who needed treatment) received any substance use treatment in the same year. ( ).

According to US News in December, 2016, ( ) the Surgeon General reported that in 2015 the United States had a staggering $442 billion dollar loss to its national economy from drug and alcohol abuse.

According to National Institutes of Health, the average treatment (for veterans) for substance abuse costs $3,754 with a 75.0% chance of being effective.

Some people start drugs for a new “high,” others to overcome pain or discomfort; some athletes use drugs to enhance performance; others take up drugs out of curiosity. For whatever reason one tries and becomes addicted to drugs, the addiction is considered a brain disorder that can change the structure of the brain and how it works, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse ( ).

If one has been in a traumatic event, drug and alcohol “self-medication” often accompanies Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It can also be understood as one of the symptoms of PTSD. (For more stories and information on our projects to reduce the pandemic of PTSD across Africa, go to )

Without support, drug addiction often leads to harmful behaviors, and mental and physical health debilitation. The Surgeon General explained that “Neighborhoods and communities as a whole are also suffering as a result of alcohol- and drug-related crime and violence, abuse and neglect of children, and the increased costs of health care associated with substance misuse.”

According to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse ( ), the 20% who do get support use a variety of approaches:

● behavioral counseling

● medication

● medical devices and applications used to treat withdrawal symptoms or deliver skills training

● evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety

● long-term follow-up to prevent relapse

The goals of these approaches are to first become drug free, then stay drug free, and over the long-run be a happy and productive member of family and society.

There are many complementary and alternative (CAM) approaches that with help change the quality of life and achieve the above goals… including exercise, diet, and better patterns of sleep. Other common approaches are special diets, probiotics, and mineral and vitamin supplements, breathing exercises, and acupuncture.

However, what is first needed, before standard treatments or CAM, is a tool that directly allows the addict to experience clearer thinking, discriminating and feeling. This process gives control back to the addict to then be able to take control over his or her life and act in a way that leaves him or her not only “feeling” in control of his or her life, but actually creating a life that then works for them to create a more powerful and productive future. This gives him or her greater purpose in life and a direction to start living a more fulfilling life.

Transcendental Meditation is one such evidence-based way to do this. Having gained more control, the individual can choose the useful tools to change his or her lifestyle to substitute positive activities for drug or alcohol addiction habits. He or she may also choose to receive psychological counseling and/or pharmacology to support this change in patterns of behavior.


A 2007 study showed that the most commonly used CAM approaches were natural products, breathing exercises and meditation, according to NIH Center for Complementary and Integrative Health ( )

One effective, evidence-based meditation for drug abuse reduction is Transcendental Meditation. ( )

Transcendental Meditation (TM), has been taught the same systematic way over the past 60 years, and is now practiced by over 7 million people in every country around the world. TM is a simple, effortless mental technique that employs the principle of rest and release of stress. The meditator experiences quieter, more silent and more restful levels of thinking, and the body gains profound rest and release of fatigue and stress. With increasing coherence of mind due to more silent and orderly thinking gained in meditation, after meditation the practitioner has more freedom from the influence of past decisions and he or she can then more easily choose to stop the destructive behaviors of drug and alcohol abuse.


Over 10 peer-reviewed studies ( and then go to addictions link) show that TM produces a very significant reduction in drug and alcohol abuse. For example, one meta-analysis of 70 drug rehab study results (Alcohol Treatment Quarterly, 11: 13-88) showed that TM was significantly more effective than either peer support or prevention education.

Russell Brand comments ( “The thing is that what I have learned, what I was looking for all the time, was a sense of union, a sense of connection.

Why for us is there the subsequent misery? Because for us these flimsy scraps are never going to be enough. We want the real connection. We want the absolute connection. And the thing is that connection exists. And, it’s possible to find it. And it’s possible that you in fact could find it now. First you have to remove the chemicals and the substances. You have to get rid of them. I believe in abstinence based recovery. I believe in harm reduction when necessary to get you to abstinence-based recovery, but I believe that if you are a drug addict of the nature that I am, you have to remove drugs from your life.

Transcendental Meditation (TM) will give you access to peace. It will give you access to a (new) consciousness that is not entirely defined by your self and your conditions as you understand them. It will give you sanctuary and serenity. That is what it’s done for me. An integral part of my life as a recovering drug addict is TM.”

Russell Brand risked his career and his life with drug dependence and addiction. Twenty-three million Americans suffer each year from drug and alcohol abuse. Only one in five gets treatment. Here are available, affordable, and effective tools to help people around the world suffering from drug and alcohol dependence and addiction take control of their drug and alcohol intake for a clearer, more effective and happier life.

As Russell Brand said: “Through TM I felt this beautiful serenity and selfless connection. There are those with great privilege and luxuries that can have access through TM, but there are people who are in extreme states of suffering who can benefit from it too.” (

About the authors:

Dr. Scott F. Terry, Ed.D., M.A., IL.-L.M.F.T., IL.-L.C.P.C., IA.-L.M.F.T., IA.-L.M.H.C., Ch.T., and AAMFT approved supervisor. With 25 years of practice as a doctoral level clinician, supervisor, professor, clinical and executive director of five large mental health organization practices, including the Ardent Counseling Center, and a radio show.

David Shapiro, B.A. cum laude chemistry, M.A., is an author of two articles published in Journal of Traumatic Stress (April, 2013; February, 2014) on Transcendental Meditation and PTSD; the founding President of PTSD Relief Now and its African PTSD Relief projects and Alliance for PTSD Recovery (both are 501C3 charities) ; author of a third article, in submission, on rapid reductions in PTSD in South African college students; and an author of numerous popular articles on PTSD published throughout the world. His previous articles in Elephant Journal include: Is Meditation the Answer to Trump’s Goal to Reduce Veteran Suicides? and The Simple Technique that dramatically Reduced PTSD Symptoms in Refugees. Thousands of refugees, at-risk students, military, abused women have received support from PTSD across Africa from PTSD Relief Now Corporation. To get updates on research and projects, sign up here

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Forbes France: One in Ten French People May Suffer from PTSD



(photo from Flickr by ResoluteSupportMedia with commercial usage permission)

Meditation techniques find their place among solutions offered to solve the delicate problem of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One in ten French people might be affected!

One in Ten French People May Suffer from PTSD

June 29, 2018
by Jo Cohen
Disclosure statement: I am currently working as a consultant for the SelfCompetence company, based in Luxembourg.

At first glance, the statistics seem overestimated. Yet, if we add up witnesses and victims of attacks, victims of natural disasters, road accident victims, women victims of rape and sexual assault, women victims of domestic violence, soldiers returning from a mission, police and firefighters facing tragedies, emergency doctors and all those facing violent deaths, etc., it suddenly seems more realistic, to the point of representing a real societal problem.

After a physical or emotional shock, victims and witnesses may develop post-traumatic stress disorder. All ages are affected by the repercussions of such violence. Following the attack in Nice on July 14, 2016, 400 children—some of whom suffered this shock before they started to talk—are monitored for this syndrome.

In the military, the devastation is widespread. “20% of soldiers returning from a mission are affected by this syndrome,” said Laurent Melchior Martinez, military doctor, during the program aired on this subject by France 5 on June 6 [1]. In the United States, 150,000 cases of suicide have been counted among Vietnam veterans, three times more than the number of soldiers killed in action during that terrible war.

“Today, managing these traumas has become a public health issue in France,” says Muriel Salmona, psychiatrist, president of the Association for Traumatic Memory and Victimology. The question asked is simple: can one regenerate after such a shock? And if yes, how? The broadcast allowed to gauge the still insufficient availability of care in France, despite the improvements observed in recent years,, while identifying the diverse solutions offered: from in hospital psychiatric care to alternative techniques such as EMDR [2] or meditation outside the hospital.

The often “invisible” symptoms of this disorder are numerous: sleep disruption, nightmares, heart troubles, hyper-vigilance, agoraphobia, traumatic flashbacks, depression or self-aggressive acts that can lead to suicide, etc., so many disorders that often turn into chronic diseases. In every day life, survivors feel permanently in danger, haunted by the sounds and images that make them relive their ordeal without a break. The door of a car slamming a little too loud is enough to wake up poorly buried fears.

Video insert from the broadcast on France 5 [5]

Neuroscience helps better understand brain disorders that occur during such traumas. Connected to emotions, the amygdala [3] prepares the body to flee or fight any danger. If the danger is transient, the prefrontal cortex first gives control to the amygdala that prepares for fight or flight, but once the danger is over, immediately takes it back. In the case of a serious traumatic shock following a violent attack, or when the danger is continuous, e.g. a soldier on hostile territory, the amygdala remains permanently activated, creating a state of hyper-vigilance that disrupts the prefrontal cortex cognitive functions . For its part, the hippocampus that stores the memory of events atrophies.

What are the results of the solutions proposed to solve such dysfunctions? The anti-depressants treatments recommended by clinical psychiatrists, have shown little effectiveness. Long-term psychotherapy, very popular in the US military, does not yield convincing results either. The transcranial magnetic stimulation used in Canada deactivates the amygdala and leads to some improvements.

Among the practices outside hospitals, EMDR seems promising since a test with eight soldiers in the Marseille region gave them real relief. The only problems: its high cost and the lack of practitioners of this eye technique inspired by Ayurveda. Mindfulness meditation, considered insufficiently effective practiced alone, has been associated with scuba diving. A trial conducted in Guadeloupe with 34 survivors of the Bataclan terrorist attack (Paris, November 15, 2013) allowed them to reduce their antidepressants, although the subjects do not feel completely cured. 5f2d0a19-b51f-4297-a878-bf5a50869398

Reduction of PTSD symptoms using a meditation technique

Among meditation techniques, Transcendental Meditation has given the best results. The effects of this independent practice build up over time. A study funded by the US military has shown its superiority over long-term psychotherapy [4]. A recent meta-analysis has shown that it can be up to ten times more effective than mindfulness meditation (see chart). Based on private donations, filmmaker David Lynch’s foundation [5] has provided Transcendental Meditation training to several thousand veterans in the United States, Africa and Europe.

Besides these dry figures, the testimony of Frenchman Michael Crepin, with 22 years of Foreign Legion service, confirms the quick and concrete results offered by the regular practice of Transcendental Meditation. Like many veterans, Michael suffered from PTSD. At times, he even thought of committing suicide. “I was a soldier with a soul shattered by sufferings unseen by many, after having lived to witness the death of my brothers in arms, after experiencing the atrocity of war in the Afghanistan desert.” Supported by the David Lynch Foundation in France, Michael and his wife learned the technique. “From week to week it gives me a peace of mind, and I would even say of the soul, that I haven’t had since I returned from my mission in Afghanistan,” says Michael. His dearest wish? That all his brothers in arms could learn Transcendental Meditation.

[1] The program “Attacks, aggression: overcoming the trauma” was broadcast on June 6 2018 by France 5 in “Enquêtes de santé” (“Investigations into Health”) by Michel Cymès, M.D. and Marina Carrère d’Encausse.
[2] EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is described as “moving your eyes to heal the mind”. The method was founded by American psychologist Francine Shapiro. It is inspired by Drishtis techniques taught in Ayurveda.
[3] The amygdala is a pair of nuclei located in the anterolateral region of the temporal lobe within the uncus, in front of the hippocampus and under the peritonsillar cortex. It is part of the limbic system and is involved in the recognition and evaluation of the emotional valence of sensory stimuli, in associative learning and in the associated behavioral and vegetative responses especially in fear and anxiety. The amygdala functions as a warning system and is also involved in detecting pleasure (source: Wikipedia).
[4] “Impact of Transcendental Meditation on Psychotropic Medication Use Among Active Military Service Members With Anxiety and PTSD,” in the journal Military Medicine, Volume 181, Issue 1, 1 January 2016, Pages 56–63.
[5] Website:


Article from Forbes France </>, translated by G. van Gasteren and A. Antinori