धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः। Dharmo Raksati Raksitah.

Dharma protects those who protect it.

– Veda Vyas, Mahabharat

Breathing-Based Meditation Decreases Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in U.S. Military Veterans


Many veterans from the Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan war) or Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq war) suffer from pronounced posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symp- toms that contribute to alarming suicide rates (Panagioti, Good- ing, & Tarrier, 2009; Sher, Braquehais, & Casas, 2012; U.S. De- partment of Veteran Affairs, 2012). Despite promising advances in evidence-based treatments for PTSD (Cukor, Olden, Lee, & Difede, 2010), dropout rates remain as high as 54.0% in popula- tions with PTSD (Brown, 2012; Schottenbauer, Glass, Arnkoff, Tendick, & Gray, 2008) and up to 62.4% in Afghanistan or Iraq veterans (e.g., Harpaz-Rotem & Rosenheck, 2011).

Furthermore, results of pharmaceutical treatments are mixed (Alderman, McCarthy, & Marwood, 2009), whereas substan- tial residual symptoms remain after psychotherapy (Bradley, Greene, Russ, Dutra, & Westen, 2005), suggesting a critical need to evaluate alternative or supplementary approaches to treating PTSD.


All subjective and objective laboratory assessments for the ac- tive group were conducted within 1 week before (Time 1) and 1 week after (Time 2) the 7-day intervention. To control for sea- son and time effects, the control group underwent laboratory assessments during the same month (November 2010). Long- term efficacy was assessed via online self-report questionnaires 1 month (Time 3) and 1 year (Time 4) postintervention.

All 21 participants completed physiological and self-report assessments at Time 1. One participant in the active group dropped out after the third day because he disliked the inter- vention. Ten participants in each group completed assessments at Time 2. Eight from each group completed assessments at Time 3 (1-month postintervention), whereas nine participants in the active group and eight in the control group completed assessments at Time 4 (1-year postintervention). Three of eight control participants received the Sudarshan Kriya yoga inter- vention between Times 3 and 4; therefore, their Time 4 data were excluded. No harm or unintended effects were reported for either group.


Read more | Journal of Traumatic Stress Published on behalf of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.