Meditation can be so effective in treating post-traumatic stress victims (ESPT) such as the therapies already used today, according to a study conducted among former US soldiers, published on Friday in the journal Lancet Psychiatry.
ESPT can be given after a person is experiencing a traumatic experience, for example, death, violence or sexual assault.
It is characterized mainly by repetitive memories, nightmares, tries to avoid everything that remembers the event, states of irritability and depression.
It happens especially among the victims of the attacks and soldiers (It is estimated that 14% of the US military serving in Iraq or Afghanistan suffers from ESPT).
Among the current treatments, exposure therapy is remarkable. This consists in the gradual exposure of the person affected to situations, places, images, sensations, noises, smells … associated with the traumatic event, so that their body "become accustomed" does not react so intensely, reducing little by little stress.
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but this technique is painful for ESPT victims and between 30 and 45% of patients are dropping treatment, according to the study.
Researchers from three universities US have tried meditation in a study of 203 former soldiers affected.
The army, women and men were divided into three groups: A Practical Meditation, Second Exposure Therapy and the Third one received a theoretical course on ESPT.
60% of former soldiers who practiced 20 minutes Daily meditation have experienced a significant improvement of the symptoms and in this group were more that reached the end of the study than among those who were exposed to exposure therapy.
Meditation consists in concentrating the spirit on something concrete, such as breathing or an object, focus on the present moment, what is called the state of complete consciousness. This way, you can distance yourself from painful thoughts or feelings.
This practice "can be practiced on its own, virtually everywhere and at any time, without the need for specialized equipment or personalized support, "said Sanford Nidich, lead author of the study, for AFP.
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