Breathing-Based Meditation Decreases Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in U.S. Military Veterans: A Randomized Controlled Longitudinal Study
A growing body of evidence suggests meditation-based interventions have the potential to reduce symptoms and improve well-being (Marchand, 2013 for review; Mitchell et al., 2014). The Stanford University study entitled Breathing-Based Meditation Decreased Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in U.S. Military Veterans: A Randomized Controlled Longitudinal Study explores the effects of Sudarshan Kriya yoga, a meditation-based therapy, on U.S. military veterans with PTSD symptoms having served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We selected Sudarshan Kriya yoga because it has
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These include biases, emotional states, tiredness, moods, etc. of participants throughout the therapy (perhaps some of the participants were depressed and the therapy helped with their depression, not PTSD). The therapy was given over a seven-day period in the month of November (to control for seasonal effects) and participants reported on lasting effectiveness one month and one year after the study. These follow-ups through a period of time account for the longitudinal aspect of the study. Although seven days is enough time for someone to have a positive and profound experience, it is not enough time to represent a general cycle of emotional states or form an integrated life practice in order to continually experience low levels of PTSD symptoms thereafter. I would have spread the therapy out over two years at three times per week in order to account for this. However, this might be unrealistic or difficult due to financial reasons and commitment levels of participants. It could, though, be an application drawn from the study.
Another factor is that the participants were volunteers, so there could be biased beliefs within the sample. For example, some of the men may enjoy yoga or meditation and might psychologically position themselves to be in favor of the study’s positive outcome. Reversely, others may want to be rebellious and show that yoga is nothing more than a form of popular exercise, therefore