Reduced Symptoms of PTSD

On 19 February, the peer reviewed scientific journal Psychological Reports published a study on college students in South Africa, entitled Reduction of PTSD in South African University Students Using Transcendental Meditation Practice. It showed that whereas the comparison group of students made no progress reducing PTSD during the 105-day study, 80% of students practicing Transcendental Meditation came out of PTSD. These results are very similar to earlier studies on other groups, confirming that TM is very effective at PTSD recovery and may indeed be the new gold standard.

New Study: 80% of Students Free of PTSD in 105 Days
with Transcendental Meditation


Reduced depression Students at Maharishi Institute who learned TM were free from depression within 15 days, compared with a non-TM group of students with PTSD at another school (University of Johannesburg) who showed no reduction in depression symptoms during the 135 days of study.


PTSD can be hidden Richard Peycke, Chairman of Maharishi Institute, explained that in South Africa up to 20 or 25 % of the students may have PTSD. He said, ‘Initially, we did not think that PTSD would be a problem, but after testing our students we realized that even though they may have learned to act like the general population, the inner stress is still there. And that stress blocks the learning process and impedes social development and success at work. We even found that the two years we tested the students, 30% of the entering classes had PTSD. We also found that within a few months, with careful regularity of checking and regular knowledge and experience lectures, and regularity of meditation, the students started easing out of PTSD’. Many students have no problems like this arising from their background. However, we estimate that when we combine the 20-30% with likely PTSD and another 20-30% in the at-risk category (elevated levels of PTSD symptoms), almost 50% of the entering students have had major background challenges increasing their levels of stress. This new study addresses the PTSD group directly, but both groups showed great improvement during the first 3-4 months and onward. David Shapiro, President of PTSD Relief Now Corp, said the symptoms of PTSD are the result of very traumatic and stressful events and they include flashbacks, trouble sleeping, hyper-vigilance, substance abuse, and so forth. PTSD is caused by any major traumatic event, so it is not limited to soldiers or refugees, but can include people living in poor and violent communities, communities with large outbreaks of disease like Ebola, terrorism, and so forth. ‘Gold standard’ treatment The prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a meta-analysis on 4 August 2015 that showed that the two most highly recommended treatments for PTSD, Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, only bring 1/3 of the US veterans out of PTSD, no matter how long they are implemented. This leads us to look for tools to improve the success rate. Summary of research on TM and PTSD Dr. Robert Herron’s study published in Military Medicine in 2017 showed 80% becoming free of PTSD, as measured by the standard self-test measure, the PCL-M. In 2011 and 2012 two studies were carried out on Congolese war refugees, with the second showing a large, clinically significant drop in symptoms even within 10 days. By the 30-day mark, they were free of PTSD symptoms. Dr. Sandy Nidich has done the most rigorous study on TM and PTSD, published in Lancet Psychiatry in November 2018. His study, which was random-assignment and compared TM and Prolonged Exposure (PE), the current gold standard for PTSD treatment, showed that TM was certainly not inferior to Prolonged Exposure and in fact over 60% of the TM group with PTSD showed clinically significant improvement during the three months of testing, compared with around 43% of the Veterans in the PE group.