The majority of the world’s population will face trauma in their lifetimes, with a minority experiencing the full development of PTSD- post traumatic stress disorder. However, research has found that even without PTSD those who have experienced trauma will most likely suffer negative side effects of that trauma ongoing, especially if that trauma is untreated. Most people who develop a substance use disorder have experienced trauma and learned to cope with it through the use of drugs and alcohol. Traditional talk therapy and trauma specific therapy methods like EMDR- eye movement desensitization and reprocessing- have been shown to be immensely effective. Now, research suggests that practicing transcendental meditation can be helpful as well.
To transcend definitively means to “be or go beyond the range or limits of”. Transcendental meditation is a specific practice which focuses on transcendence, or going beyond one’s limitations. Few things can feel more limiting to the mind than trauma. Trauma can cause blockages to memory, impair social relations, prevent intimacy, and create a wealth of other side effects. Flashbacks, nightmares, hyperarousal, panic, and feel like the world exists within the repeated memory of traumatic events.
According to Good News Network, a group of female inmates who demonstrated high level symptoms of PTSD were tasked with practicing transcendental meditation, specifically. “After four months of practicing (the technique), the women inmates in the meditation group had significant reductions in total trauma symptoms, including intrust thoughts and hyperarousal,” the website reported.
How Transcendental Meditation Works For Trauma
Hyperarousal in trauma is the same instinct as the fight or flight response. The system involved in hyperarousal, the website explains, is “significantly decreased in its activity” during transcendental meditation. “Studies have shown that the physiologies of people who practice Transcendental Meditation naturally don’t react as sharply to stressful stimuli.” Meditation can help create a detachment between thought and physical reaction. By recognizing thoughts as thoughts and not facts, one can being to calm down and recognize where they are, that they are fine, and the moment will pass.
We believe that the practice of meditation along with other holistic and spiritual arts is essential for full recovery from addiction as well as mental health disorders. Avalon By THe Sea strives to create peace and tranquility in the lives of each of our clients. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs, call 1 (888) 958-7511 today.