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Research: Veterans learn to use yoga and meditation exercises to reconnect with their emotions

Vet­er­ans learn to use yoga and med­i­ta­tion exer­cis­es to recon­nect with their emo­tions (Wis­con­sin State Jour­nal):

Rich Low of Madi­son served as an infantry offi­cer in the Army in Iraq in 2005 and 2006, lead­ing some 280 com­bat mis­sions. When he came back from the ser­vice, he did­n’t think his expe­ri­ence affect­ed him in any major way. He had night­mares, and he star­tled eas­i­ly, but he chalked that up to just some­thing vet­er­ans live with.

Then he enrolled in a study he ini­tial­ly wrote off as “just some hip­pie thing,” where he learned about yoga breath­ing and med­i­ta­tion. A year lat­er, Low, 30, sums up his expe­ri­ence with two words: “It works.”

That’s the idea behind the study com­ing from The Cen­ter for Inves­ti­gat­ing Healthy Minds, at the Wais­man Cen­ter on the UW-Madi­son cam­pus. Researchers there, includ­ing asso­ciate sci­en­tist Emma Sep­pala, believe some­thing as sim­ple as breath­ing can change the lives of vet­er­ans return­ing from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

NBC inter­view with Emma Sep­pala: Here.

Link to Relat­ed Study: The effect of mind­ful­ness-based ther­a­py on anx­i­ety and depres­sion: A meta-ana­lyt­ic review (J Con­sult Clin Psy­chol). Please note this meta-analy­sis refers to pop­u­la­tion at large, not to vet­er­ans in par­tic­u­lar.


  • OBJECTIVE: Although mind­ful­ness-based ther­a­py has become a pop­u­lar treat­ment, lit­tle is known about its effi­ca­cy. There­fore, our objec­tive was to con­duct an effect size analy­sis of this pop­u­lar inter­ven­tion for anx­i­ety and mood symp­toms in clin­i­cal sam­ples.
  • METHOD:  We con­duct­ed a lit­er­a­ture search using PubMed, PsycIN­FO, the Cochrane Library, and man­u­al search­es. Our meta-analy­sis was based on 39 stud­ies total­ing 1,140 par­tic­i­pants receiv­ing mind­ful­ness-based ther­a­py for a range of con­di­tions, includ­ing can­cer, gen­er­al­ized anx­i­ety dis­or­der, depres­sion, and oth­er psy­chi­atric or med­ical con­di­tions.
  • RESULTS:  Effect size esti­mates sug­gest that mind­ful­ness-based ther­a­py was mod­er­ate­ly effec­tive for improv­ing anx­i­ety (Hedges’s g = 0.63) and mood symp­toms (Hedges’s g = 0.59) from pre- to post treat­ment in the over­all sam­ple. In patients with anx­i­ety and mood dis­or­ders, this inter­ven­tion was asso­ci­at­ed with effect sizes (Hedges’s g) of 0.97 and 0.95 for improv­ing anx­i­ety and mood symp­toms, respec­tive­ly. These effect sizes were robust, were unre­lat­ed to pub­li­ca­tion year or num­ber of treat­ment ses­sions, and were main­tained over fol­low-up.
  • CONCLUSIONS:  These results sug­gest that mind­ful­ness-based ther­a­py is a promis­ing inter­ven­tion for treat­ing anx­i­ety and mood prob­lems in clin­i­cal pop­u­la­tions.

To learn more, enjoy these relat­ed arti­cles on Stress and Med­i­ta­tion.

Source of pic:  Big­Stock­Pho­to

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