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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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