Meditation Heals Military Vets With PTSD


More than 350 studies have been published showing positive effects of transcendental meditation, including its ability to lower blood pressure, and help treat depression. But Rosenthal's research -- which looked at seven patients -- is one of only two others to evaluate the affects of meditation on soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

"When you see this dramatic impact, you have to be asking this question, why aren't we doing more of this," said Rosenthal.

George was among the first troops to enter Iraq in 2003. While mobilized to a town north of Baghdad, insurgents detonated a car packed with explosives next to the compound where George's unit was housed. According to George, that incident "kicked everything off."

"I started hearing the screams. Listening to all my friends suffer, that sticks in my mind," said George. "That's what really broke me."

George couldn't tell others about the event without tearing up and sweating.

"If I died in a motorcycle accident then, people would've thought, "Oh yeah, that's him." It would've been passive suicide," said George. "But once I had that clarity in my head, I could see what's happened to me since I came home."

A year into practicing meditation, George could calmly recount the incident in Iraq.

While meditation worked for George's diagnosis, the levels of the condition could differ depending on the soldier, said Newberg.

There's not enough evidence to suggest this practice could work for all soldiers with PTSD, said Newberg.

Still, George said that more soldiers would take to meditation if they knew of others who practice. George, who now works in part with Operation Warrior Wellness -- a program initiated by the David Lynch Foundation -- is now committed to get 30,000 veterans to practice meditation within the next three years.

"I know combat. I know what hell is. I know what it's like when you get home," said George.

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