Sunday, December 23rd, 2012 by

Transcendental Meditation Helps Cop With PTSD

PTSD, coupled with our fear and ignorance about it, is becoming one of the most pressing issues in law enforcement. We promise to “take care of our own” and we need to start doing it. Don’t be afraid, and don’t be ignorant about PTSD. Educate yourself about this problem so that we will truly never leave anyone behind!

Our thanks go out again to Deborah Louise Ortiz and her husband Michael for what they are doing to help cops. You might remember CopsAlive.com wrote about them in January as they began fundraising to produce the film “Code 9 Officer Needs Assistance”. They are continuing to work on their film and these two videos are their testimonials on Transcendental Meditation (TM) and about how it has helped them both as Michael manages his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

There are two versions of this excellent… testimonial video. Please watch both.

Deborah said “In the trailer for Code 9 – Officer Needs Assistance, you will probably remember the officer who was sitting in the dark. In the shadows. That retired officer is my husband. Since then he has decided to come out of the dark and stand proud in spite of his PTSD. He still fights hard everyday. Some days are better than others”.

The first video is about their personal story. The second video is the one that was shown at a David Lynch event. It is an edited version of the interview they did for the David Lynch Foundation. Deborah said that in the video “you can see my husband Michael. Transcendental Meditation has helped him tremendously. He still sees a therapist and has found that this works for him”.

Deborah’s message to other cops and their families: “Please I urge that you don’t give up on finding what works for you”.

 

In their book “The Resilient Warrior” Jerry Yellin and Dr. Sarina Grosswald also discuss the torment of PTSD, the concepts of resilience and the power of Transcendental Meditation for healing.

TM is not a philosophy nor a religion. According to the David Lynch Foundation over six million people of all ages, nationalities, and religions have learned the Transcendental Meditation technique during the past 50 years. TM practitioners report that the reduced stress and increased clarity of mind has helped them to appreciate life more fully—and, for religious people, to follow their religions more faithfully.

The David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 2005 to fund the implementation of scientifically proven stress-reducing modalities including Transcendental Meditation, for at-risk populations such as underserved inner-city students; veterans with PTSD and their families; American Indians suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high suicide rates; homeless men participating in reentry programs striving to overcome addictions; and incarcerated juveniles and adults.

The Foundation also funds university and medical school research to assess the effects of the program on academic performance, ADHD and other learning disorders, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, cardiovascular disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and diabetes.

The effectiveness of the Foundation’s programs have been researched at leading medical schools, including Harvard Medical School, Stanford Medical School, and Yale Medical School, and have received the endorsement of and support from private foundations and government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, General Motors Foundation, the Chrysler Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the American Indian Education Association, Indian Health Services, many school districts, and state departments of corrections.

According to the Maharishi Foundation USA which operates www.TM.org “to ensure maximum effectiveness, the Transcendental Meditation technique is taught through personalized instruction by a certified teacher in the same systematic way as the teachers of thousands of years ago.  Transcendental Meditation (TM) is a technique for avoiding distracting thoughts and promoting a state of relaxed awareness. The late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi derived TM from the ancient Vedic tradition of India. He brought the technique to the U.S. in the 1960s”.

“Transcendental Meditation (TM) refers to a specific form of mantra meditation called the Transcendental Meditation technique and an organization called the Transcendental Meditation movement.  The TM technique and TM movement were introduced in India in the mid-1950s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918–2008).  The TM technique involves the use of a sound or mantra and is practiced for 15–20 minutes twice per day. It is taught by certified teachers through a standard course of instruction and fees vary by country.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendental_Meditation

WebMD says that while meditating, the person practicing TM sits in a comfortable position with eyes closed. While sitting there, he or she silently repeats a mantra. A mantra is a meaningless sound from the Vedic tradition that’s been assigned by a certified instructor.

According to the National Center for PTSD at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: “Today, there are good treatments available for PTSD. When you have PTSD, dealing with the past can be hard. Instead of telling others how you feel, you may keep your feelings bottled up. But talking with a therapist can help you get better.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one type of counseling. It appears to be the most effective type of counseling for PTSD. The VA is providing two forms of cognitive behavioral therapy to Veterans with PTSD: Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy. To learn more about these types of therapy, see our fact sheets listed on the Treatment page.

There is also a similar kind of therapy called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) that is used for PTSD. Medications have also been shown to be effective. A type of drug known as a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is also used for depression, is effective for PTSD”.

Learn more by CLICKING HERE

The bottom line is that if you are suffering from PTSD, or know someone who is, you should learn as much as you can and seek assistance. PTSD is treatable, but not if you don’t try to deal with it. Fear and lack of information are your worst enemies in dealing with this problem.

CopsAlive is written to prompt discussions within our profession about the issues of law enforcement career survival. We invite you to share your opinions, ask questions and suggest topics for us in the Comment Box that is at the bottom of this article.

At The Law Enforcement Survival Institute (LESI) we train law enforcement officers to cope with stress and manage all the toxic effects and hidden dangers of a career in law enforcement.

Our “Armor Your Self™: How to Survive a Career in Law Enforcement” on-site training program is an eight hour, hands-on, “How to” seminar that helps police officers and other law enforcement professionals armor themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to survive their careers in police work. To learn more CLICK HERE

The concept of “True Blue Valor™” is where one law enforcement officer has to muster the courage to confront a peer who is slipping both professionally and personally and endangering themselves, their peers and the public. It takes a system of organizational support and professional leadership to support and foster the concept of courage and intervention. We will train your trainers to deliver this program to your agency.
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Our “Armor Your Agency™: How to Create a Healthy and Supportive Law Enforcement Agency” Program includes critical strategies that you will need to build a system of support and encouragement for a healthy and productive agency. To learn more CLICK HERE

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I’m John Marx, Founder of The Law Enforcement Survival Institute and the Editor of CopsAlive.com. Connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

CopsAlive.com was founded to provide information and strategies to help police officers successfully survive their careers. We help law enforcement officers and their agencies prepare for the risks that threaten their existence. Thank you for reading!

7 Comments

  • This YouTube video of one of America’s top doctors/psychiatrists does a good job of explaining how the use of this kind of meditation–TM–can really help those suffering from PTSD. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ckyv9sPExQM

    Almost every week you see stories in the media about the plight of veterans coming back from war with PTSD and how PTSD has damaged their lives. What you are doing–highlighting how the intense stress that is often involved in police work can also cause PTSD, and what can be done to help–is so important! And major kudos to Debbie Ortiz for her work and dedication to the documentary she’s creating about this.

  • I’m a long-time practitioner of Transcendental Meditation (TM). While this article is useful, it doesn’t begin to describe the wonderful refreshment brought about by the practice. The long-term benefits of TM happen because TM is a unique form of deep rest that stimulates and releases deep-rooted stresses that may have formed many years ago. It also quickly releases stresses incurred today, leaving us more independent of the challenges in our particular circumstances.

    Once TM is learned, we have the ability to practice it on our own, whenever we can fit it into our schedule (usually twice a day for 20 minutes each time). In terms of equipment, all we need is a chair. In terms of belief, we need none. Bring your skepticism; it will not interfere with learning and enjoying life more. TM is not religious–it is simply a mental technique.

    It takes two hours a day for four days to learn TM from a certified teacher, and alternative transcending techniques like Natural Stress Relief (NSR) can be learned in three days at home, learning it yourself from a very complete manual.

    The possibility of improving life for everyone, including those suffering from PTSD, is very exciting and very real. All one has to do is visit the websites for TM or NSR and learn more. It isn’t necessary to wait for the VA to complete its research studies before enjoying relief.

  • Hi David,

    Thank you very much for sharing more information about TM and its practice.

  • Hello Mario,

    Thank you for passing along further information for our readers to review.

  • Very meaningful article. Thanks! Readers might find this useful — how TM differs from other forms of meditation, including putative “alternative” methods: http://meditationasheville.blogspot.com/p/how-tm-compares.html

  • Gé van Gasteren
    June 25th, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I just saw this clip and, even though I’m a long-time TM practitioner, this is such a special video. No talking slick and nifty, just showing it plain and simple: “TM works.” I love it! Is this on Youtube, or could I put it there if it isn’t?

  • Hi,
    Thanks for your comment. This video is available on YouTube, just follow the link. The film they are producing is going to be part of an educational series and it’s not finished yet.

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