Guess who is singing “Om?” Those valiant men in the Marines are now practicing yoga exercises which include meditation techniques.
EVERYBODY’S DOING IT
If you are one of many individuals who practices a daily discipline of meditation, you are not alone. Now some of the toughest men in the world have added this discipline to their rigorous training routine.
WHY ARE THE MARINES PRACTICING MEDITATION?
It is termed “Mindfulness-Based Fitness Training” and hoped that this Buddhist-inspired training will help those in the Marine Corps increase their ability control the mind, focus the attention on the moment and their mind in the present. Right now suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder rates are high. These techniques are meant to help Marines better handle stress.
WHAT RESEARCH WAS CONDUCTED?
A research study was conducted in 2011 involving two groups of 160 Marines. One group used silent concentration and breathing techniques, under stress-induced situations, including screaming actors, controlled blasts and a setting created to look like an Afghanistan village.
The second group did not use these breathing and mindfulness techniques and were also exposed to the same combat stress-induced situation. Naval Medical Research Center scientist Douglas C. Johnson collected data and physical evidence of stress, blood and saliva samples, images of their brains and the results of problem-solving tests. The results of this research is expected to be published later this spring.
Another study by the same research scientist involves three separate control groups, each consisting of 80 Marines. One group will receive mindfulness-based training, one will practice sports psychology training techniques, and the third will be a control group. Those results will be published later this year.
- National Center for PTSD – US Department of Veterans Affairs
- Mental Health US Dept. of Veteran Affairs – PTSD
- Veterans statistics: PTSD, Depression, TBI, Suicide.
King, Lynda A.; King, Daniel W.; Fairbank, John A.; Keane, Terence M.; Adams, Gary A., Resilience–recovery factors in post-traumatic stress disorder among female and male Vietnam veterans: Hardiness, postwar social support, and additional stressful life events, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 74(2), Feb 1998, 420-434.
EB Blanchard, LC Kolb, TP Pallmeyer, RJ Gerardi, A psychophysiological study of post traumatic stress disorder in Vietnam veterans – Psychiatric Quarterly, 1982 – Springer
Marines expanding use of meditation training, Washington Times
U.S. Marine Corps members learn mindfulness meditation and yoga in pilot program to help reduce stress, Associated Press, Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 11:09 AM
This article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.
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