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Chapter 5

Mantram Repetition: An Evidence-Based Complementary Practice for Military Personnel and Veterans in the 21st Century

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Today in the digital age, with our advances in modern technology and communication, there are additional stressors for our military personnel and Veterans. Constant dangers exist both on and off the battlefield, unlike prior wars that had clearly-defined war zones. In addition, medical advances have assisted in saving the lives of many more gravely injured troops than ever previously possible. As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan come to an end, large numbers of service men and women are returning home with multiple injuries. This group of Veterans has significantly higher rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury than ever before reported. Although existing PTSD therapies have been found to be highly effective for many Veterans, there is a substantial minority unsatisfactorily treated. Mantram repetition, an innovative, complementary, evidence-based treatment, is proving to be successful for these new Veterans. When used regularly it helps with “road rage, impatience, anger, frustration, and being out of control.” A mantram is a brief, sacred word or phrase that embodies divine power or the greatest positive energy one can imagine (Easwaran, 2008a). Mantram repetition is a simple, quick, personal, portable, and private complementary practice that may be used as an adjunct to current treatments for PTSD. Growing research evidence supports mantram repetition's value for dissemination and adoption in the 21st century. This chapter summarizes Mantram Program research conducted from 2003 to 2014. It describes the health-related benefits of the Mantram Program in various populations. The current research focuses on benefits for managing psychological distress and promoting quality of life in Veterans. Future areas for research are suggested.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2014

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