Meditation for Posttraumatic Stress (PTSD)
For years, mental health professionals pushed people to talk about their traumatic experiences before important self-calming and relaxation skills were in place, and, in too many instances, they made matters worse instead of better.
Happily, times have changed, and a vast new array of clinical research has shown us that mind-body techniques like guided meditation for PTSD, hypnosis, relaxation, PTSD guided imagery, cognitive behavioral therapy, acupoint tapping protocols such as EMDR and EFT, and other forms of targeted PTSD meditation are an ideal way to reduce symptoms and achieve deeper and speedier healing.
Much of this is spelled out in Belleruth Naparstek’s book on posttraumatic stress meditation, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal , also available as an audiobook .
We’re proud of the extraordinary collection of PTSD meditation resources we’ve assembled, based on this newfound knowledge. But first, a few words about the nature of posttraumatic stress and why these materials are so critical to success.
The symptoms of posttraumatic stress (also called PTSD or PTS) are painful, recurring and easily activated, so they must be managed with respect, sensitivity and skill. They can come from old wounds from childhood abuse or from a recent traumatic event – a tornado, a car crash, combat, domestic violence, an ICU stay, a difficult childbirth, sudden grievous loss or even observing horror second-hand as a journalist. A lot depends on the person - his or her inborn neurology and emotional resilience.
Regardless of what generated them, symptoms are essentially the same: flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, sleep and concentration problems, anxiety, panic attacks, emotional and even physical numbness, mental confusion, memory impairment, (sometimes amnesia), shame, grief, anguish, fury, irritability, temper, estrangement, alienation and profound loneliness.
It turns out that the biochemistry of survival that floods the bloodstream during trauma actually impedes language and cognition, while pumping up the more primitive, survival-based parts of the brain that process images, sensations, perceptions, emotions and kinetic movement.
This is why PTSD guided imagery and meditation, is the first line of defense for healing trauma, a best practice and treatment of choice – because it goes to exactly the parts of the brain where the trauma sits.
Other PTSD guided imagery of Belleruth’s that targets the symptoms and side effects of this condition are Panic Attacks, Healthful Sleep, Grief, Anger & Forgiveness, Heartbreak, Depression and Alcohol & Other Drugs. Her book explaining how and why PTSD guided imagery works, Invisible Heroes is a perfect accompaniment for those who like to know the reasons that a treatment tool can be effective.
These and other guided meditations for PTSD can be found in Belleruth’s 3-CD and download set, Guided Imagery for the Three Stages of Healing Trauma: Nine Meditations for PTS. Her War Trauma Remediation Kit is a special collection geared for military personnel and veterans.
For trauma that has occurred in childhood, and lingered or popped up in adulthood, Peter Levine, William DeFoore and Emmett & Sandra Miller offer sensitive clinically sound and effective ptsd meditations.
For learning to use the breath to achieve immediate calming and relaxation when anxiety gets triggered, nothing beats Andy Weil’s Breathing meditations.
And we all are big fans of Mary Sise’s acupoint tapping DVD as a perfect, fast-acting accompaniment to PTSD guided imagery and meditation.
We invite you to browse, listen to samples and find the voice and style that suit you. Welcome to the power of ptsd meditation and guided imagery, and the opening of a new chapter of strength and resilience in your life!