yoga as therapy for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)

I’ve anticipated that yoga would be helpful for PTSD, and have been looking for clinical studies investigating that.  This study is precisely that, from Bessel van der Kolk‘s Trauma Center. (Van der Kolk is the leading authority on trauma treatment).  The summary:

64 women, 18-58 years old with chronic, treatment un-responsive PTSD, were studied in a randomized trial.  The Yoga Group exhibited statistically significant decreases in PTSD symptoms compared to the Control Group. 16 out of 31 (52%) of participants in the Yoga Group no longer met criteria for PTSD compared to 6 out of 29 (21%) in the Control Group.

Here’s a separate interview with van der Kolk, from the Integral Yoga Magazine.

Note:  many people think of PTSD as a disorder of soldiers returning from combat.  It is more prevalent in women, typically those who’ve undergone abuse.

meditation’s physiological changes to the brain

I’ve bumped into a number of articles recently around the how meditation makes physiological changes to the brain.

7 ways meditation can change the brain appeared recently in Forbes (of all places), posted at

This reminded me of the study a few years ago by Richard Davison at the U of Wisconsin, which got covered in the popular press as ‘the happiest man in the world‘. (That study unfortunately is not available online for free, but it’ll be at your local library).