MEDICAL SUMMARIES OF SUDARSHAN KRIYA
SKY Meditation uses cyclical, rhythmic patterns of breath to easily bring the mind and body into a state of meditation. Its effects have been studied in open and randomized trials, both in healthy populations and in populations with psychopathology.
Research suggests that SKY may reduce depression, anxiety, PTSD, stress 2,5,6,7,11,13 and addictive behaviors 4,12. It significantly increases feelings of well-being, optimism and mental focus 1,3 and improves emotion regulation 8,15. In addition, SKY is associated with enhanced antioxidant status and immune system function 4,8,9,10,16.
SKY has even been shown to positively impact rapid gene expression alterations 14 suggesting that the effects of SKY Meditation span all levels of the physiology from the DNA within our molecules to organ systems. Viewed together, research suggests that SKY meditation may strengthen both mind and body.
Stress Management for Law Enforcement Pilot Study – 06/03
Paradigm Consulting Group of Tulsa, Inc. ~ www.paradigmtulsa.org
In an effort to identify effective tools to combat stress, Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey decided to pilot the International Association for Human Values (IAHV)/ Art of Living Foundation (AOLF) Stress Management workshop with a cross section of MPD staff. This workshop has been presented in a wide variety of public and corporate settings around the world, and to police departments in Europe and Asia as a stress management/stress prevention tool. The current Washington, D.C., program was the first formal pilot program presented to police officers in the U.S.A.
The class was held at the department’s training facility from June 2, 2003 – June 5, 2003. Individuals selected for participation in the program were generally referred by supervisors based upon a perceived difficulty in dealing with personal or professional stress. Several participants were on restricted duty and/or anti-depressant medication, and a number of participants also appeared to demonstrate symptoms of grief and/or post-traumatic stress (due to a recent/pending divorce or the death of a loved one). The remaining participants believed they were sent to the program because their supervisor was either unable or unwilling to attend. Attendees included patrol officers (8), sergeants (6), lieutenants (6), civilian employees (7), and eight (8) individuals who did not identify rank.
The program was designed to teach concepts and practical techniques for reducing perceived stress levels and enhancing individual coping skills. Course content included a series of educational presentations designed to help individuals recognize and re-frame potentially stressful events, to make healthy lifestyle choices, and to increase commitment and focus in daily activity. It also included simple stretching (yoga) and meditation exercises, and the use of specific breathing techniques (Sudarshan Kriya and accompanying breathing practices) to reduce and prevent stress, increase lung capacity and deepen breathing, boost energy levels, increase concentration and mental clarity, and promote relaxation.
Paradigm Consulting Group of Tulsa, OK was contacted by the Art of Living Foundation to provide outside process and qualitative evaluation services, technical assistance in selecting and implementing pre-post measures of effectiveness, and to prepare a written report (Executive Summary).
Data analyses indicates the program was well received and successful in reducing the levels of stress and depression among this population. Results demonstrated statistically significant improvements on all selected measures. These included:
* Significant reductions in perceived stress levels (as measured by the Index of Clinical Stress).
* Significant reductions in depression (as measured by the State-Trait Depression Inventory).
* Significant improvement in the ability to fall and remain asleep, and to feel refreshed upon awakening (as measured by self-report surveys).
* Significant improvement in digestion (as measured by self-report surveys).
(Individuals were surveyed on quality and quantity of sleep as well as digestive disturbances, as these are common physical indicators of stress in police personnel.) Participants also reported (via satisfaction survey results and participant comments) enhanced feelings of well-being, improved focus, and an expectation that they would be better able to deal with daily stress once returning to their regular duties.
Stress has been shown to contribute to higher rates of illness and absenteeism among police personnel, which in turn increases both the work load of other employees and labor costs. It also contributes to depression, anxiety, and diminished concentration and reaction time. Results from this Stress/Self Management pilot program suggest that it has the potential to become a valuable tool for addressing such stress related problems (including stress related illness and stress leave time) within the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Through the introduction of Taiwan After-care Association, the IAHV Prison SMART was brought to the Taipei Tu-Chen Detention Center starting in March 2004. Up to November 2005, more than 1000 prisoners n have benefited from this program. It is now conducted regularly in Taipei Tu-Chen Detention Center and Taichung Detention Center.
The course happens once every month in Taipei Detention Center, with about 60 inmates in each course, while in Taichung Detention Center, there is a course once every two months with about 100 inmates in each course.
Effectiveness Study IAHV Prison Courses in Taiwan Feb. éˆ¥ï¿½ Nov. 2005 No. of Inmates in Survey: 604 | Summary of Research Table:
|Parameters||A: Much Better||B: Better||A+B||C: No Change||D: No Comment||Grand Total|
|Quality of Sleeping||138 (23%)||363(60%)||501(83%)||69(11%)||34(6%)||604 (100%)|
|Clarity in mind||172(28%)||355(59%)||527(87%)||38(7%)||39(6%)||604 (100%)|
|Physical Strength||168(28%)||331(55%)||499(83%)||67(11%)||37(6%)||603 (100%)*|
|Emotional Stability Calmer_Mind||195(32%)||326(54%)||521(86%)||49(8%)||34(6%)||604 (100%)|
|Health Status||144(24%)||342(56%)||486(81%)||60(10%)||57(10%)||603 (100%)*|
|Parameters||A: Much Less||B: Less||A+B||C: No Change||D: NO Comment||Grand Total|
|Emotion of Anger||211(35%)||306(51%)||517(86%)||25(4%)||62(10%)||604 (100%)|
|Emotion of Fear||196(32%)||295(49%)||491(81%)||37(6%)||76(13%)||604 (100%)|
Anxiety Study at Lancaster Violence Alternative Program
LA County Probation Camp for Violent Youth Offenders, January to June 2001
Study: The subjects were ages 13-18, and they were 707B offenders of violent crimes with deadly weapon, murder, rape, armed robbery, and terrorizing threats against others.
The course was taught over a period of one week for about 20–25 hours. These courses took place between January and April of 2001, with post-testing approximately eight weeks after instruction. Follow-up consisted of one-half hour of guided meditation and the breathing techniques taught on the course, conducted at bedtime three times a week.
Results: The result of this study showed a significant decrease in anxiety in every course, except one that had four participants. This would indicate that the course was successful with a variety of group sizes and a variety of teachers. Overall the numbers show that the decrease was statistically significant at the .004 level. This would lead one to the conclusion that in our population that the Sudarshan Kriya and Street Lights Program decreased anxiety, that in turn led to the decrease in anger, fear, and reactive behaviors that were previously reported. Number of minors in incident reports decreased significantly within the four-month period that these courses were taught. Staff reported there were no night-time disturbances on the evenings that the Sudarshan Kriya and meditations were conducted. These results were in spite of a change of director, a massive changeover in staffing, and significant deficits in staffing ratios during this time period. All of which are understood to increase the anxiety level of the detainees and affect the level of security.
Due to the success of the program, the directors from five other camps at Challenger Memorial Youth Center, where this program was being conducted, had all requested that this program be put into their camps. Further studies on larger numbers of subjects, with controls, are needed to confirm these findings.
“Wards who entered camp with their hard, angry composures and delinquent attitudes were transformed by the end of one week into happy, smiling youngsters. . . . In the 33 years of my probation experience I have never seen such responses.”
– William Richardson, Former Director of Los Angeles County V.A.P. Anger Management Program, Camp Michael Smith, Camp Francis Scobee, Lancaster, CA