STUDY: Stress relief following the Japanese earthquake-tsunami of 2011
February 4, 2016
A study on 171 residents of two cities in Japan affected by the 2011 tsunami and earthquake found that those who practiced the Transcendental Meditation technique had a significant reduction in stress.
Published in Psychological Reports: Mental & Physical Health, the study used a checklist of mental and physical symptoms and found a significant drop in total symptom score from pre-test to post-test.
“This was an extremely stressful time in Japan, with nearly 20,000 people losing their lives and 138,000 buildings destroyed,” said Michael Dillbeck, MUM trustee and a coauthor of the study together with six Japanese researchers.
“Participants in the study were those living in the two cities closest to the epicenter.”
Bringing down the stress levels of survivors
While other studies have shown reductions in stress, this is the first study to examine the effects of the Transcendental Meditation technique on individuals who are adjusting to life after a natural disaster.
The subjects were instructed between two and eight months after having experienced the earthquake. Their reduction in symptoms was assessed between 6 and 10 days after learning the Transcendental Meditation technique.
Those in the most extreme stress category went from about 40% at pre-test to just 5% at post-test among the disaster-area participants who learned the Transcendental Meditation technique while the control group went from 9% at pre-test to 10% at post-test.
Article by Jim Karpen, MUM