Seppala, E. M., Nitschke, J. B., Tudorascu, D. L., Hayes, A., Goldstein, M. R., Nguyen, D. T. H., Perlman, D., & Davidson, R. J. (2014). Breathing-based meditation decreases posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in U.S. military veterans: A randomized controlled longitudinal study. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 27, 397-405. doi:10.1002/jts.21936
This study examined the effects of a breathing-based meditation intervention, Sudarshan Kriya yoga, on PTSD outcome variables in U.S. male veterans of the Iraq or Afghanistan war. Laboratory measures of eye-blink startle and respiration rate were obtained before and after the intervention, as were self-report symptom measures. The active group showed reductions in PTSD scores, anxiety symptoms, and respiration rate, but the control group did not. Reductions in startle correlated with reductions in hyperarousal symptoms immediately postintervention. This longitudinal intervention study suggests there may be clinical utility for Sudarshan Kriya yoga for PTSD.