Monday, October 4, 2010

'Mind Fitness' May Help Prevent PTSD

Can the brain be made more fit and therefore more likely to resist/recover from PTSD? That's the goal of a program called Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training or MMFT (pronounced "M-Fit").

According to the program's website, "Mind fitness can help individuals to enhance mental performance, support their body’s resilience to stress, and respond effectively to challenges rather than react habitually in ways that may undermine objectives."

As Georgetown University professor and MMFT creator Elizabeth Stanley says, the mindfulness taught by M-Fit increases "our bandwidth for what's happening right now."

The program is currently being tested by the Department of Defense to see if it can help makes troops more resilient and more adaptable. Stanley trained a pilot group of 35 Marines in 2008 and has now tested them upon their return. "The more the Marines practiced MMFT exercises, the more they improved their working memory capacity -- the ability to control attention over time -- and the more they experienced fewer negative emotions and more positive emotions," she said in a Georgetown University press release.

In addition to teaching MMFT to soldiers, the program also offers courses to military family members and to caregivers.

Read more about them at the links above.

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