“As a Veteran I was looking for that missing piece of my recovery from injuries: TM is what I needed. The TM teachers took great care of me and my family. We now practise as a family and the benefits for all of us are incredible. We are more focused, calmer, and look forward to our meditation sessions.”
—Bruno Guevremont, CAF Veteran,
Invictus Games Ambassador, North Pole Explorer
Helping Veterans and Their Families Thrive:
An Innovative Approach to Family Well-Being
The Canadian Women’s Wellness Initiative has received funding from Veterans Affairs Canada, though the Veteran and Family Well-being Fund, to offer stress reduction training in the form of the Transcendental Meditation program to veterans and family members.
Any veteran or family member interested in learning about the use of the TM technique to manage stress can email CWWI for more information.
Who is eligible?
Funding for this program is open to Canadians honourably discharged from the Canadian military, have a veteran’s service card and are able to attend classes at one of our TM centres. Click here for the 6 available locations.
What is TM?
Transcendental Meditation is a stress-reduction tool that can be useful for individuals experiencing traumatic stress. TM is a simple, natural procedure that is easy to learn and enjoyable to practise. When practised on a regular basis, TM can bring relief from stress, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and insomnia, among other benefits. In short, TM improves a person’s overall perspective on life, while bringing benefits to every part of life.
TM is taught by a certified TM teacher in a course where participants attend 12 meetings over a period of 6 months. After learning TM, participants receive a lifetime of free follow-up with a certified TM teacher whenever they feel the need.
TM has many advantages as a stress reduction tool:
• It is easy to learn, and simple to practise in the comfort of the family home;
• TM is an individual practice and therefore is private and inconspicuous;
• TM is portable; it can be practised anywhere at any time;
• Learning TM doesn’t involve controlling the mind or concentration, which can be difficult for those suffering from flashbacks or intrusive thoughts;
• Family members can learn TM, so the whole family can heal;
• TM is taught by compassionate certified teachers with decades of teaching experience and some additional training for clients with PTS/Occupational Stress Injuries;
• Once learned, TM is a lifelong self-help tool for veterans and their families;
• Learning TM comes with a lifetime of free support, for continued growth and sustained impact;
• TM is an adjunct modality to support existing services and traditional medical protocols.
Steps in Learning TM
The TM course is taught to one person or one family at a time. The instruction is completely private and confidential and takes place in the teacher’s home office or in the local Transcendental Meditation centre. There are a minimum of 12 sessions over 6 months. Completing a short series of pre- and post-tests is also part of the program.
The steps in learning are:
• An information session introducing the program. (1.5 hours);
• Completion of a series of short pre- and post-tests. This is done online and can be completed at home or with the TM teacher. (20 minutes);
• Instruction over 4 consecutive days. (1.5 hours each day);
• A follow-up meeting 10 days after completion of the 4-day instruction. (1.5 hours);
• One meeting per month for 6 months (or a few more, depending on individual need) to ensure successful practice and outcomes. (1/2 – 1 hour);
• After learning TM, participants receive a lifetime of free follow-up with a certified TM teacher whenever they feel the need.
Veterans and family members who learned the TM technique in 2019-2020 experienced significant results. After just 12 weeks of regular meditation, on average, veterans experienced the following benefits:
Benefits of TM for Veterans
- 22% decrease in perceived stress
- 38.24% decrease in depression
- 45.24% decrease in anxiety
- 35.35% decrease in anger
Benefits for Family Members
- 23.08% decrease in perceived stress
- 25.42% decrease in depression
- 32.21% decrease in anxiety
- 35.69% decrease in anger
Comments from the Participants
As well as asking participants to complete quantitative measures, CWWI researchers asked participants to describe what they experienced as a result of three months of TM practice. Here are some of the responses:
“Physical PTSD pains have lessened and diminished in intensity.”
“I have more energy and drive; I look forward to being active. The only challenge has been due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which restricts my activities.”
“My mental energy has improved exponentially. My outlook is much more positive and I don’t feel the mental fatigue I did before. I feel more balanced and in control.”
“I sleep better and I have more energy when I meditate consistently.”
“I connect better with my wife – communicate better, moods are stable.”
“The most rewarding part of TM for me is my reduction in stress. As I have continued to practise, I have noticed how relaxed I am.”
“I am now (after 15 years!) on 1/3 of a dose of my anxiety medication.”
“Definitely positive impact in personal relationships. Big reduction in anger and violent reactivity.”
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