Select U.S. Marine Corps members are testing the value of mindfulness training in “Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training,” or “M-Fit,” an 8-week course that includes meditation practices, yoga-type stretching and mindfulness exercises, according to an Associated Press article by Julie Watson.
Military leaders are undertaking the trial to determine whether the practice can improve troop performance and the ability to handle stress. Serious issues facing the military include high suicide rates both during and after service and the need for help with posttraumatic stress disorder among many veterans. A number of studies have found that mindfulness-based practices can improve the ability to respond to high-stress situations, to recover more quickly from them and to reduce the incidence of PTSD.
Results from the Marine Corps study should be available in the fall, according to the AP report. For more background information on the emerging use of mindfulness-based stress reduction practices among military personnel and veterans, see “Healing Wounded Warriors,” published in the October 2010 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal.