The mindfulness practices impact on several aspects of PTSD symptoms. An explanation of the neurobiology of mindfulness meditation is given in Wikipedia:
Van der Kolk and his team produced statistical evidence of the benefit of yoga and/or mindfulness meditation compared to other standard interventions for PTSD, such as DBT classes. Measurements were taken before the interventions were commenced, and at a standard follow-up time.
One of the key issues in the benefits of mindfulness techniques, according to van der Kolk, is that of Heart Rate Variability (HRV). The depth versus shallowness of breathing, and the length of the breath being significant factors.
High HRV indicates breathing patterns that are deeper and longer. Low HRV indicates shallow, rapid breaths.
EXAMPLES OF EEG READINGS SHOWING ALPHA, BETA, DELTA and THETA WAVES (BUT NOT GAMMA)
The graph below shows one person’s HRV before and after training in yoga and/or mindfulness techniques.
Yoga versus DBT pre-training and at follow up questionnaire
Yoga / Mindfulness meditation for PTSD
useful app for developing positive hrv
“Mycalmbeat” is a free iPhone app. It does the job simply, helps you train your breath to a high HRV. Once I got the hang of the rhythm, I didn’t need the app any more. The other one that was recommended, “Heartmath”, required a purchase of a plug-in device to monitor the HRV, which cost $129. Without that purchase, the app doesn’t seem to work.