Overview of outcome data of potential meditation training for soldier resilience

Mil Med. 2011 Nov;176(11):1232-42. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-11-00067.


In order to identify potential training to enhance comprehensive soldier fitness, this analysis searched MEDLINE via PubMed and elsewhere for 33 reasonably significant modalities, screening over 11,500 articles for relevance regarding soldier resilience. Evaluation of modalities that are exclusively educational or cognitive/behavioral in nature is deferred. Using the volume and quality of research over 40 parameters distributed among the five domains of resilience (physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and family life), these data allow culling of most of the meditative modalities and discrimination among the remaining techniques. The resulting order of merit is Transcendental Meditation, mindfulness, and progressive muscle relaxation. Transcendental Meditation, mindfulness, and progressive muscle relaxation, in that order, have the most supporting data. Fortuitously, they also represent a cross section of the domain of techniques regarded as meditation, stress management, or relaxation, with three very different mechanisms of action. They are suitable potential options for improving soldier resilience.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Meditation
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Mind-Body Therapies*
  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Occupational Health
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / prevention & control
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*
  • United States