Mind and Brain,The Journal of Psychiatry (Vol. 2, No 1) has reported that yes, yes, yes, symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) improve in students practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique. This is very good news for educators, students and parents.
Going to school, being with other children, and learning should be a joy for every child. However, thousands of American kids suffer from attention deficit disorder. Educators, physicians and parents have a strong desire to help these children reach their full potential. Unfortunately, difficulty sitting still for lessons and difficulty focusing on learning material get in the way of achievement. In addition, ADHD children are often “in trouble” with the teacher and quite frankly, school just isn’t a pleasant place for these kids. They want to do well but have great difficulty with learning.
Boys and girls display the symptoms of ADHD differently. Boys are more hyper-active while girls often day-dream the classroom hours away. The similarity between the boys and the girls is that all are unhappy with their performance and wish they could do better.
Although there are a number of techniques of meditation being taught today, Transcendental Meditation is by far the most researched in terms of its benefits for mental, physical, and social health. What is the TM technique?
TM is a simple mental technique, easy to learn and practice. Anyone (even a hyper-active child) can learn it within a few days and can begin to experience beneficial results almost immediately.
Over 500 scientific studies have been performed on TM at major American universities and research institutes from Harvard to UCLA and in more than 35 countries. The earliest research, published in 1970, showed that the entire physical system received very deep rest during the practice of TM. Heart rate slowed, breathing became slower, blood pressure lowered, and the metabolic rate dropped 15 percent or more within a few minutes after starting meditation as compared with a drop of about 10 percent during deep sleep.
Rest is a vital factor in healing. Rest allows the body to throw off stress and most efficiently heal itself. When the body is resting, all its energy and intelligence can be applied toward the healing process rather than being expended for other activities and processes.
Are you wondering how a hyper-active child can sit still and meditate? It does seem ironic, doesn’t it? Well, the experience of practicing the TM technique is pleasurable. It is easy and natural (although it must be learned from a trained teacher). Kids automatically settle down and enjoy their meditation. They also feel better when they begin to meditate regularly and it is human nature to gravitate to what makes us feel good.
“We chose the TM technique for this study because studies show that TM increases brain function and reduces stress. We wanted to know if it would have a similar effect in the case of ADHD, and if it did, would that also improve the symptoms of ADHD,” said principal investigator Sarina J. Grosswald, Ed.D., a George Washington University-trained cognitive learning specialist. Her comments were reported in Mind and Body magazine.
Dr. Grosswald added, “Because stress significantly compromises attention and all of the key executive functions such as inhibition, working memory, organization, and mental flexibility, it made sense that a technique that can reduce a child’s level of stress should also improve his or her cognitive functioning.”
“TM does not require concentration, controlling the mind or disciplined focus—challenges for anyone with ADHD,” said Dr. Grosswald. “What’s significant about these new findings,” Grosswald said, “is that among children who have difficulty with focus and attention, we see the same results. The fact that these children are able to do TM, and do it easily, shows us that this technique may be particularly well-suited for children with ADHD.”
This is exciting news for parents, children and educators. The TM technique is natural, easy to learn and highly effective. We hope that many of the people who are dealing with children with ADHD, or have children of their own with ADHD, will gravitate toward the implementation of this technique. It could make their lives, and the lives of their children, easier, more productive, less stressful and, ultimately, much happier.
Thanks for reading & have a great week,