August 4, 2011

Calming the Overactive Mind and Body

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Joseph V. Madia, MD By:

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ADHD responds well to transcendental meditation

(dailyRx News) Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) are fidgety - in mind and body. Researchers are discovering that these children respond well to an ancient brain calming system.

Transcendental meditation (TM) - sitting quietly and focusing on a mantra - has been used for centuries to create calm clarity. A new study shows this method is particularly helpful for kids with ADHD. It lessens symptoms and improves mental performance.

"Practice TM with your child - you'll both feel better!"

Researchers worked with 18 children aged 11-14 years who were diagnosed with ADHD and had learning disabilities around language - reading, writing and speaking. The study took place over a six-month period.

All of students were tested at the beginning of this pilot study and assigned to either a TM or "delayed-start" comparison group. The comparison group learned TM after three months. Both groups were tested at three and six months.

These tests were designed to measure brain function and performance. Electroencephalogram (EEG) tests were performed as the children completed computer exercises which required focus, attention, memory and impulse control.

Children who practiced TM throughout the study saw improved mental performance, brain processing and language skills, compared to the delayed start group. Overall cognitive function in the TM group was enhanced as well.

TM has long been recognized as a stress reliever. That was the reason researchers chose this method to test on children with ADHD. Meditation produces what's called mind-body "restful alertness." This state affects the areas of the brain that direct  arousal and hyperactivity, and thus helped the children to have better overall focus in attending to tasks.

This research was published in Mind & Brain, The Journal of Psychiatry.

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Reviewed by: 
Joseph V. Madia, MD
Review Date: 
August 2, 2011

Last Updated:
October 4, 2012