INDEPENDENT NEWS

Meditation reduces ADHD symptoms among students

Published: Mon 23 Feb 2009 10:24 AM
Press release
Transcendental Meditation reduces ADHD symptoms among students: Newly published study
Research recently published suggests that the simple mental technique of Transcendental Meditation may be a valuable adjunct in the treatment for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
This would be consistent with the recommendation, in September 2008, of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) that cognitive and behavioural programmes should be the first-line treatment for ADHD, both for pre-school and school age children.
Children taught Transcendental Meditation, according to the newly published research, showed improvements in attention, working memory, organisation, and behaviour regulation. The well established efficacy of this technique for reducing stress and improving mental and physical health, supports the claim of many doctors and educators that Transcendental Meditation would benefit not only ADHD suffers, but also their teachers and parents.
Derek Cassells, Head Teacher of a school in Lancashire that has used Transcendental Meditation as an integral part of the curriculum for 20 years, explains that the “profound physiological rest combined with inner awareness, which is easily and naturally achieved through Transcendental Meditation, is the basis of the neurological balance that helps pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties (SLDs), including dyslexia and ADHD, benefit more from the specialist teaching that they receive.”
Jenny Bullen, who had been teaching children with learning difficulties for 15 years, then started working with children who had learned Transcendental Meditation. She notes: “I began to see much quicker results than I had ever seen before. The special teaching strategies we had been using for years were really having a noticeable effect: the results were more marked and sustainable. Because Transcendental Meditation was reducing the distractibility in the children, not just on a temporary basis but actually within the child's physiology, it was possible to work productively with them and alleviate many of their difficulties. As Transcendental Meditation also helps increase real self esteem, children become more confident in their own abilities, and therefore more motivated through their own success.”
Improving children’s mental health
Recent studies, cited in the Daily Mail on 20 June 2007, reveal that one in ten youngsters in Britain between the ages of five and 16 has a "clinically recognisable" mental disorder, and that the number of teenagers with emotional and behavioural problems has doubled in a generation.
“Good mental health in childhood is essential to achieve resilience and maturity in adulthood,” says Nicholas Argyle MB BS MRCPsych FRANZCP, a psychiatrist who worked in Cambridge, London, and New York before moving to New Zealand. “Transcendental Meditation is an effective training to support the growing nervous system, nurturing the heart and the mind of the child. Early learning of the natural skill of transcending is a most valuable intervention to ensure children remain on the positive track of healthy development.”
In his recent review of scientific research on Transcendental Meditation*, Dr Roger Chalmers, GP in East Anglia, lists findings that support this view:
• Improved attention, perception, and mind-body co-ordination;
• Increased orderliness and integration of brain functioning;
• Reduced blood pressure in pre-hypertensive adolescents;
• Increased field independence (indicating greater ability to maintain broad comprehension while focusing sharply);
• Comprehensive benefits for mental health and well-being;
• Increased social maturity in college students;
• Reduced behaviour problems in school with decreased absenteeism, rule infractions, and suspension days;
• Settled, positive school atmosphere conducive to successful learning; and
• Increased harmony between students and teachers.
The specialists Derek Cassells, Jenny Bullen, and Nicholas Argyle, quoted above are available for interview.
Details of the newly published research, key facts, and sources of further information are provided at the bottom of this message.
* Available to download at http://www.t-m.org.uk/research.shtml.
Maharishi Foundation®, registered UK charity number 270157, is the only source of courses in
Transcendental Meditation™, a programme for the Development of Consciousness founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi®.
--
FACT SHEET
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
• The latest figures seem to suggest that around 5% of school children in the UK – about 366,000 – show symptoms of ADHD, which affects concentration and causes disruptive behaviour.
• One of the most popular drugs, Ritalin, was virtually unknown in Britain at the beginning of the 1990s, but over the past five years the number of prescriptions for children has rocketed by 102 per cent to 254,000 (http://www.mind.org.uk/Information/Booklets/Understanding/Understanding+ADHD.htm)
• The commonly used drugs for ADHD are stimulants (amphetamines). These drugs can cause persistent and negative side effects, including sleep disturbances, reduced appetite, weight loss, suppressed growth, and mood disorders. The side effects are frequently treated with additional medications to manage insomnia or mood swings. Almost none of the medications prescribed for insomnia or mood disturbances are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use with children.
• The long-term health effects of ADHD medications are not fully known, but evidence suggests risks of cardiac disorders and sudden death, liver damage, and psychiatric events. It has also been found that children on long-term medication have significantly higher rates of delinquency, substance use, and stunted physical growth.
Transcendental Meditation
• Transcendental Meditation is an effortless technique practised 10-20 minutes twice a day sitting comfortably with the eyes closed.
• Transcendental Meditation is not a religion or philosophy and does not involve any belief or change in lifestyle.
• Over 350 peer-reviewed research studies on Transcendental Meditation confirm a range of benefits for mind, body, and behaviour. For a printable research review, see http://www.t-m.org.uk/research.shtml.
• Several studies have compared the effects of different meditation practices and found that Transcendental Meditation provides deeper relaxation and is more effective at reducing anxiety, depression, and hypertension than other forms of meditation and relaxation. In addition, no other meditation practice shows the widespread coherence throughout all areas the brain that is seen with Transcendental Meditation.
• Transcendental Meditation as founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is taught in Great Britain only by the registered educational charity Maharishi Foundation: charity number 270157.
• More information on Transcendental Meditation can be obtained by calling 01695 51213 or visiting the links below.
Links:
http://knol.google.com/k/ jeanne-ball/adhd-medicate-or-meditate/2jcmu5j6auz6m/3#
http://www.ADHD-TM.org
http://www.AskTheDoctors.com
http://www.ConsciousnessBasedEducation.org.uk
http://t-m.org.uk

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