Yoga Meditation and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder

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More than 4 million children suffer from ADHD which is characterized mainly by an inability to maintain attention on non-stimulative activities along with a tendency towards impulsiveness and hyperactive behavior. Unfortunately, diagnosing ADHD is not an objective science at all and it is possible and even common to misdiagnose the disorder for a number of reasons. The condition causes children to develop stress which they internalize and suffer silently. This eventually expresses in several negative ways, including anger and becoming withdrawn.

Alarmingly, the most common drugs used to treat these symptoms are powerful narcotics that are normally used with adults. Not only do these drugs not cure the problem but very little if anything is known about the long term effects of this treatment. Many parents are understandably concerned about the effects on the natural development of their child’s brain and they are frustrated by the lack of information on any alternative treatments.

One such alternative treatment that has shown very positive and encouraging results is meditation therapy. Children with ADHD who practice meditation daily for short periods have shown remarkable results over relatively short periods of time. They show less stress and hyperactivity along with a greater ability to focus on independent activities like homework. Their organizational and planning abilities are improved as are their problem-solving skills, attention and memory resulting in better academic performance. These remarkable results are obtained from a simple and completely natural activity that merely requires children to attend ten minutes of quiet time.

Meditation doesn’t just treat the symptoms of ADHD but addresses the underlying causes directly, leading to permanent improvement. The technique is taught to children under school supervision and they sit relaxed in a darkened room, close their eyes and practice the meditation technique along with their teachers. At the heart of the technique is the ability to make the brain become quiet which is so foreign to a child with ADHD. At the same time, the brain is able to strengthen its circuits and connectedness, resulting in normal social interaction and improved ability to control impulsiveness.

Meditation techniques do not normally involve any philosophy, religion or lifestyle adjustments. They simply ask the practitioner to sit quietly for a few minutes minutes and settle down to a deep silence, in itself an alien experience for many of these children. Like any other meditation or yoga techniques, these should be practices under the guidance of a qualified instructor.

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