To investigate whether a meditation technique which focuses on the experience of mental silence has a beneficial effect in improving ADHD behaviour of children.
Materials and Methods:
Sahaja Yoga Meditation (SYM) was used in an exploratory clinic for 48 children with ADHD and their parents in a 6–week programme of twice-weekly clinic meditation sessions and regular meditation at home.
Pre-post assessments showed significant improvements in the parents’ ratings of the core ADHD behaviours. Benefits were described by children at school (better concentration, less conflict) and at home (improved sleep pattern and anxiety). Parents reported feeling happier, less stressed and better able to manage their child’s behaviour.
The eastern concept of meditation is that of a state of mental silence characterised by the elimination of unnecessary thought, effortless attention on the present moment and alert awareness. Meditation is thus thought to be well suited to reduce the severity of the features that are typically impaired in children with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). There are several potential mechanisms of action of SYM on ADHD behaviours that will be discussed. Meditation has been suggested to relax the sympathetic nervous system by activating parasympathetic-limbic pathways. Improvements in hyperactivity may thus be related to the relaxation effect of meditation.