Meditation can help improve symptoms in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Dr. Ramesh Manocha told the World Psychiatric Association conference in Melbourne, Australia this week.
The Australia-based study in 48 children aged under 12 diagnosed with ADHD found that meditation led to an average 35% reduction in symptom severity over six weeks, and enabled many to reduce their medication.
Improvements occurred in behavior, self-esteem levels of anxiety, and in sleeping patterns.
Children said they could concentrate better and had less conflict at school.
Their parents were happier too, and experienced less stress.
The meditation approach, involving Sahaja yoga, used visualization, music and contact with nature along with individual meditation instruction twice a week. Additionally, the children meditated twice a day at home.
“Six were able to go off medication and their behaviour normalised, 12 halved their medication and another group reduced it by about one-quarter,” Manocha says.
Children reported that they were able to control impulses that in the past they had known were inappropriate but which they’d been unable to keep in check.
The study has been published in the journal Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry.