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Students with ADHD improved brain functioning through Transcendental Meditation: Brain expert's interview
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9 November 2013
The Excellence in Action page of Global Good News is featuring this article with photos.
Please click on the following link to read more about 'Stress, the brain, and student life: A researcher's reflections (Part 2)'.
The article features the second part of a recent interview with Fred Travis, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition at Maharishi University of Management. Dr. Travis is the author of more than 50 research papers that investigate the relation between brain wave patterns, conscious processes, states of consciousness, and meditation practice.
See Part 1 of the interview.
Following are a few excerpts from Part 2:
Does the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique work with people who have learning challenges such as ADHD—Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
Dr. Fred Travis:
Yes, we found that the TM technique had a positive effect on children diagnosed with ADHD in a 2011 study published in Mind & Brain, The Journal of Psychiatry. Dr. Sarina Grosswald and Dr. William Stixrud were coauthors on this research. In this study, 18 children aged 10-14 years, who attended a special private school for learning disorders, were randomly assigned to either learn the TM technique immediately or to continue their normal academic activities and learn after three months. . . .
In just six months, the study found that the brain functioning of the meditating students had moved from being solidly within clinical ADHD symptoms to just within normal brain functioning. What that means in practical terms is that they will be able to start self-regulating both physical and mental impulses. . . .
We also looked at a second EEG measure, called coherence, which reflects how the different parts of the brain are working together. From the baseline to six-month posttest, we saw significant increases in coherence in all parts of the brain in four frequency bands . . . . Greater integration of brain functioning was reflected in their cognitive functioning.
Is there anything else that we should know about how the brain functions to help us live a more successful, stress-free life?
Everyone should know that every experience changes the brain. Research shows that 70% of brain connections change every single day. This is called neuroplasticity. . . .
If we are constantly under stress, then the part of the brain that triggers the fight-or-flight response grows thicker, and we find ourselves reacting to small stresses as if they are life-threatening.
But—and this is the take-home point—if we add the experience of transcending* to our daily routine, then brain connections that support the experience of pure consciousness* are strengthened. This is the reality of growth to enlightenment. It happens every day with every session of the Transcendental Meditation technique.
Enjoy the full article on the Excellence in Action page.
Copyright © 2013 Maharishi Foundation USA
Global Good News comment:
* Transcending is the settling down of the mind to experience increasingly refined levels of the thinking process, eventually going beyond thought to experience pure awareness, the silent, unbounded field of pure consciousness (transcendental consciousness), the basis of the mind's activity. Transcendental Meditation promotes the effortless process of transcending in a systematic, reliable, repeatable manner.
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