New Study on Meditative Mindfulness and ADHD

(This is cross-posted from my private practice site.), one of the sites in our Technology & Helping Kids blogroll, has an article by Dr. David Rabiner in which he reviews some new research on teaching mindfulness meditation to teens and adults, and how study participants with attentional problems were helped by learning and practicing these techniques. The article also provides this summary for how study participants were trained in mindfulness meditation. From the article:

– Mindfulness Training –

Mindfulness meditation is described as involving 3 basic steps: 1) bringing attention to an “attentional anchor” such as breathing; 2) noting that distraction occurs and letting go of the distraction; and, 3) refocusing back to the “attentional anchor”.

This sequence is repeated many times during the course of each meditative session. As the individual becomes better able to maintain focus on the attentional anchor, the notion of “paying attention to attention” is introduced and individuals are encouraged to bring their attention to the present moment frequently during the course of the day.

By directing one’s attention to the process of paying attention, to noticing notice when one becomes distracted, and to refocusing attention when distraction occurs, mindfulness meditation training can be thought of as an “attention training” program. As such, examining the impact of such training on individuals with ADHD becomes a very interesting question to pursue.

The results of the study are encouraging, with 78% of participants reporting an overall reduction in ADHD symptoms. This was only a pilot study, but it’s a good indicator that meditation and mindfulness may play a key role in mental health.

5 thoughts on “New Study on Meditative Mindfulness and ADHD

  1. My daughter was a bilingual special ed teacher/literacy coach/ESL specialist for about 9 years in Providence-she is studying for her Phd now-I am forwarding this to her because she felt that a lot of the students were over-medicated-her students were in middle school.

  2. Thanks, Joe! And since I haven’t gotten a chance yet, I’d like to officially welcome you to Kmareka. It’s great to have your participation.

  3. That’s nice of you,thanks.I notice this blog is aimed more at discussion than argument.I generally try to stick to things I know about.Believe me,if there is ever an entry on math,I’m not going there :).

  4. Something I even use with anxiety. I do feel this is a very positive therapy and should be explored first as opposed to that quick fix “pill”. My 6 year old has friends in class and those that we ride with that some are on meds that young. Parents need to wake up and question not only the doctor…but seek answers to alternatives.

    Another factor, boys need physical activity more than girls which helps them refocus. PBS aired an excellent segment and my reading research backs the theory that it is necessary to….as I say…shake the ants out of the pants and do a wild dance. My son and other have found it a good “release”.

    I agree Kiersten about Joe. I have read his blogging elsewhere and listened to him (I think) on Glover and liked what he said about the Illegal/criminal crimes.

  5. Suzanne -you did hear me on Helen Glover’s show-she runs a good show and never is abusive to people although she dumps calls that are obviously bigoted.She gets a lot of people who are very interesting on to interview.I think she is more interested in knowing the facts than pushing an agenda.I notice some other hosts are dismissive of callers who dare to disagree with them.So are some bloggers-it’s an attitude shown equally by those on the right and left.
    When my son was in grade school the principal allowed the boys to wrestle and fight during recess as long as it didn’t get out of hand.It was healthy release and when he left his replacement wanted them to “play nicely”,which didn’t work out.Sometimes I wonder how any of us survived childhood in the Fifties what with no bike helmets,”snowballs” made of frozen snow around cinder ash,and games like ringolevio or johnny on the pony.
    I call in to talk radio mainly when I hear innaccuracies presented as established fact and the resultant ratcheting up of emotion and invective.Not like I can necessarily cast the first stone in that department because I have put my mouth in motion without engaging my brain on a number of occasions.If I’m wrong,I’ll say so because I always have something to learn.

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