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ADHD can be caused by a number of factors. Often ADHD is a consequence of stress disrupting the normal functioning of the prefrontal cortex of the brain. However, sometimes there are deeper, more structural problems: ADHD can be linked to insufficient blood flow to the brain and an abnormally low EEG coherence.

Irrespective of what may be causing the problem, effortless transcending experienced during Transcendental Meditation can help, because it essentially restores the brain to its natural setting which effectively impacts all three factors at the same time; the prefrontal cortex, blood flow, and EEG coherence.

Research shows: 3-6 months of TM leads to significant reduction in ADHD symptoms.

In 2011, a study confirmed the effect of TM on ADHD in children. Despite the fact that it was only a small-scale pilot study, the results were so impressive that they were announced on several American television channels, as for example in this news item:

betaIn this study, children in the age group 11 to 14 years old with serious ADHD symptoms were randomly divided into a group that was immediately taught TM and a control group that had to wait 3 months before being was taught the technique.

The TM group showed a significant reduction in ADHD symptoms after only 3 months of TM practice, while no improvement was noticeable in the control group. After the control group was taught TM, a similar improvement occurred in that group after 3 months, while the first group continued to improve.

This is clearly visible in this graphic that shows the evolution of Theta/Beta ratio of brainwaves in children over a 6 month period. This ratio is unusually high in ADHD patients but is close to normal after 6 months of TM practice.

The students were able to focus better, were better able to control their impulses and improved their organisational skills as well as their problem-solving skills.  Their school results improved, and they showed less stress, anxiety and fewer anger outbursts.

A technique can only be effective if the children can actually make use of it. In the case of TM, this turned out to be no problem, as the children enjoyed practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique. In response to the question “how much do you enjoy your TM practice” the average answer score was 5.3 on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 7 (a lot).

The study was published in Mind & Brain, The Journal of Psychiatry (2011, Vol 2, No 1). Click here to read the full publication online (English, go to p78).

Prefrontal Cortex and Increased Blood Flow to the Brain:

The Prefrontal Cortex is known as the CEO of the brain because it’s responsible for most of our decision making as well as all the executive functions such as; impulse control, long-term planning, moral thought and deciding whether something is right or wrong.

In a stressful situation like being faced by a bear in the woods, information received by the brain bypasses the prefrontal cortex, enabling us to make an immediate, impulsive decision for survival.

If, however we are constantly exposed to stressful situations in everyday life and are experiencing chronic stress the prefrontal cortex becomes permanently disabled which can lead to ADHD.

The Power of Transcending for the Brain…

neauDuring Transcendental Meditation the body settles to a profound state of deep rest, which allows even the deepest tensions to be released and the pre frontal cortex of the brain to become re-enliven and more active.

This can be measured, for example, through neural imaging scans, which can measure the blood flow to the brain. The activity in the thalamus (related to bodily functions) significantly reduces, which is an indication of relaxation, while activity in the pre frontal cortex increases.

ADHD patients generally have an abnormally low blood flow to certain areas of the brain. TM practice facilitates an increase in blood flow and enlivens the prefrontal Cortex.

In the long term, after several weeks of TM practice, the prefrontal cortex will become more active even outside of mediation, and children often notice that they become less impulsive.

EEG Coherence:

In ADHD patients, the EEG coherence is abnormally low, which is another way to objectively measure that the brain is unable to function normally. EEG coherence is found to increase from TM practice. Transcending in essence is an experience of unity, and this allows the brain to start functioning normally (as one whole) again. This can be measured in real time, as is shown in the video below:

These changes in brainwaves remain unique to the experience of transcending as achieved through the TM technique. With other meditation and relaxation techniques this degree of high coherence has not been documented.