Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Managing ADD without Medications. Is It Really Possible?

Sailboat: Painting by Dimitri Karailias
A series of paintings of a talented autistic teenager
Dimitri Karailias presented at The Art of life CHC

"Essentially when you spend a lot of time meditating, the brain shows a pattern of feeling safe in the world and more comfortable in approaching people and situations, and less vigilant and afraid, which is more associated with the right hemisphere."
~ Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director for the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.
Source: Stanford studies monks' meditation, compassion: Medical research

Mindfulness and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

When it comes to child behaviour, including how children should initiate, respond to and participate in learning and play activities, there is no universal guide and playbook. However, in the current age, it seems like ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) have become commonplace terms attempting to pin complex child behaviour into a psychiatric definition. When did we start identifying certain child behaviour as problematic, and moreover, when did we turn a behavioural problem into a medical one?

A child, having a sensitive and rapidly developing brain and personality, should be approached with the utmost care, gentleness and calmness. All children and teenagers require a stable, nurturing and safe environment to experiment and sometimes act out their grievances at the world, at themselves, peers and parents. Hence, we have to be very careful not to try to push medications and therapies, striving to get rid of unwanted behavioural characteristics.

The modern health community recommends a combination of counseling, life style change and medications to manage ADHD symptoms. However, will the approaches proposed by mental health organizations effectively transform these behaviour issues into positive behavioural outcomes, or just suppress natural but atypical development?

There is, however, a much more gentle, non-invasive, non-interfering tool available to children and their parents, without any long-term side effects, but only life-long benefits: Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy!

Meditation Science

Mindfulness-based Meditation derives from the ancient Buddhist tradition of meditation and has been adapted specifically for ADD/ADHD youngsters in the form of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy.

By sustained effort and regular practice, participants fall in to a state of non-judgmental awareness of the inner and outer world. This is a much-desired, advantageous position from which many struggles lose their intensity, bringing in clarity and ability to face the world, without over-stressing the consciousness, brain and nervous system.

The more this ability improves, the better we will be able to glide through the storms of life. And this is accessible to any human being of any age through Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction therapy – MBSR.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Therapy

The physical benefits are numerous, as the body thrives much better when the mind is at peace. Functional MRI scans of the brain have revealed that “when you spend a lot of time meditating, the brain shows a pattern of feeling safe in the world and more comfortable in approaching people and situations, and less vigilant and afraid.”  [Source: Stanford studies monks' meditation, compassion: Medical research]

When it comes to helping children with ADD/ADHD, the responsibility lies with parents to stretch all of their cognitive and intuitive faculties in order to really understand the underlying causes of their children's actions.

Mindful parenting is a form of mindfulness training and is defined  defined by Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction founder Jon Kabat-Zinn as: "paying attention to your child and your parenting in a particular way: intentionally, here and now, and non-judgmentally" [ Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, by Myla Kabat-zinn and Jon Kabat-Zinn, 1997].

Mindful Parenting

In Mindful Parenting, parents learn to pay attention to their children non-judgmentally, increase awareness of the present moment with their child, and reduce automatic (negative) reactions to the child (Lehtonen and Bögels, submitted) [Source: The Effectiveness of Mindfulness Training for Children with ADHD and Mindful Parenting for their Parents].

This training will help parents bring in more patience and understanding into the relationship with their children, creating a more peaceful and stable home environment.

Meanwhile, through specialized mindfulness training, children will be learning to focus and self-regulate. There is no doubt, that the benefits increase tremendously when parents and children practice mindfulness together.

Multidisciplinary Program for Children and Families

The Art of Life Community Health Centre is pioneering a multidisciplinary ADD/ADHD diagnostics and management program for children and their parents, based exclusively on natural remedies and methods involving:
  • Detailed computer diagnostic of the microelements, neuromediators and vitamins deficiencies in the body;
  • Homeopathic treatment program;
  • Cellular level detoxification;
  • Mindfulness Based Behavioural Therapy for children;
  • Mindful Parenting program for their parents.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program,  Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Art of Life Community Health Centre 8-week Mindfulness Based courses

Three 8-week Mindfulness Based courses start on Thursday, September 11th at 7:00 p.m. with FREE introduction:
  • Mindfulness Based program for teens for managing ADD/ADHD without medications. 
  • Mindful Parenting, aimed at effectively teaching parents to handle the intensity of raising youths with ADD/ADHD.
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program for general public.
The Art of Life Community Health Centre

885 Don Mills Road, Suite 121, Toronto Ontario

phone: 416-449-6747.


Get a map and/or directions:
885 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Ontario
At the North-East corner of Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue East
Entrance to the free parking is from Gervais Drive via Wynford Drive

Taking public transit?
Take the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line to the Eglinton station and transfer to the Eglinton East (route 34) bus. Get off at Don Mills Road.
Or, take the Bloor-Danforth subway line to the Pape station and transfer to the Don Mills (route 25) bus. Get off at Wynford Drive.

Our neigbours are the Ontario Science Centre and Celestica International Inc. manufacturing site in Toronto, Ontario.

Please come, meet our doctors, ask questions and learn about our Centre.

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