Meditation with BioFeedback Helps Kids with Symptoms of ADD
By Toria Betson
Mom! I don’t want to go to yoga! I hate yoga! It’s stupid!
I thought yoga might help our son better cope with his emotions. Our beautiful and gifted son had been diagnosed with ADD, and like so many kids with attention deficit disorder, had frequent emotional outbursts and meltdowns. I wanted to try alternative therapies that would empower him with tools that come from within, tools he could use throughout his life, rather than resort to medication.
The first thing we tried was to take him to a professional for biofeedback. It gave us some hope, but the doctor moved when she was offered a better job.
Meditation helps with self-control, but there was no way he was going to sit still for it. Yoga was the best I could come up with, until I saw an advertisement for a home biofeedback system, called ‘the Journey to Wild Divine’. Biofeedback as a computer adventure? This could be something. My son is happiest when ‘plugged into’ a computer, or gaming system.
This isn’t an advertisement for a product. This is the system we have experience with, and we’ve found it invaluable in helping our son with focus, and with gaining control over his emotions. There may well be other home biofeedback systems that work as well.
The biofeedback meditation system we use comes with three finger sensors, which measure variations in your heart rate and skin conductance. Skin conductance measures physical and mental stress through the fluctuation of sweat gland activity on your finger tips. The software acts as a guide, helping you relax, raise energy, and control your breathing, through various activities.
Our son liked ‘playing’ it at first, but soon became bored with how slow everything was compared to his computer games. It’s not designed specifically for kids. And there was much whining and complaining about its new-agey, eastern philosophy, spiritual aspects, but I made him stick with it. Secretly, I was hoping the spiritual aspects would sink in. After using it, and the sequel program, five days a week for about a year, he no longer has emotional outbursts, and his focus has greatly improved!
Biofeedback has been useful for our entire family. I’ve found it to be an invaluable tool for managing pain. We’ve all become better at relaxing and letting go of stress. I’ve also found it to help with more easily achieving a meditative state.
I still would love my son to practice yoga, and I still haven’t found a cure for whining. But my, we have come a long way!
Read More About Biofeedback