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Transcendental Meditation decreases addiction, increases sense of security
by Global Good News staff writer
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4 December 2012
Dr William Stixrud, a clinical neuropsychologist, spoke to an audience of health professionals about using Transcendental Meditation (TM) to help combat addiction and addictive tendencies.
At a conference on Stress, Meditation, Addictions, and Self-Recovery, hosted by the Washington, DC Association of Health Professionals Practicing the Transcendental Meditation Program, Dr Stixrud talked about his area of expertise: teenagers with learning disabilities and social problems, and how Transcendental Meditation can benefit them.
'There are a lot of reasons to think that if we can get kids and young adults to practise TM on a regular basis we'll see a lot less chemical abuse, we'll see a lot less addiction, and kids who develop problems will be treated more effectively,' Dr Stixrud said.
He would know. Dr Stixrud has been in practice for over 25 years; he is adjunct faculty at the Children's National Medical Center and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences, and Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine.
He said, 'We know that Transcendental Meditation in kids improves various executive functions, improves self-regulation, self-control, improves sleep in college students, and improves the [behaviours] that we know put people at risk.'
Why does Transcendental Meditation help combat addictive tendencies? Dr Stixrud theorized that the practice makes people feel more secure and thus less likely to become overly stressed.
'One of the most useful things that I have learned is that if you've got a baby who is really securely attached to its mother, it's almost impossible to stress it,' he said.
A young baby who is securely attached to his mother may go to the pediatrician to get shots (inoculations), and may cry the whole time, 'but there is no elevation in stress hormones'.
A similar feeling of security develops with the practice of Transcendental Meditation, Dr Stixrud said.
'I think it is a very common experience of people when they start to meditate . . . they start to feel safer in their own skin, and they start to feel more secure. I think of it as a sense of inner safety that is a really key part of psychological development, of personal growth.'
See related articles:
∙ Using Transcendental Meditation to combat ADHD and addiction in young people: Dr William Stixrud
∙ Preventing addiction in vulnerable adolescents: Conference explores role of Transcendental Meditation
∙ What causes addictive behaviours? Neuropsychologist gives insights on stress, and an antidote
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