Friday, April 05, 2013
One in 88 American children currently suffer from Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the face of this epidemic, a growing number of children with ASD are finding relief through the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique—a simple, effortless meditation practiced 15 to 20 minutes twice daily. The TM technique is an effective tool for managing high stress levels and improving overall health, as shown by than 340 peer-reviewed studies conducted at research centers includingHarvard, UCLA, and Stanford.
That's why physicians like Norman Rosenthal , M.D., are prescribing TM practice for children with ASD. Rosenthal is the author of the NY Times bestselling book Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation. In the book, he discusses the role that TM practice can play for those with ASD:
"On a theoretical level, how might TM be helping these people with ASD? They clearly have trouble understanding the emotions and expectations of others, which makes interaction stressful and withdrawal understandable. They fear novelty, unexpected situations, and having to adapt to situations in which they don't have control. As with so many other people, TM appears to reduce their stress and anxiety, making it easier for them to venture out, try new things, and learn new skills.
"In addition, it is well known that in people with ASD, there is impaired prefrontal cortex (PFC) function. As we know, the PFC is crucial for making good decisions and judgments. In many situations TM seems to boost PFC functioning, perhaps by reducing stress. This might also explain why people with ASD become more willing to explore new environments and behaviors after they start to meditate."
The TM technique is a simple, natural, effortless procedure practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. Extensive peer-reviewed research studies have found that TM reduces stress and anxiety, improves learning ability, and promotes wellness for mind and body.
The TM technique is available in the USA through Maharishi Foundation USA, a federally recognized non-profit educational organization. Through partnerships with other non-profit organizations and foundations, full TM scholarships have been given to more than 250,000 at-risk children, veterans suffering from PTSD, homeless people, and others.
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