Richard G. Petty, MD

Yoga for Attention Deficit Disorder?

Apart from a sizeable number of pharmacological treatments coupled with psychological and family therapies, an enormous number of unorthodox treatments have been tried for attention deficit disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADD/ADHD). One of the best reviews was published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. I have the privilege of being a member of the Academy.

There have been some recent attempts to see if ADD/ADHD might be helped with yoga or meditation.

The first study came from Australia and was published in 2004. It was small: only eleven boys with ADHD were enrolled in a 20-session yoga class, but nonetheless, the results were encouraging. The yoga was done as an adjunct to conventional treatment with medications. The authors concluded that yoga increased concentration, promoted mental and physical discipline and induced confidence. The parents of the boys thought that the kids doing yoga were rather less hyperactive.

Another study has just been published from Heidelberg in Germany. The main paper is in German, but there is a short summary in English. This again was a pilot study, this time involving 19 children. These researchers felt that yoga practice, and in particular forward bends that improve breathing were the key to helping the children develop better concentration.

There is a nice summary of mainly peer-reviewed papers on research into yoga. This website doesn’t critically evaluate the research, but it’s a good starting point if you are interested in some of the research going on into the potential health benefits of yoga and some related practices.

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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