Maandelijks archief: november 2015

‘Pijnstillende werking van meditatie is geen placebo-effect’

‘Pijnstillende werking van meditatie is geen placebo-effect’

De pijnstillende werking van meditatie is waarschijnlijk geen placebo-effect. Proefpersonen kunnen pijnprikkels met 27 procent verzachten door te mediteren volgende de zogenoemde mindfulness-methode. Als ze in plaats van meditatie een placebo-medicijn krijgen, zoals een zalfje, vermindert hun pijn met slechts 11 procent. Dat melden Amerikaanse onderzoekers in het wetenschappelijk tijdschriftJournal of Neuroscience.


Hitte-element
Bij het experiment werd bij 57 proefpersonen een soort hitte-element tegen de huid van hun onderbeen gedrukt. Het apparaatje had een temperatuur van 49 graden Celsius. Sommige deelnemers kregen vervolgens de opdracht om te mediteren, anderen kregen een placebo-zalfje toegediend. Ondertussen werden er hersenscans gemaakt van alle proefpersonen.Uit het onderzoek blijkt dat niet alleen de fysieke pijn van de mediterende deelnemers sterk afnam. De emotionele pijn die de proefpersonen voelden als gevolg van het hitte-element verminderde met 44 procent. Bij de proefpersonen die een zalfje kregen toegediend, nam het emotionele aspect van de pijn slechts met 13 procent af.

Hersengebieden
De meditatie activeerde ook andere hersengebieden dan het nepzalfje. De mindfulness-meditatie zorgde vooral voor activiteit in delen van het brein die met zelfcontrole te maken hebben. Bij proefpersonen die het placebo-effect ervoeren, werden vooral hersengebieden actief, die betrokken zijn bij pijnverwerking.

De pijnstillende werking van meditatie werd vier jaar geleden al aangetoond door dezelfde wetenschappers van het Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in de Verenigde Staten. Volgens hoofdonderzoeker Fadel Zeidan bewijst het nieuwe experiment dat de pijnstillende werking van mindfulness echt is, en verschilt van placebo-effecten.

“Deze studie toont voor het eerst aan dat mindfulness-meditatie op een heel andere manier voor pijnstilling zorgt dan een placebo-zalfje”, verklaart hij op nieuwssite ScienceDaily.

Behandeling
De resultaten van het onderzoek kunnen mogelijk worden gebruikt in de medische wereld. ”Gezien onze bevindingen gaan we ervan uit dat 20 minuten meditatie per dag genoeg is om pijnbestrijding te verbeteren”, aldus Zeidan. ”Omdat we gezonde proefpersonen hebben gebruikt, weten we echter nog niet of onze bevindingen ook gelden voor mensen met chronische pijn.”

Mindfulness is een methode van mediteren waarbij mensen zich zo veel mogelijk bewust worden van fysieke sensaties zonder erop te reageren.

Bron: NU.nl/Dennis Rijnvis

Mindful Parenting for ADHD

Mindful Parenting for ADHD: An Interview with Dr. Mark Bertin

Mark Bertin shares why we’re seeing more ADHD in our culture and a few mindfulness techniques parents can take home with them to help themselves and their kids.

Syda Productions/Dollar Photo Club

Syda Productions/Dollar Photo Club

One things we know about parenting is that while it can be incredibly rewarding at times, at other times it can be extremely challenging. Then you throw in a little attention deficit and hyperactivity with the kids or parents and life gets interesting. Mark Bertin, MD is a board certified developmental pediatrician and respected mindfulness teacher whose latest book is Mindful Parenting for ADHD: A Guide to Cultivating Calm, Reducing Stress, and Helping Children ThriveToday he is with us to talk about the unique challenges of parenting a child with ADHD, why we’re seeing more ADHD in our culture and a few specific techniques parents can take home with them today to help themselves and their kids.

Elisha: What are the unique challenges of parenting a child who has ADHD?

Mark: Being a parent is, of course, frequently stressful and full of uncertainty. As a developmental disorder that affects not just attention but life management skills in general, ADHD amps up that experience. When you have a child several years behind in organizing, planning, and self-management in general, that can affect everything from morning and bedtime routines to social and academic success. That’s hard for a child, and their parents too.

The challenge around ADHD becomes this: ADHD creates stress by making daily life harder. Too much stress makes us tired, burned out and less resilient. It makes flexible problem solving and communication harder. Which means, living with ADHD makes it harder to manage ADHD.

For any family, a significant step around ADHD is getting a handle on stress. It’s hard to start new routines, manage homework, make tough choices, and support a child who really does need more support than their peers. When more grounded, you’ll see things clearer, and stick easier to all the things you want to do.

That’s where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness isn’t a quick fix, but directly supports almost all of ADHD. It starts with stress management, getting out of that flooded, fight-or-flight driven cycle. It also mixes with behavioral management for ADHD—the ability to pause, refocus, and catch a child being successful is harder than it seems without practice. So is sticking to limits and routines, if we’re too stressed and distracted ourselves.

Elisha: How do we change ingrained parenting styles that aren’t working?

Children influence parenting style. In fact, ADHD tends to push parents away from the exact parenting approaches that best address ADHD.

Mark: One of the under-discussed parts of parenting in general, and certainly around ADHD, is how hard it is to change habits. We have ways of thinking and of doing things that begin in childhood. That even includes the fact that, for parents, children influence parenting style. In fact, ADHD tends to push parents away from the exact parenting approaches that best address ADHD.

Our habits become ingrained. They seem fixed, like who we are. There are actually things about ourselves that are more hard wired, but many habits, if we become aware of them in the first place, can change with effort. And a lot of how we handle behavioral issues, school, conversation—much of ADHD care itself—relies on habit and routine.

When a parent starts working with someone around ADHD, they on some level may be advising “yesterday you handled ADHD this way, tomorrow try it this way.” It might be a new behavioral plan, or homework schedule, or thinking differently about some aspect of ADHD. Whatever you’ve done before, now you’re going to try something new. That’s easier said than done. It’s another habit to change. And that’s another place mindfulness so uniquely supports ADHD care.

When we’re more aware, paying more attention, we notice habits. From there, we practice pausing and making more intentional choices. This might mean changing how we handle ADHD itself—or even ideas we have about ADHD, behavior, or motivation.

Elisha: There are so many things pulling our attention these days. Is ADHD a product of being too busy in the modern world?

Mark: ADHD has nothing to do with culture. It has been described for at least a century, and the incidence is similar around the world, in spite of books and articles that suggest otherwise. The rate of diagnosis varies, for lots of reasons (sometimes too high and sometimes too low), but that’s not the actual rate. The modern world may seem crazy and causes lots of distraction—but if you have adequate executive function, you feel harried, but you do fine. With ADHD, it becomes a struggle.

ADHD is a specific medical disorder of executive function, mental skills used to coordinate and manage our lives. It potentially affects pretty much anything that requires that type of management. Untreated ADHD has been shown to get in the way of academics, social development, safe driving, healthy sleep, and far more. It can be exacerbated by culture or lifestyle, but never caused by it.

Elisha: Kids with ADHD are quick to be pathologized, what are some of the positive aspects of a child with ADHD?

Mark: For anyone struggling anywhere in life, we need to value, identify, and build on strengths. And it’s an interesting and common idea to ask if ADHD itself has positive aspects. But while theories suggest ADHD might have benefits, research hasn’t much backed them up. Someone with ADHD always has strengths, but not because of their ADHD. Tying the ideas together sometimes causes people to avoid seeking support at all.

You can’t be diagnosed with ADHD unless your symptoms impact your life for the worse. For example, creative people with ADHD frequently struggle with being productive. They may have dozens of partially started projects and nothing finished. Taking care of ADHD allows them to be creative, but to finish what they start.

To quote ADHD researcher Dr. Russell Barkley, ADHD isn’t a disorder of not knowing what to do, it’s a disorder of not doing what you know. That’s a tough way to live. You know what you want to do, and don’t get there often enough.

Any child has many, many positive traits. ADHD may mask them with lots of unintentional misbehavior, for example, or academic struggles mislabeled as poor motivation instead of reflections of poor executive function. It wouldn’t be described as a “disorder” if it didn’t cause such intense problems. While we should always emphasize and develop strengths, we need to emphasize and manage the impact of ADHD too.

Elisha: In your book, you write about the toll ADHD can take on a parent. What are a few specific techniques that parents can apply right now to support themselves?

Mark: For any caretaker, you have to take time to care for yourself. Otherwise, the impact of stress, burnout, and exhaustion impact the people you’re trying to care for. That’s particularly vital around ADHD, because parenting ADHD has been linked to anxiety, depression, marital strife, and more.

Part of the solution is committing to whatever keeps you sane. That’s simple to say, not so simple to do, since demands pull you away from your plans. But prioritize something that gives you strength and hold on as well as you can.

Make sure you schedule time for a hobby or similar outlet. Find time for friends, and for your romantic partner. Schedule fun time with your kids. In the craziness of it all, stay in touch with something that makes you feel more at your best. And then, practice mindfulness. Mindfulness builds traits that help make managing life easier. It can be many things to many people, analogous to physical fitness. Taking a few minutes for a consistent formal practice of mindfulness helps with stress just like going to the gym helps you stay fit outside the gym.

More informal mindfulness makes a huge impact too. Left on its own, stress and chaos ramp up all day long. It’s draining. Pausing for a minute or two, observing fifteen breaths, attending as best as you can to the sensation of breathing—instead of all the chaotic stuff going on in and around you—can be a great way to let things settle for a moment. And then, it’s important to recognizing the insidious and broad impact of ADHD. ADHD is not specifically a school problem. If you realize the morning routine, and bedtime, and fighting over screen time, and play dates, and more are far too intense specifically because of ADHD, that’s where solutions start. Partnering with a professional who really understands ADHD, and who provides practical solutions for managing all of it, definitely reduces stress too.

Elisha: If you were sitting across the table from a parent who had a child with ADHD, what words of wisdom might you share with them?

Mark: The starting point for ADHD is a practical understanding of what it means to have a developmental delay in executive function. You don’t have to be a scientist, just a concerned parent. It’s related to mindfulness—seeing things as they are.

If someone can’t keep track of their school work, or misbehaves, it’s both frustrating and probably anxiety-provoking. But it also isn’t exactly their fault. They may require discipline, they still have to work hard, but they can’t overcome their ADHD through effort alone.

Knowing what to do starts with seeing how these situations relate to specific, executive-function based skills. So your brilliant twelve-year-old has the management skills of a seven-year-old. Or your fifteen-year-old cannot attend to what you are saying while he watches TV, so it feels like you are being ignored. That’s executive function.

Neither child is lazy or not caring, in spite of how it might look, they just don’t know how to take care of things otherwise. The solution is a non-judgmental approach toward catching up. Realizing that executive function impacts not only attention but organization, remembering, planning, prioritizing, time management, and more.

But more important than all that is this: Children with ADHD should thrive with the right supports. When you understand the cause of ADHD, you find solutions.

Elisha: Thank you so much Mark for all you sage wisdom, may this be a great support to many parents.

 

Bron: dit interview staat op website www.Mindul.org

Nieuw: training Mindfulness voor moeders

Mindfulness voor moeders

Hoe ga je om met de stress en uitdagingen binnen je werk en je gezin? En hoe houd je de balans tussen werk en privé in evenwicht? Een goede balans is een balans tussen inspanning en ontspanning. Wanneer het gaat om topsporters snappen wij dit meteen. Maar wanneer het onszelf betreft, is dat veel lastiger. Waarom putten wij ons eigen (mentale) lichaam helemaal uit? Niemand functioneert goed bij overbelasting. Als je been overbelast is, kun je niet goed lopen, als je hoofd overbelast is, kun je niet goed denken. Toch loop je met een overbelast been niet door, en doen we dit vaak wel met een overbelast hoofd. Waarom?

Bij veel mentale werkzaamheden zijn we steeds druk om het werk af te krijgen. Het punt is dat het nooit af is. Op het werk niet, maar ook thuis niet. Er is altijd meer tijd nodig dan dat er beschikbaar is. Hier zit de kern van het probleem, maar ook de oplossing:

Neem niet de hoeveelheid werk als uitgangspunt, maar de hoeveelheid tijd die je beschikbaar hebt. Bepaal voor jezelf hoeveel tijd je wilt werken en hoeveel tijd je wilt voor je gezin. Alleen jij kunt vaststellen wat voor jou een goede balans is. Bepaal daarbij ook hoeveel tijd je ingespannen bezig kunt en wilt zijn en hoeveel tijd je aan ontspanning nodig hebt om een gezonde balans te creëren.

In de training Mindfulness voor moeders leer je loslaten, accepteren en aanwezig te zijn bij alles wat zich aandient op een milde, vreugdevolle manier. Je leert je bewust te worden van wat echt belangrijk voor je is, zodat je veerkrachtige keuzes leert maken vanuit jezelf en niet vanuit emoties.

We kennen allemaal de neiging om stress en pijn te willen vermijden. Die weerstand levert meestal frustratie op. Dit vergroot de klachten alleen maar. Mindfulness voor moeders leert je deze gevoelens de ruimte te geven en tegelijkertijd je aandacht meer in het nu te brengen waardoor je leert loslaten. Mildheid en vriendelijkheid naar jezelf, je kinderen en anderen staat bij Mindfulness voor moeders centraal.

 

 

Mindfulness Praktijk Edith te Hennepe
06-15087237 |edith@mindfulness-praktijk.nl | Wageningen