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Pediatricians prescribing mind-body therapy - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Pediatricians prescribing mind-body therapy

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BALTIMORE -

Damel Royster, 11, says school can cause stress but she knows how to deal with it.

Damel Royster: You know how something really irritates you? You just like (blows air out).

Reporter: Is that something you learned in class?

Damel Royster: Yes

The sixth-grader from Baltimore has practiced yoga and meditation for three years. She attends free classes after school. The extracurricular activities are becoming more popular at schools nationwide, examples of "mind-body therapy."

"They include biofeedback, hypnosis, meditation, yoga," said Dr. Erica Sibinga of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Sibinga is a pediatrician and a co-author of a new medical report that shows mind-body therapy can help children and teenagers overcome physical and emotional pain. It can also help with behavioral problems.

"Therapies that are directed at our minds' ability to help our whole person do better or be healthier," Sibinga said.

Researchers say the mind-body skills students learn in these classes can help them for the rest of their lives.

"When you have these tools when you're younger and you implement them when you're older, your life can be a lot smoother," said Jerron Wallace, a mindfulness and yoga teacher at the Holistic Life Foundation.

It's a tool Damel Royster already uses.

"I say, 'just breathe, just breathe.' It's not that serious," the sixth-grader said.

Doctors say parents are also embracing mind-body therapy as an alternative to giving their children medication.

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