Culbert, T. (2017). Perspectives on Technology-Assisted Relaxation Approaches to Support Mind-Body Skills Practice in Children and Teens: Clinical Experience and Commentary. Children, 4, 20.
It has been well-established that a variety of mind-body (MB) techniques, including yoga, mental imagery, hypnosis, biofeedback, and meditation, are effective at addressing symptoms such as pain, anxiety, nausea, and insomnia, as well as helping with a wide variety of medical, emotional, and behavioral issues in pediatric populations. In addition, MB skills can also be health promoting in the long-term, and with regular practice, could potentially contribute to longer attention spans, social skills, emotional regulation, and enhanced immune system functioning. Importantly, the benefits accrued from MB skills are largely dose dependent, meaning that individuals who practice with some consistency tend to benefit the most, both in the short- and long-term. However, clinical experience suggests that for busy patients, the regular practice of MB skills can be challenging and treatment adherence commonly becomes an issue. This commentary reviews the concept of technology assisted relaxation as an engaging and effective option to enhance treatment adherence (i.e., daily practice) for pediatric patients, for whom MB skills have been recommended to address physical and mental health challenges.
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