NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many parents try to avoid giving drugs to children to treat physical and mental illnesses. Instead, some pediatricians are prescribing something different.

As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez explained, the main component is the mind.

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

“You know how something really irritates you? You just like (sigh), and we just like do the meditation,” Royster said.

The 6th grader from Baltimore, Maryland has practiced yoga and meditation for three years. She attends free classes after school.

The extracurricular activities are becoming more popular at schools nationwide, as examples of ‘mind-body therapy.’

Dr. Emily Sibinga is a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins University, and a co-author of a new medical report that shows mind-body therapy can help children and teenagers overcome physical and emotional pain, as well as behavioral problems.

“Therapies that are aimed at helping our minds help our sort of whole person do better or be healthier,” she said.

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Researchers said the mind-body skills that 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 much smoother,” Mindfulness and Yoga Teacher, Jerron Wallace said.

It’s a tool Damel already uses.

“I say ‘just breathe, just breathe’ it’s not that serious,” she said.

While sometimes medication will still be needed for some problems, doctors said mind-body therapy can be used in combination which may allow a lower, safer dose of medicine to be used.


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