Are you fidgety, forgetful or frequently have trouble concentrating? These frustrating traits are landmark symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). ADD is a psychological condition associated with issues related to concentration and focus. A related condition, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), includes additional symptoms, including poor impulse control with regards to physical or verbal actions and hyperactivity.
While children are the most likely to be diagnosed with either of these conditions, usually before the age of seven, some may experience symptoms into adulthood and possibly all their lives. Children with one of these conditions may be seen as defiant or misbehaving, while adults can encounter difficulty on the job and in social settings where their responses may be misunderstood.
When a child is diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, parents may face stress and confusion. Conventional options include medication, which can have detrimental effects on young children and unknown effects as children taking medication for long periods grow into teenagers and adults. In addition, many parents are hesitant to diagnose young children and risk shaping their self-image as one of illness.
Adults diagnosed with ADD or ADHD may experience similar resistance to taking medication and wish for more natural alternatives. However, until recently, there were very few resources for those seeking alternative treatments to these complex conditions.
However, not treating these conditions in our youths can lead to troubling outcomes, including academic and cognitive difficulties during their formative years and even criminal involvement in adolescence and into adulthood. Clearly, ADD and ADHD cannot and should not be ignored.
What’s a parent to do?
Acupuncture, or the freeing of energy blocks throughout the body by moving Qi (life energy) along channels called meridians, is one alternative treatment of ADD and ADHD and has been used to treat a wide variety of physical and mental ailments for thousands of years.
According to researchers conducting a new study on the effectiveness of acupuncture on ADHD:
“Acupuncture can change brain activity [27-35]. A brain hemodynamic study conducted in Japan reported that acupuncture significantly decreased activity in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) . Hyperactivity in the DMPFC is associated with various psychiatric diseases with socio-emotional disturbances such as schizophrenia and ADHD. A fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography combined computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) study in Korea reported changes in brain glucose metabolism in specific brain areas following stimulation by acupuncture . Collectively, these findings suggest that acupuncture might be effective to treat ADHD.”
In Chinese medicine terms, ADD and ADHD are viewed as the results of disruption of the shen, or mind and spirit, of an individual, manifesting in both genetics and one’s metabolism. Acupuncture is a gentle, soothing modality that balances a patient’s system, taking into account the physical and mental/emotional needs of each person. When taken in conjunction with herbal remedies, auricular (ear) acupuncture can help to reduce hyperactivity and improve focus and concentration.
Ongoing treatment may include dietary recommendations as well we regular acupuncture to continue to restore energetic flow to the body and mind. Treatments for children and adults alike are gentle and focused, to deliver the strongest yet most soothing results possible. Acupuncture can also be used to supplement conventional treatments with no side effects.
While research on the application of acupuncture on ADD and ADHD patients is ongoing, consider that “ . . . there are no significant longitudinal studies measuring the mental health outcomes of children who’ve been treated with [Strattera],” a next-generation ADD and ADHD medication cleared by the FDA for use on children. In addition, according to The New York Times, drugs like Ritalin and Adderall, “when given to children over long periods of time . . . neither improve school achievement nor reduce behavior problems. The drugs can also have serious side effects, including stunting growth.” Acupuncture, on the other hand, is safe, calming, and free of side effects.
At Water’s Edge, we are 100% invested in your health and the health of your family. If you would like to discuss possible treatments for ADD and ADHD for yourself or your child, call us today to schedule a consultation. We’re here to serve you!
Please do not submit any Personal Health Information (PHI). Current Patients can reach us via phone at (206) 966-4522