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Acupuncture for ADD

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Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing art that has been practiced in China for over 5,000 years. It helps to restore balance to the flow of vital energy known as qi and blood throughout the body.  For over four decades, acupuncture has gradually increased in popularity in the United States and now there are tens of thousands of licensed acupuncturists practicing this oriental therapy all over the union.  The huge popularity of acupuncture is reflected in the statistics of the US Food and Drug Administration which revealed that 12 million Americans have consulted with acupuncturists during the year 1993. Acupuncture is utilized to maintain and/or support good health, although there may be others who use it to relieve symptoms of ADD/ADHD as well as emotional conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Acupuncture background

A component of traditional Chinese medicine or TCM, acupuncture is often combined with other TCM modalities like meditation and Chinese herbal therapy to treat certain health conditions.  Acupuncture and the other modalities of TCM are grounded on the principle that the person’s mind and body are closely associated with each other.  TCM practitioners believe that certain parts of your body are linked by a vital energy known as Qi or Chi. This energy travels all over the body energizing the entire body in the process. Any blockages to the flow of will impact your health and give rise to disease, disorders and illnesses. Acupuncture’s objective is to restore the flow of Qi by removing the obstructions to its flow.  If you are sick, acupuncture will remove the blockages in the pathways where chi travels, helping your body to recover.

Qi travels over energy pathways known as meridians. These meridians connect to your internal organs. According to TCM, each person possesses a dozen primary meridians each associated with a certain major organ system in your body.  There are also 8 secondary meridians besides the 12 major ones. With acupuncture therapy, reed thin acupuncture needles are inserted into specific localized points to orient Qi flow through each of the concerned meridians.

There are certain suppositions on how acupuncture actually works. The two most popular theories go like these:

– when stimulated, the acupuncture points help the body produce endorphins and other “feel-good” chemicals in the body.

– the acupuncture points lie along important nerve centers in the body, and each of these points stimulates the nervous system in a unique way.

Whatever the case, the longstanding practice of acupuncture implies that it holds significant therapeutic benefits for a lot of people.

Exploring the process

The body has over 2,000 acupuncture points scattered across its surface.  The acupuncturist should be trained well enough to know what point to needle to bring about the desired outcome.  This may mean performing a uniquely TCM diagnostic process that often includes:

Questions to ascertain the patient’s health history and symptoms – the questions may be about the patient’s tolerance to cold or heat, sleep patterns and the patient’s eating habits. The answers will help the acupuncturist get a clearer understanding of the patient’s condition.

Examination of the patient’s pulse – in TCM, the pulse indicates to the acupuncturist the state of the patient’s health.  This examination is different from Western medicine wherein the doctor will merely check the speed of your pulse. The acupuncturist will determine the pulse’s rhythm and strength as well.

Examination of the patient’s tongue – TCM believes that the tongue of the patient can reveal a great deal of information about his/her health.  Therefore, the acupuncturist may want to observe it as well.

After this physical examination, the patient is asked to lie down and relax.  The acupuncturist then proceeds to insert needles in specific parts of the patient’s body. The needles should not cause pain at all. They are incredibly thin and small and so can only penetrate superficially into the skin.

If the patient feels a lot of pain when the needles are inserted, this means that the needles aren’t inserted properly. You may want to go a much more experienced acupuncturist the next time then. The most sensation you should experience is a slight pricking when a needle is inserted. The inserted needles are left in place for 20 minutes to a full hour. After that, the needles are removed and the patient can leave.

What to expect

If you are suffering from ADD/ADHD, your acupuncturist will need to concentrate on the areas important for the improvement of your condition.  The objective of acupuncture is to remove any obstacles to the flow of Qi and blood and this applies to ADD/ADHD conditions as well. This will mean getting a customized form of therapy that addresses your specific needs.

Usually it may take a number of sessions to receive any significant improvements to your ADD/ADHD symptoms. Your acupuncturist will give you an idea after your physical exams on how many sessions of acupuncture therapy you need to undergo and if there will be need for follow up treatments.

Finding a provider

Although there may be a lot of licensed acupuncturists these days, it may be difficult to find one who specializes in ADD/ADHD conditions.  You may find some helpful information from your doctor, your family and your friends especially the ones who have undergone it. You can do an online research for a licensed and specialized acupuncturist near your area.

Written by Valerie

April 18th, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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