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Helping ADD/ADHD Children Get Well Using Safer and Natural Treatments

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Sadly, more and more children in the United States are being diagnosed with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) by their doctors. There are about 6% of girls and 11% of boys with this controversial condition according to the AACAP (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry). The most common pharmaceutical drug prescribed by Western physicians for ADHD is Ritalin, a very harmful drug that has extremely adverse side effects but still given nevertheless to younger and younger children. It has been shown that between 1991 and 1995, 106% of girls and 78% of boys younger than five years old diagnosed with ADHD were prescribed with stimulants by their doctors. This alarming penchant of doctors for prescribing toxic substances to their young patients has forced many parents to seek out alternative and safer treatments for their afflicted kids.

The United States which comprises just 5% of the world’s population somehow manages to consume 90% of the Ritalin sold in the global market. In other countries, particularly, in China, the symptoms of ADHD are addressed in quite a different manner. The Chinese, for example, think that certain ADHD symptoms are actually normal behavior of preschool children and when these children start school, this behavior can be modified. Of course, some children would find it difficult to adjust and this is the time tests for ADHD are administered to them. Instead of Ritalin, Chinese herbs, food elimination tests, and allergy desensitization are used to treat ADHD as they are deemed to be safe and effective treatments for this condition.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Based on the tenets of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), ADHD is the result of Kidney Yin deficiency. To address this deficit, Chinese herbal tonics loaded with Yin energy (Qi) are usually used. The most common formulas given for ADHD include remedies containing Dioscorea opposita, root of Acori graminei, Polygala radix, bark of the Phellodendron tree, Anemarrhena radix, and Rehmannia radix. A 1987 Chinese study was done in which 325 participating children all diagnosed with ADHD ranging from the ages of four to sixteen were given Jing Ling Extract, a Chinese herbal remedy. The conductors of the study observed that around 32% of the children was cured (no sign of ADHD for six months, negative coordinate movement test, vast improvement in academic performance, and the removal of all clinical symptoms). A similar study also done in China using the same Jing Ling formula showed a 93% effectiveness rate in 103 girls and 454 boys with ages four to sixteen. The formula was administered two times a day for half a year. About 26% of these children were cured.

In 1995 another Chinese study was conducted and a 94% rate of effectiveness rate was achieved including better academic performance, better attentiveness and lessened hyperactivity when the subjects were given an herbal formula known as Tiaoshen Liquor. Another Chinese study done in 1994 involving 67 hyperkinetic kids showed an 85% effectiveness rate when these children took an herbal syrup called Yishi syrup. The children showed soft neurological signs, better school records and a major improvement in their behavior.

Chinese herbal formulas will rarely have one active herb in them. Multiple herbs are mixed into a single tonic to neutralize the side effects and boost the potency of the medicine. No available research study is available using single herbs for the treatment of ADD/ADHD; the aforementioned studies showed great promise and are worthy reasons for performing future huge controlled trials.

Allergy Desensitization

A great number of clinical data point to the fact that a significant number of ADHD/ADD cases are related to environmental and food allergies. A lot of ADHD children also seem to suffer from a weak immune system attributable to environmental toxins. Probable autoimmune reactions against the neurotransmitters and nervous system were also observed using a diagnostic procedure known as the electrodermal technique. Immune reactions due to deficiency to amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients as well as food and environmental allergies lead to neurotransmitter deficiency and nervous system dysfunction. A new treatment procedure known as BioSET technique, involves a combination of food allergy management, allergy desensitization, Enzyme treatment, and detoxification of neurotoxin has shown great promise for the treatment of ADHD. These days, the BioSET technique is almost often used during the early phase of ADHD therapy. Once the stabilization of the immune system is achieved, other modalities such as nutritional supplementation and Chinese herbal medicine are utilized to address the deficiency in the body.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has shown to be an excellent adjunct therapy for children with ADD/ADHD. One type of acupuncture known as ear acupuncture has provided consistent results in the treatment of this condition.

Ear acupuncture or auriculotherapy has been practiced in China for thousands of years but only in the past 50 years been the time that the entire somatotopic and microsystem maps were developed. Ear acupuncture may be used as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with body acupuncture to address the condition via the activation of acupoints using devices such as laser, electricity, or needles. Because there are now other techniques for this procedure besides the needling process, acupuncture can work fine with children. Some acupuncturists will place acupuncture beads on their young patients’ ears. A study in which seven children participated involved the attachment of beads into the subjects’ ear. The bead was massaged for half a minute thrice a day. The outcomes showed a substantial improvement in behavior, better academic performance and a reduction of the ADHD symptoms of these children.

No substantial data about the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating ADHD has been found yet although auricular acupuncture for the treatment ADHD has provided encouraging results. It is recommended that numerous clinical studies be made on auricular acupuncture for the treatment of ADD/ADHD in the near future. In 1993, the NIH has actually financed a laser acupuncture study for the treatment of this condition.

It has been shown in some clinical researches that acupuncture combined with Chinese herbs can be utilized as an alternative treatment for ADHD. Primary treatment for mild cases of the condition can include nutritional supplements (amino acid therapy), ear acupuncture, Chinese herbs and BioSET technique. For severe cases, they can be used as adjunct therapies to help lower the required drug dosage and to neutralize the side effects of the drug.

Davis Acupuncture Clinic
2043 Anderson Rd
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 400-1239
http://www.davisacupuncturist.com/

Written by Valerie

December 30th, 2014 at 2:59 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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