ADD (attention-deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention-deficit-hyperactive disorder) are some of the most common childhood behavioral problems in the United States. Difficulty controlling one’s behavior and an inability to stay focused and concentrate are the main symptoms of ADD; on the other hand, hyperactivity is ADHD’s main characteristic symptom.
ADD & ADHD have three categories. They are:
The preponderance of inattentiveness – this is mainly an ADD trait. In this case, the person is unable to properly control his/her attention and is less likely to be emotionally impulsive and hyper.
The preponderance of hyper-activeness – impulsiveness is the main characteristic of this type of ADD/ADHD which is the most widely known symptom of these two conditions.
A combination of inattentiveness and hyper-activeness and impulsiveness – this is the most common type of ADD-ADHD and the sufferer shows a blend of the two above-mentioned categories.
What causes ADD & ADHD?
Modern medicine still does not know what is really causing ADD & ADHD although it has determined several contributing factors for these two conditions. Suspected culprits include food additives, consumption of sugar, environmental factors (such as exposure to chemicals such as lead), and genetic factors.
ADD & ADHD symptoms and signs
Symptoms and signs of impulsivity include:
-Difficulty waiting in line or waiting for things
-Saying whatever is on their mind and not being able to comprehend the concept of inappropriate comments
-Constantly interrupting others
Symptoms and sings of hyperactivity include:
-Difficulty accomplishing silent tasks
-Constantly in motion
-Constantly moving around and inability to physically sit still
Symptoms and signs of inattentiveness include:
-Difficulty processing information and following instructions
-Finding it very hard to come back to reality, constantly imagining things, and daydreaming
-Getting bored easily
-Having difficulty staying organized and losing items most of the time
-Having difficulty learning something new and in focusing attention
-Inability to grasp details of directions, instructions, and concepts – gets distracted very easily.
The Western Conventional Modes of Treatment for ADD & ADHD
Dietary modifications, psychotherapy, and drugs are the most common ways of treating ADD/ADHD conventionally. The treatments focus on proper management of the symptoms. With regards to drugs, stimulants such as Ritalin are the most commonly prescribed medication given to ADD and ADHD patients. There are also patients who are prescribed with non-stimulants to help control their impulsive and inattentive conditions.
Acupuncture Treatment for ADD & ADHD
If you’re reading this, it’s highly likely that you already have tried some type of Western medicine for ADD or ADHD. Now it’s time to talk about Chinese medicine and how it can help treat the symptoms of ADD and ADHD.
Acupuncture is just one component of Chinese Medicine, an ancient medical system and tradition that integrates the tension releasing therapy of qi gong, nutrition, Tui Na or Chinese medical massage, Chinese herbal medicine, and acupuncture in order to treat health conditions.
The theory that good health is derived from a proper balance in the body is at the heart of Chinese medicine. We may suffer from an imbalance in our body due to various factors that include emotional tension, genetics, quality of sleep, diet, injury, or lifestyle. Every modality of Chinese medicine is geared towards restoring balance in the person’s body.
Acupuncture works on the idea of acupuncture meridians or channels of energy. These channels are networks where life energy known as qi or chi runs through. They run throughout the body and their function is to transport energy and nutrients all over the body. Discomfort, pain, and illness develop when the normal and free flow of chi is blocked or stagnates in the body. To restore the normal flow of nutrients, blood, and chi, acupuncture needles are inserted into the affected meridians.
One of the basic principles of Chinese medicine is the theory of yin and yang.
What is Yin and Yang?
For some acupuncturists, they like to think of yin as a provider of nourishment and calmness that the body needs to make it rest and relax. Yin is the force in nature that is associated with nurturing, slowness and coolness.
On the other hand, yang is the energizing force of the body. It is the force that brings energy enabling us to have blood pumped into our body via the heart, allowing us to move, get up and go, and to breathe among many other functions. Yang is associated with destruction, movement and heat.
In order to attain ideal health, we need a proper balance of yin and yang in our body. However, from time to time, this balance is disrupted; sometimes the yin predominates and sometimes it’s the yang that does so. In the case of ADD/ADHD, it’s the yang that predominates. The overabundance of yang in the body causes the person to become overactive leading to the conditions of ADD and ADHD.
Using Chinese herbs and acupuncture, practitioners of Chinese medicine in Walla Walla aim to normalize ADD and ADHD symptoms by lowering yang in the body and increasing yin at the same time; the outcomes of the treatment should be a lesser intake of pharmaceutical medications, clearer focus and more balanced emotions of the patient.
What to Expect from Chinese Medicine
During the initial session, the acupuncturist will spend a significant amount of time inquiring and knowing the life of the patient. He will try to determine how ADD/ADHD affects the patient’s body. The practitioner also needs to know how the condition began, how long the patient had it, what helps it, what worsens the condition, and the means used by the patient to try to resolve the condition. After that, the acupuncturist will commence treatment. The needles used for treatment are extremely slender and they are inserted into acupoints that are determined during diagnosis of the condition. The needles are left in the skin for 20 minutes to an hour; most of the time, the patients fall asleep during the procedure.
Afterwards, the needles are removed and the acupuncturist will perform a light massage on the patient to finish the treatment.
Acupuncture is a very safe procedure for all kinds of people, even for very young children.