Enabling you and your family to heal in mind, body & spirit
Can Acupuncture Help ADD and ADHD - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

Can Acupuncture Help ADD and ADHD?

Can acupuncture help ADD and ADHD? Attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are so prevalent in society these days that an introduction is barely necessary?

These related disorders are categorised by symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness and by not completing tasks due to boredom.

Trouble sleeping, planning and regulating emotions are also symptoms that may accompany ADD or ADHD.

What causes ADD and ADHD?

Some researchers have found that pesticides, food allergies and heavy metal toxicity combined with the right genes as contributing factors to the diagnosis of ADD and ADHD.

A deficiency in certain amino acids which are precursors to neurotransmitters that affect these behaviours is also suspected to contribute to the symptoms of ADD and ADHD.

Exposure to toxic chemicals and trauma to the head are other potential causes.

Does Acupuncture Help ADD and ADHD?

Studies on acupuncture’s effectiveness on ADD/ADHD have mixed results. Some are showing more benefit than others.

Acupuncture encourages homoeostasis of the nervous system and endocrine system which means that it can be used to control hyperactivity efficiently. It also helps with circulation, digestion and immune system functioning which further adds to the effectiveness of the treatment.

One study with 155 participants of which 58 took Ritalin, and 97 received acupuncture treatments found that each group experienced the same success rate.

A difference arose, however, in how long the effectiveness of the treatments lasted once they were stopped. The acupuncture group had a success rate of 82% one month after treatments stopped while the Ritalin group was down to 32% one month later. (Becker, S. A., 2001)

Acupuncture can also ease anxiety and trouble sleeping. Acupuncture has been found to increase melatonin production by the body, which is one way it helps the body reach a deeper and more regenerative sleep.

As with just about any disorder or disease quality food and exercise are always helpful in managing symptoms.

How much therapies such as acupuncture can help is unique to each person, but the big news is that, unlike pharmaceuticals, these therapies are not going to come with harmful side effects.

In fact, because alternative therapies encourage the body into homoeostasis, there is often an improvement in overall health of the body,  a welcome side effect that makes these potentially promising therapies worth trying.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Does your child have ADHD? What have you tried to help with their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are granting: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy (http://constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement) for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
ADHD Treatment Options Without Drugs - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

ADHD Treatment Options Without Drugs

ADHD treatment options in conventional medicine are mainly limited to medications. There are some non-pharmacological therapies that may be helpful and have no adverse side effects.

Symptoms of ADHD

The three primary symptoms of ADHD are:

1. Attention deficit

We could describe this as a limited ability to concentrate. The child is usually easily distracted, and it will be difficult to get more than a few minutes of attention.

2, Hyperactivity

Continuous motor restlessness. The child does not have the ability to control his or her movements and needs to move all the time.

3. Impulsiveness

This symptom can be on two different levels: speech and motor. The child may have some difficulties in speaking or in completing a sentence. Speech therapy is beneficial.

Possible causes of ADHD may include allergies or sensitivities to foods or the environment (chemicals, perfumes, moulds, additives, milk, wheat, etc.), a susceptibility to neurodevelopment toxins (pesticides, heavy metals, plastic, etc.) or a traumatic birth.

ADHD Treatment Options

There is a range of ADHD treatment options available, which are very complementary to one another, that can help your child. These include the following:

1. Speech therapy

Training to help people with speech and language problems to speak more articulately.

2. Psychotherapy

Some psychologists specialise in children and youth, working with the specific issues related to ADHD.

3. Cranial Osteopathy and CranioSacral Therapy

Difficulties during gestation (prenatal), problems related to labour and/or delivery, may all compromise the different structures in the head and/or in the spine. They create some trigger points or tensions on the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord (the meninges).

These strains cause pressure and stimulation of specific areas of the brain and may cause to behaviour or concentration issues.

Also, a c-section birth means that the child has been born without experiencing the stress of a natural birth and certain reflexes and processes are not stimulated/ turned on.

How is it possible to affect the skull after birth?

The bones of the skull of a new born are not fused. The head needs to be able to distort during passage through the birth canal and then to grow and expand allowing for the brain to grow.

The skull is not completely formed until 9-18months after birth.

Restrictions due to tensions in the meninges and bones of the skull can impact the development of the brain.

When is it best to bring my child to be treated?

The younger your child is, the more efficient this treatment will be; however, the Osteopath and Craniosacral therapist can still bring improvements in toddlers. They will work with the kids as young as a few days old. Early treatment is very beneficial to make sure that no physical stress or strain within the body could cause any restrictions to the growth and development of the brain.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Does your child have ADHD? What have you tried to help with their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are granting: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy (http://constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement) for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
ADHD and Rhythmic Movement Training - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

ADHD and Rhythmic Movement Training

Rhythmic Movement Training is a movement based, primitive (infant or neonatal) reflex integration program that may help reduce ADHD symptoms.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is characterised by symptoms including inattention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour. These symptoms are associated with learning, behavioural and emotional problems. ADHD affects mostly children and some adults. 

Symptoms of ADHD

1. Inattention 

An individual who: wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty sustaining focus, and is disorganised. These problems are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension.

2. Hyperactivity 

An individual who seems to move about constantly, even in situations where this behaviour is not appropriate. For example excessively fidgets, taps, or talks. In adults, it may be extreme restlessness or need for constant activity.

3. Impulsivity 

An individual who can be reckless and appear impatient, and often disinhibited in social situations. They may find it difficult to wait, intruding on or interrupting others’ activities and blurting out answers to a question before it has been completed.

Primitive reflexes are automatic stereotypic movements directed from the brain stem. They are needed for survival and development in the womb and the early months of life. As a child transitions frequently into adulthood these reflexes disappear due to the development of the frontal lobes.

Rhythmic Movement Training

Rhythmic movement training involves gentle rocking and reflex integration movements that stimulate neural pathways and promote learning, emotional development, balance and ease of movement. A pilot study published in the journal of Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery showed that rhythmic therapy may be helpful in reducing some symptoms of ADHD.

Osteopathic Approach

Osteopathic treatment is a precise, gentle and restorative manipulative therapy that can incorporate rhythmic movement training and may assist with ADHD.  

For best results, osteopathic treatment should be carried out at as young an age as possible, while the body is still very malleable and ongoing growth can be influenced, and thus symptoms can be significantly improved. The younger the child, the quicker birth stresses may be resolved with treatment.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Does your child have ADHD? What have you tried to help with their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are granting: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy (http://constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement) for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
ADHD Drugs, Diet and Naturopathic Medicine - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

ADHD Drugs, Diet and Naturopathic Medicine

I recently watched a stand-up comedy special starring Norm MacDonald. He was commenting on his childhood, and how all he wanted to do while sitting in a classroom was to go outside and play with a big tree branch.

He then wondered about hyperactive kids today and their feelings about being stuck in a classroom with the addition of authority figures yelling, “Now we’re going to drug you.”

While this commentary is an oversimplification of the plight of modern kids, it does raise the question of whether or not medications are the only option when dealing with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Diagnosis

Researchers estimate that 5% of all Canadian children ages 3 to 9 fit the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD (1). Boys are more commonly affected. Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity, in both the classroom and at home, are the main symptoms of ADHD.

The recent changes to the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) now include details to help doctors identify ADHD in adults, and changes the previous age cutoff in children from 7 to 12 years old (2).

It is important to not jump to a quick diagnosis of ADHD, as many other disorders mimic it.

Autism and ADD / ADHD

Often, Children who are on the autism spectrum often have ADHD.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is often mistaken for ADHD. In ODD, children display angry and irritable mood, argumentative or defiant behaviour, or vindictiveness for at least six months.

Children and adults with ODD will direct their anger towards at least one person who is not a sibling and will have significant problems at work, in the classroom, or at home (3).

While children with ODD are more likely also to have a learning disability, the important issue here is to receive a thorough workup and diagnosis from a trained psychologist. An accurate diagnosis will ensure that appropriate treatment for you or your child.

ADHD Drugs

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that preschool children with ADHD receive behavioural therapy as a first line treatment.

In school children with ADHD, stimulant ADHD drugs like methylphenidate (aka Ritalin) and atomoxetine are considered first line treatment (4).

Common side effects of these ADHD drugs include reduced appetite and weight loss, problems sleeping, and stunted growth. Long-term use of methylphenidate can also lead to depletion of zinc in children with ADHD (5).

When supplemented with zinc + methylphenidate, children with ADHD in a 2004 study improved in teacher and parent rating scales compared to children taking placebo + methylphenidate (6).

Diet and Allergies

In a 2016 a retrospective study of around 4200 children in the Netherlands, researchers found that children with ADHD were more likely to be medicated for asthma, seasonal allergies, and eczema.

Furthermore, ADHD was deemed to be more common in children whose parents were taking medications for asthma and seasonal allergies (7).

In 2015, a systematic review of hypoallergenic diets for children with ADHD found a small but significant improvement in symptom severity (8).

Another 2015 study showed that supplementing fish oil into children’s diets for 16 weeks brought down both inflammatory markers and ADHD symptom severity (9).

Summary

The reality is that some people require ADHD drugs to control their symptoms.

A variety of naturopathic interventions can target the side effects of commonly prescribed ADHD medications, ADHD symptoms, and conditions often found alongside ADD / ADHD like allergies and digestive concerns.

Speak with your Naturopathic Doctor to find out which interventions are best suited for you or your child.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Does your child have ADHD? What have you tried to help their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are granting: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy (http://constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement) for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
ADD/ ADHD: 7 Ways you can reduce symptoms - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

ADD/ADHD: 7 Ways you can reduce symptoms

As we all know, there seems to currently be a continuing epidemic of ADD and ADHD, with more and more adults, children and youth being diagnosed with the disorder.

The symptoms of attention deficit, impulsiveness and restlessness can severely impact everyday life, and the ability to focus and to achieve whether at work or school.

The medical profession has few answers beyond medication, so I would like to offer some simple ways in which you can help to reduce or even resolve your symptoms.

1. Increase exercise

It has been shown that incorporating exercise into your everyday routine can significantly reduce symptoms.

I remember reading many years ago about Daly Thompson. He was an Olympic medalist in the decathlon in the 1980s. He was unable to focus at school and was doing badly academically until he was sent to a special school for ‘Troubled Children”.

The school was unique in that it provided several hours of Phys-ed classes every afternoon. His grades improved dramatically, and he commented that it was such a relief to be able to MOVE instead of being tied to a desk all day.

2. Address Food Allergies and Intolerances

As a natural allergist, I see many people, especially children, who’s ADD / ADHD is being triggered, at least in part, by what they are eating.

The common allergens I see are wheat, milk, nightshade vegetables (in particular tomato, bell peppers, potato), food additives/colours. It is possible, however, to react to any food that you are eating.

I had one notable case where the mother complained that her two-year-old was sleeping only a couple of hours a night, was a nightmare to handle during the day, being aggressive and confrontational. She was exhausted. Following removal of milk products and potatoes from his diet, he started sleeping 9 hours per night and became much better behaved during the day.

3. Nutrition and Real Food

“We are what we eat” – nothing could be truer.

Changing the diet to include more fresh vegetables, fewer sugars (processed grains, fruits, potato, candies, etc.) and little-processed foods can have a significant impact on ADD / ADHD symptoms. It also helps to ensure proper nutrition.

Supplementing the diet with Vit D, Vit B12 (fish, poultry, meat, eggs) and B6 (beef, poultry, organ meats), Omega 3 oils (fish / chia/flax / hemp, etc.), and zinc (nuts, beans, red meat, seafood) can also be beneficial.

It has also been shown to be helpful to eat more protein, especially at breakfast and lunch.

Talk to your naturopathic or functional medicine doctor or holistic nutritionist about the right nutrition for you or your child.

4. Mindfulness

This is about being able to be present in the here and now.

Even small children can benefit from mindfulness. It can be as simple as asking them to describe what they hear, smell or see at that moment, or what the food they are eating tastes/feels/smells/looks like, allowing them to connect.

For older youngsters and adults yoga and developing a meditation practice can be helpful.

5. Disconnecting and Unplugging

We all spend far too much time in front of screens, whether for work, school, or gaming and staying in touch with our friends and family.

In addition to the addictive nature of these devices and the fact that it removes us from reality, every electronic device emits its frequency, whether the TV, computer screen, laptop, gaming console, etc. Even after they are turned off, they continue to emit for upwards of an hour. Reducing screen time has been shown to assist with ADD / ADHD symptoms so try to build in other activities and games that do not require screen time.

6. Chemicals and Toxins

When choosing household cleaning products, body products, shampoos, etc. select those which are natural and unscented.

Consider seeking advice from your naturopathic or functional medicine doctor regarding the possibility of heavy metal toxicity such as mercury and lead and the ways that this can be resolved.

And finally.

7. Get out in Nature

Getting regular outdoor time has been shown to be extremely beneficial to those with ADD / ADHD.

I hope these suggestions assist you in controlling your ADD / ADD symptoms.

If you have any questions or simply want to know more, please contact me today.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Does your child have ADHD? What have you tried to help their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are granting: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy (http://constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement) for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
6 Things That May Impact ADHD - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

6 THINGS THAT MAY IMPACT ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or (ADHD) signs include inattention, hyperactivity and acting impulsively. The condition affects 5.3% of people under-18-year-olds, and two-thirds of those diagnosed continue to endure symptoms as adults. (1) About 6 percent of American adults report ADHD symptoms.

The conventional approach for treating ADHD is to prescribe stimulant type medications such as Ritalin. These medications in the short term help to contain symptoms and have also been shown to reduce the risk of road traffic accidents and suicide in teenagers (2)

The long-term benefits and side-effects of medication, however, are in question. In a 2017 study that followed more than 500 children with ADHD into adulthood, continued use of drugs was associated with repressed adult height but not with lessened symptoms of ADHD. (3) An earlier 2016 study found that children who take medication for ADHD (ADHD) show decreased bone density. (4)

Medications have their place in controlling acute symptoms of ADHD; however, they in no way tackle the underlying root cause of the condition.

So what is the root cause of ADHD?

Like any other complex condition, the cause of ADHD is multifactorial. I see this every day in my practice, and it reflected in the most recent scientific research.

If you or one of your children have ADHD below is a summary of ways researchers have found to be helpful in the prevention and treatment of ADHD.

Exercise is Medicine

Exercise can help adults better cope with ADHD symptoms. A 2016 study published by researchers at the University of Georgia found that after a single bout of exercise subjects had fewer feelings of confusion and more motivation to carry out tasks. (5)

An earlier study published in 2005 found that strenuous exercise can significantly improve problem behaviours such as restlessness, impulsivity and hyperactivity. (6)

Food is Information and Medicine

The food we eat is information for our genes. We all have genes that predispose us to develop certain conditions. If we eat food that is seen as unhealthy by our bodies, then this is going to trigger our genes.

A 2010 study published by researchers in Australia found an association between a “Western-style diet” and ADHD in teenagers. (7)

On the flip side eating a healthy diet can turn off our genes.

In a 2017 study published by researchers at the University of Barcelona children eating a “Mediterranean-style” diet were less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

A Mediterranean diet is high in omega three fats. In a 2014 study published by researchers at the Unversity of Gothenberg found omega three supplements can help children and adolescents who have ADHD. (8)

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is about being present. Many children and teenagers and even adults appear to be permanently connected to technology. Recent research has highlighted both the negative effects of technology and the benefits of reducing screen time for people with ADHD.

In a 2016 study published by the University of Bergen, researchers found that young men are at risk of being addicted to video games. The addiction appears to indicate an escape from ADHD. (9)

In a 2016 study published by the University of America, researchers found that adolescents with ADHD follow a less healthy lifestyle than teens without ADHD. The researchers suggested that ADHD teens may profit from improving lifestyle choices such as increasing water consumption, decreasing screen time and getting at least one hour of physical activity per day. (10)

Nature is Medicine

Spending time in nature can make anyone feel better, and this is also true for people with ADHD.

A 2011 study published by researchers at the University of Illinois of more than 400 children diagnosed with ADHD found a link between the children’s routine play environment and the severity of their symptoms. The researchers observed that those children who regularly play in outdoor settings with lots of grass and trees have milder ADHD symptoms than those who play indoors or in built outdoor environments. (11)

Environmental Triggers

Exposure to toxic chemicals has been linked with ADHD in children.

In a 2015 study published by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center researchers found an association between a commonly used household pesticide with ADHD in children and young teens. The association was stronger in boys than in girls. (12)

In a 2010 study published by the Association for Psychological Science researchers found an association between lead exposure and ADHD in children. (13)

Emotional Trauma

Past emotional trauma just like environmental triggers has been linked with ADHD.

In a 2016 study researchers found children who experience family and environmental stressors, and traumatic experiences, such as poverty, mental illness and exposure to violence, are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. (14)

Conclusion

Although this summary of recent research looking at the causes and treatment of ADHD is not exhaustive, it does highlight some different and exciting possibilities over and above medication. Unlike medicines, these approaches have zero side effects and are more concerned with treating the root cause of the condition.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Does your child have ADHD? What have you tried to help their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are granting: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy (http://constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement) for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
ADD, ADHD or is your child escaping reality - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

ADD, ADHD? Or is your child escaping reality?

Recently I treated a 13 yr old boy, who has the inner wisdom of Ghandi.

His mother was concerned about his apparent lack of focus at school, and how his self-esteem was so significantly affected by his poor marks.

He was bullied and, having a genuine sense of caring for those kids who would be blamed, and he believed that he needed to accept the responsibility of fault in the schoolyard as well as at home.

In sessions, we discussed how he saw his inner warrior. He realised that when he felt weak or powerless, his inner warrior had retreated to the ‘head in the clouds’ place, and as a result, he was left with a feeling of defeat and surrender.

Finding the Inner Warrior

When I asked him to describe his warrior, his response left me speechless.

This is indeed a moment in my practice when I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how very much I love what I do!

This young sage went on to describe a Samurai warrior. He held a golden sword with a dragon etched into the blade.

He said that when he swung the sword that it moved in an empowering way, not a destructive way, and it was in the name of justice, courage and strength.

Ultimately he said it was in the name of Love.

When I suggested that this young man might call his warrior home, to be present, he lit up with the knowledge that that is what he needed to do.

As it is with so many kids I treat, I can see the pattern of the “head in the clouds” and lack of focus as being a result of not wanting to be ‘present’ here in reality.

A place to escape

Some kids have anxiety around performance, where others want for escape from the classroom due to lack of interest or boredom.

Through my work with these children, I can see that they often, literally, make a choice to leave their bodies and connect with their ‘head in the clouds’ place of retreat.

As a result, they may appear to be daydreaming or in a fog. This can cause a sense of not belonging for these kids and can lead to low self-esteem, a sense of guilt, shame and self-blame for their lack of achievement.

By making these kids aware of the importance of breathing and other tools I share with these kids I teach them that they can make a conscious choice to be fully present, as opposed to ‘checking out’ to the cloud zone.

They soon realise that in doing so their marks improve and they find a greater sense of well-being. Ultimately they gain a sense of feeling grounded and can see that being present is a very cool place to be!

One young man was very aware of his head in the clouds place and described a sense of flying out of his body. His parents had recently separated, causing a lot of stress at home,  so it was a happier place for him to be.

When he realised he could bring this fun cloud place here in the present moment, he was more in control of his emotions and his anger reduced, and his focus and performance at school improved dramatically.

Where children, young people, and even adults are showing signs of ADD or ADHD, I always recommend looking at reasons why they might be making that choice, conscious or sub conscious to simply not be here in the present.

Finding ourselves

I believe that we are on a new pathway and each step we take, each career we move into, every relationship, every experience leads us even deeper into the understanding of who we truly are!

The steps are the building blocks of the ‘now’, and the ‘now’ is where we begin to blossom into our unique selves!

Want to know more, or discuss whether you or your child are only ‘checking out’?

Book a free meet and greet with me today.

Disclaimer

This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Does your child have ADHD? What have you tried to help their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are granting: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy (http://constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement) for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.