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.
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.