Traditional treatment of ADHD and ADD (attention deficit disorder) is through the prescription of the stimulant methylphenidate (Ritalin): its production has increased seven times in the 1990s alone, and is continually administered to younger and younger patients. Parents are beginning to question the drugs side-effects and are asking for alternative approaches to ADHD.
In recent years, acupuncture has become a popular complementary therapy for children suffering from ADHD. Auricular acupuncture, specifically, has been proven most effective. The ear may be used alone or in combination with body acupuncture to solve countless illnesses through the stimulation of specific points on the body with micro-thin needles, electricity, laser, or other devices. Since the ear may be stimulated through noninvasive procedures, it is the favored treatment for children.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete system that evaluates each patient individually and addresses specifically to their personality, problems, and bodies. Treatment of ADHD through acupuncture and Oriental medicine is looked upon much differently than Western medicine, which sees ADHD as a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. According to Chinese medicine, ADHD is either due to insufficient nourishment of the spirit, spirit agitation by some type of heat, or orifice obstruction by static blood or phlegm. Static blood may also interfere with the normal engenderment of blood and hence lead to insufficient spirit nourishment.
Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are often the first choice for ADHD children because of the safe nature of the therapies. Since 1980s there have been numerous clinical trials using Chinese herbs alone to help ADHD children. Most of the trials reported encouraging results.
Parents interested in pursuing natural therapies for children suffering from ADHD should consult a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine or a registered acupuncturist.