Tag Archives: ADHD

Chinese Herbs, Acupuncture, and Other Therapies Work Well in the Cure of ADHD

In the United States, the most common diagnosis given to children today is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) this disorder affects about 5 percent of girls and 10 percent of boys in grade-school years. From 1991 – 1998, the sale of Ritalin (methylphenidate), a pharmaceutical stimulant increased by 700 percent. An alarming trend has been set in which this drug is prescribed to younger and younger children. Information gathered from certain States suggests that during the years 1991 and 1995, there was an increase in the prescription of stimulants for kids below the age of 5 (for girls, an increase of 107 percent and for boys, 78 percent). This trend of early medication causes a lot of concern for American parents about the drug’s side effect to their young children. Because of this more and more people are seeking safe alternative approaches to ADHD.

Understanding that ADHD is deemed a problem only in the US is the first step towards a a safe and effective alternative therapy for this “condition”. The population of the US comprises just 5 percent of the world’s population but it accounts for 90% of total Ritalin use globally. ADHD is handled quite differently In most countries of the world. The Chinese, for example, consider some of the symptoms of ADHD as just normal behavior of preschool children, when they reach the age of six or seven, their behavior changes especially when they start going to school. Children experiencing difficulties changing their behavior are given test for ADHD. Because of the safe nature of Chinese herbs and allergy desensitization, they are usually the first treatment given to ADHD children. Allergy desensitization and food elimination therapy have demonstrated to work quite well in the treatment of ADHD. Several clinical trials also show Chinese herbs can help ADHD children. An overwhelming number of these trials suggest encouraging outcomes.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

ADHD from the standpoint of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), is the result of Kidney Yin deficiency. Chinese herbal tonics with Yin energy are typically prescribed. Herbs such as Dioscorea opposite, root of Acori graminei, root of Polygara, bark of Phellodendron, root of Anemarrhena, and root of Rehmannia are frequently used. In 1987, a Chinese study headed by Zhang was conducted involving 326 children with ages ranging 4 – 16. They were given an herbal formula called Jing Ling Extract. The children took the extract two times a day for three months. The study showed that almost 35 percent of the children were cured (no recurring symptoms for six months, coordinate movement tests were negative, marked improvement in school performance, and disappearance of all clinical symptoms). The rate of effectiveness was almost 95 percent including improved cases. In 1989, another study (a separate open trial) also headed by Zhang was conducted that also tested a similar formula, Jing Ling Pill. The study involved the participation of 103 girls and 454 boys for a total of 557 children ages ranging 4 – 16. For six months they were given this pill two times each day. Results reveal that 144 children were cured (25.8 percent) and the rate of effectiveness of the pill was 92.8 percent.

Another study (open randomly assigned trial) performed in 1990, headed by Huang and Zhang compared a drug known as methylphenidate with a Chinese herbal formula. The drug was given to subjects for one to three months two times a day at a dose of 5 – 15 mg while the Chinese herbal formula was given to 80 participants. Out of the 80 subjects, 23 were cured (no recurring symptoms for half a year and no clinical symptoms) compared to only three out of the 20 who were given methylphenidate. The rates of effectiveness were 86 percent versus 90 percent for the methylphenidates and Chinese herbal group, respectively. When it comes to rates of effectiveness, there was not much difference between the two groups, the herbal group, however, experienced a rise in IQ and had lower side effects than the drug group.

A 1995 study headed by Wang witnessed a rate of effectiveness of 94 percent, including improved academics, improved attention, and reduced hyperactivity from children given the herbal tonic Tiaoshen Liquor. In 1994, an open trial headed by Sun observed the effects of Yizhi syrup, another Chinese herbal formula on 66 hyperkinetic children. The trial showed a 85 percent rate of effectiveness, including soft neurological signs, and marked improvement in school records and behavior.

Chinese medicine rarely uses a single herb for treatment. Chinese herbal formulas are composed of a variety of herbs that help reduce side effects and boost the herb’s therapeutic effects. For the treatment of ADHD no data showing use of a single herb exists. Be that as it may, the aforementioned trials using Chinese herbal formula bode well for the use of Chinese medicine treatment for ADHD in the US.

Allergy Desensitization

A huge volume of clinical data suggests that a substantial portion of ADHD/ADD cases is connected to environmental and food allergies. A huge number of children with ADHD also suffer from a weak immune system due to environmental toxins. Special electrodermal technique has been used to detect probable autoimmune response against their neurotransmitters and nervous system. Environmental and food allergies and the immune system’s reaction to nutrients such as amino acids and vitamins lead to neurotransmitter deficiency and nervous system malfunction. A revolutionary technique called BioSET, as well as allergy desensitization technique, enzyme therapy, food allergy management, and neurotoxin detoxification, has led to successful outcomes in the treatment of ADHD. Techniques such as BioSET that deal with the immune system and toxins are used always during the initial phase of the treatment. Other supporting treatments such as nutritional supplement and Chinese herbal medicine can help overcome the deficiency of the body once the immune system has been stabilized.


In the treatment of child ADHD, acupuncture has found a role as form of complementary therapy. Using laser acupuncture, an unpublished preliminary pre-post single-blind data study headed by Loo showed improvements in academic performance from students in grades K to 3.

The use of auricular acupuncture also has led to positive results in ADHD treatment. This type of acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years in China were it originated. Over the past half-century, the entire somatotopic and microsystem maps have been developed. Various health conditions can be treated by ear acupuncture either as a standalone treatment or in conjunction with body acupuncture. Ear and body acupuncture stimulate acupoints through the use of needles and other devices such as laser or electricity. Since non-invasive devices can be used to stimulate acupoints on the ear, auricular acupuncture works well with children. A study performed in the Virginia Commonwealth University observed the therapeutic effects of acupuncture beads when taped and massaged on a child’s ear. The study had seven children participants whose ears were each taped with an acupuncture bead. The bead was massaged three times a day for 30 seconds. The parents monitored the behavior of their child. Significant improvements were seen in three of the seven subjects and a fourth also showed a positive change in behavior even though the chart did not show the improvement.

This study and other similar studies on auricular acupuncture for ADHD treatment suggest promising outcomes even if no published systematic data in ADHD acupuncture treatment can be found. In the future, more clinical studies are needed dealing with auricular acupuncture treatment of ADHD. The fact is since 1993, the National Institutes for Health (NIIH) has been funding least one ADHD laser acupuncture treatment study each year.

Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and BioSET technique, based on clinical research, can serve as ideal alternative treatments for ADHD. Likely to serve as a main plan of treatment for mild cases of ADHD is a comprehensive program that includes nutritional supplementation such as amino acid therapy, auricular acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and BioSET. It can also be used as an adjunctive treatment for extreme forms of ADHD in order to reduce the drug dosage and the side effects.

Acupressure is a Great Natural Treatment for Kids with ADHD

There is no magic bullet that can universally cure ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) no matter what medical doctors say about prescription medications being the best treatment for it. ADHD is a condition that has so many facets that each sufferer experiences a unique set of rather elaborate symptoms. In my opinion, standard medicine’s biggest shortfall is that it does not employ the many non-pharmacological, natural modalities that have been proven to work in the management ADHD.

Regarding ADHD, Chinese medicine has a very interesting perspective towards it. It believes that each individual has a shen or spirit that is housed in the heart. When the shen of a child is too active and too restless, his or her heart becomes overheated causing the child to experience chronic impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention. To cool down the heart, and treat the condition, practitioners need to stimulate specific acupoints. This treatment is known as acupressure, and it’s used to return balance within the body’s energy system, rejuvenate the spirit, calm down emotions, and treat illnesses.

The idea behind acupressure is that mental and physical health comes about when there is a harmonious flow of life energy or Chi within the body. An obstacle to this flow causes sickness in the person. To resolve the illness, the practitioner administers acupressure on the patient’s elbows and/or hands to stimulate the movement of Chi. The practitioner may also need to use other devices to apply pressure to the important acupoints. This leads to relief by bringing back balance to the energy systems and to the flow of Chi. The same principles are used in acupuncture but unlike acupressure, acupuncture uses needles instead of manual pressure. Acupressure is a much preferred treatment for ADHD in children since children are generally afraid of needles.

The use of acupressure ear magnet seeds or beads is one very effective acupressure technique used for ADHD treatment. The round metallic bead which is coated with gold is taped to the surface of the ear. When the beads are attached, there is no need to apply pressure on them in order to stimulate the flow of Chi. After the first week of bead attachment, most ADHD kids respond well to the treatment. They continue to progress well throughout the succeeding weeks.

In the United States, there are now more than 2,000 licensed medical physicians who have integrated acupressure and acupuncture treatments into their medical practice. Because of the extreme effectiveness of Chinese medicine in treating a lot of health conditions, more and more insurance companies are now providing partial full coverage of treatment sessions with an acupuncturist.

Helping ADHD Patients Overcome their Condition with Acupuncture and Other Treatments

In the United States, ADHD or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most commonly diagnosed behavioral problems in children. Each year, this country alone has about 5 million children around the ages of 5 to 17 diagnosed with ADHD. Studies show that in the treatment of this condition, the most effective way involves a multidisciplinary approach involving medication, dietary modifications, exercise, and behavioral therapy. Now doctors are adding acupuncture to this list as it has been shown to be a treatment that can successfully control ADHD symptoms.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), or sometimes called ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is an issue affecting the brain that causes the sufferer difficulty in controlling impulsive behavior or concentrating.

ADHD-afflicted children often struggle concentrating or paying attention to things. They usually are frustrated with tasks, easily get bored, and can’t seem to follow directions. They likewise are impulsive, and do things first before thinking about the consequences of their actions, and often move constantly. Although these behaviors are not uncommon in normal children, they happen more often and in a much severe manner in children with ADHD. The child’s ability to function normally at home and schools is severely affected by symptoms related to ADHD.

There are also adults who suffer from this condition. They often have a hard time in setting goals, have problem in their organization skills problem, have difficulty managing their time, and have a hard time looking for employment. Worse, they may also have issues with addiction, self-esteem, and relationships.

ADHD Treatments

As mentioned before, the treatment for ADHD is multifaceted. It consists of dietary and lifestyle changes, behavioral therapy, and medicines. This condition is best handled when health and education professionals and families cooperate with each other to provide the child or adult with the tools he needs to overcome his condition. The patient needs to get over his destructive behavior, develop his personal strengths, focus his attention, and eventually become a successful and productive person. Acupuncture is a perfect addition to the treatment plan for ADHD as it can be used to treat the underlying problem, and restore balance to the body, while at the same time resolving the symptoms of ADHD.

What acupuncture can provide the ADHD patient:

-Improve concentration
-Improve mood management techniques
-Lower hyperactivity
-Lessen fidgeting
-Manage moods
-Better attention and focus

Acupuncture Treatment for Children

Acupuncture is a powerful form of treatment for children and most of them respond very well to it. In treating children with acupuncture, comfort is of paramount importance. Treatments tend to be shorter than in adults and instead of needles to stimulate their acupuncture points, other tools are used to produce the same therapeutic effects as needles do.

Needle-free acupuncture procedures may involve the use of blunt probes, roller, or brushes, and acupuncture points may be stimulated by pressing, tapping, rubbing, or stroking them.

Traditional Chinese medicine is useful for the treatment of these common childhood conditions:

-Hives and eczema
-Colds and cough
-Asthma, allergies
-Night terrors
-Diarrhea, constipation, GERD, and indigestion
-Temper tantrums, excessive night crying, colic
-Weak constitution
-Failure to thrive syndrome