Attention Deficit & Hyperactive Disorder
We want the best for our children and some of the most important decisions parents have to make is about health care. At Tao of Wellness, we offer comprehensive pediatric care using natural medicine to address common conditions such as cold and flu, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), skin conditions, digestive disorders, allergies, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. ADHD are chronic conditions affecting millions of children and adults alike – and four times as many boys than girls – and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Key signs of ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. At Tao of Wellness, we treat symptoms of ADHD using safe and effective, traditional therapies like acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional therapy, and meditative exercises. We are happy to provide a customized treatment plan with natural medicine that alleviates the symptoms of ADHD so your child can enjoy their daily activities and grow up to be a strong, healthy individual.
How We Successfully Treat ADHD
Most healthy children can be inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive at times so before accepting a diagnosis of ADHD and any related medication, it’s essential to investigate possible underlying causes of your child’s behavior. The exact biomedical cause of ADHD is unknown; however, it is suspected that ADHD may result from a combination of factors such as genetics, environment, and nutrition. Signs and symptoms of ADHD may include the following:
- Difficulty paying attention and learning
- Being easily distracted
- Mood swings and frequent temper tantrums
- Impulsive and intruding behaviors
- Frequent daydreaming
- Difficulty following rules, instructions, and social expectations
Conventional treatment for ADHD includes stimulant medications such as methylphenidate (Ritalin), dextroamphetamine-amphetamine (Adderall XR), and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine). These drugs may diminish symptoms but they do not cure the problem. Potential side effects include insomnia, depression, decreased appetite, weight loss, slowed growth, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, anxiety, and irritability.
At Tao of Wellness, we understand the debilitating and frustrating effects of ADHD for children. ADHD can affect a child’s life in many ways including schooling, socialization, family life, and self-esteem. Regardless of how long your child has been suffering from ADHD or what medications and supplements your child is already taking, making an appointment at Tao of Wellness is in your child’s best interest in treating ADHD. We’re an integrative clinic that works alongside your child’s pediatrician to deliver the best care possible.
You’ll start by setting up an initial consultation where one of our doctors will review your child’s current condition in addition to the medical history. Each child’s experience of ADHD is unique. We want to know what symptoms your child is experiencing in addition to knowing the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of their life. After your consultation we will offer an individualized treatment plan that may include acupuncture or acupressure, Chinese herbal and nutritional therapies, tuina bodywork, and mind body exercise. Your doctor will then answer any questions you have before beginning your child’s treatment.
Our Customized Therapies for Treating ADHD
Customized Treatment Program
Chinese medicine is a group of holistic healing modalities that focus on healing symptoms and supporting the health of the entire body and mind. This approach serves to support long-lasting therapeutic effects. There is no singular program for every child suffering from ADHD. At Tao of Wellness your doctor will work with you in developing a plan that is personalized just for your child. The therapies will be performed at our clinic but we will also teach self-healing tools for your child’s daily life to support long lasting health.
There are therapeutic points all over the body that help ADHD symptoms. Since each child’s experience of ADHD is unique, each acupuncture treatment will be just as unique. Frequent concerns of parents are whether acupuncture hurts and how best to work with a child’s fear of needles. At Tao of Wellness, we have acupuncture tools developed especially for children that cause little to no sensation. If it’s still a concern please consider the other treatment options listed. Almost anywhere acupuncture is applied it fosters a very relaxing experience that calms anxiety and hyperactivity. Studies show that acupuncture can normalize brain activity and help with alleviating ADHD symptoms. With regular acupuncture treatments, your child’s body will learn to reach emotional and physical balance. Learn more about acupuncture.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine is an effective healing therapy for treating symptoms of ADHD. Herbs that have a relaxing effect include jujube seeds, bamboo shavings, schizandra fruit, Chinese senega root, and oyster shell. These herbs are all helpful for supporting a calm, yet focused mind. Energizing herbs such as astragalus, codonopsis, and cordyceps may also be helpful for boosting mental focus. Like any other Chinese medical therapy, there is no singular ADHD formula. Based on the unique experience of your child, a customized herbal combination will be made to treat symptoms of ADHD, and will be provided in child-friendly formats like liquid drops, pills, or powders. Learn more about Chinese herbal medicine.
Nutrition is important for healing ADHD, and includes eating the right foods while eliminating foods that can aggravate ADHD symptoms. Each patient receives nutritional guidance, but a nutritional consultation goes much further to understand your child’s eating likes, dislikes, and habits. We provide a custom, week-long menu that’s complete with meals and snacks.
Here are some nutrition tips for healing ADHD. Avoid refined sugar, food additives, processed foods, artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. These are commonly listed as benzoates, nitrates, sulfites, BHT, BHA, benzoyl peroxide, emulsifiers, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Eliminating gluten from a child’s diet may also be helpful. Eat a diet that is balanced and rich in leafy greens, berries, beans, avocado, squashes, flaxseeds, nuts, and protein from fish, chicken, and eggs. Your doctor will recommend a specific nutritional guideline that is right for your child.
Your doctor may recommend nutritional supplements as a part of your child’s treatment regimen. Calcium and magnesium supplements are calming to the nervous system. Choline may help to improve memory and attention span. Vitamin B complex can help improve concentration and relax a stressed nervous system. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) can also benefit the developing brain. Your doctor will recommend a specific supplementation plan that is right for your child. Learn more about Nutritional Therapy.
Mind Body Exercise
Tai chi and qi gong are excellent healing exercises for children suffering from ADHD. These are gentle and relaxing exercises that provide mental clarity and focus. At Tao of Wellness you’ll find a choice of certified instructors in several forms of tai chi and qi gong. Your doctor will work with you in determining the right practice for your child. Learn more about tai chi and qi gong.
ADHD Patient Success Stories
Focused at School and Symptom Free
Sydney is 12 years old and came to Tao of Wellness after struggling with her school work and anxiety for 6 months. She had difficulty falling asleep at night and experienced fatigue every day. At school, she couldn’t concentrate which caused her anxiety, and lowered her confidence. Her pediatrician diagnosed Sydney with ADHD but Sydney’s mother wanted to use a more natural method than prescription medication to help Sydney with her symptoms.
Sydney and her mother had a consultation at Tao of Wellness and Sydney was prescribed herbs to calm her nerves, clear her mind, and boost her energy. At night, she took a separate herbal formula to help with sleep. Sydney followed a dietary guideline which eliminated refined sugar, gluten, artificial flavors and colors, and preservatives. She began seeing the benefits after her first treatment. She found the acupuncture very relaxing and often fell asleep during her sessions. Sydney’s energy began to improve and so did her sleep.
After a few weeks, Sydney and her mother noticed her focus at school started improving. After 3 months of regular treatment, Sydney no longer needed treatments and stayed symptom free.
Performing Beyond Expectations
Judy is a 16 year-old girl who has grown up in a culture of high academic expectations. She struggled with her 4-5 hours of nightly homework while receiving B’s and C’s on her tests and report cards. This understandably worried her parents, who took her to be evaluated. Her diagnosis was ADHD and Judy was prescribed Ritalin, which her mother was reluctant to give to her daughter. She brought Judy to the Tao of Wellness. During the first visit Judy described how she would have trouble waking up in the morning and would find herself unable to focus during her first period Spanish class, and the lack of concentration would last through the rest of her school day. According to her mom, Judy was moody and tired, especially when she came home from school. She was on the soccer team and after school there would be a 2-hour practice or game to attend. After dinner she would sit down to do her homework and study, which would last until well past midnight.
We had Judy and her mother provide a diet journal that turned out to be very revealing. Judy’s breakfast was a donut and orange juice eaten in the car on her way to school, lunch was usually a turkey sandwich, and her afternoon snack before soccer practice would consist of potato chips, a granola bar, and a fruit rollup. Dinner was with the rest of the family and she would usually have rice, vegetable, soy products, fish and poultry. Around 10pm, in the middle of her studies, she would have a couple scoops of ice cream.
It was obvious to us that Judy was suffering from hypoglycemia and kidney/adrenal exhaustion, much of it caused by her diet and lifestyle. Immediately we changed her diet. We had Judy remove sugar and refined carbohydrates, and focus on lean proteins and vegetables for breakfast and lunch. We had Judy eat her carbohydrates before her game in the afternoon and at dinner. Her breakfast changed to eggs, plain yogurt and almond milk. Her lunch became mostly salmon, chicken, or bean salad. We advised her to eat mixed nuts for her midmorning snack and have humus, banana and rice milk before her afternoon soccer. We didn’t change her dinner since it was reasonably healthy but we substituted mixed berries and yogurt for her nightly snack of ice cream.
Besides dietary change, we insisted that she go to bed by 10:30 and we wrote her teachers a note to excuse her incomplete homework for the first 4 weeks of her treatment course. We recommended that Judy undergo a 3-month treatment course of acupuncture to increase her cognitive function. We gave her a customized herbal formulation to help support her brain function and circulation of nutrients and oxygen. Additionally, we gave Judy dietary supplements to support her adrenal and blood sugar functions.
The changes were dramatic. One month into her treatment course Judy was able to finish her homework almost every night by her new bedtime. She became more engaged and focused in class and the comments from her teacher illustrated that she was a different girl. Even her soccer coach gave positive feedback that she was more energetic and enthusiastic. Her tests were coming back with A’s and B’s. And her semester grades, which coincided with the conclusion of her 3-month treatment course, were the best she’s had since beginning high school.
We continued to monitor Judy’s progress and to see her monthly for maintenance acupuncture treatments. It’s now been more than 1 year and Judy has stayed on her nutrition program. Her course load has increased with Advanced Placement classes but she is still managing to complete her work and get into bed by 11pm on school nights. Her parents are very pleased with her progress and recently reported that she scored above 2300 on her SAT test.
Natural Healthcare for ADHD
Tao of Wellness was established in 1976 as a resource to address ADHD. We strive to support you in mind and body, and invite you to make an appointment for your health and wellbeing. It would be our pleasure to serve you.