Attention-deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD)
Please note this information is very generic. Parents with children with these this 'condition' will need to visit your TICM doctor to get a differential diagnosis. When I diagnose children with autism or ADHD, I like to refer to which element the child is in nature: Fire, Wood, Earth, Water or Metal. If the child if Fire, the child and I will seriously get along like a house on fire as I myself am Fire.
ADD/ADHD are developmental conditions in which the affected person is unable to concentrate and is easily distracted, with or without accompanying hyperactivity. There has been a 42% increase in ADHD diagnoses over the past 8 years which I promise you will increase with more and more miracle cures.
In TICM, this condition is treated like any other, in the sense that TICM offers a deeper individualised diagnosis which follows through with natural treatment. The TICM practitioner would review the root cause and pathogenesis, the syndrome pattern, and method of treatment would depend on the individual.
The first thing I discuss with my patient, which is the same as any other condition, is their food and nutrition as exposure to toxic substances and food additives as one of the causes of ADD/ADHD right behind miracle cures. This simply cannot be avoided or ignored any longer. What you ingest both through food and through the environment must be addressed. Thoughts and emotions, as well are integral to treatment. Environmental toxins are defined as cancer causing chemicals and endocrine disruptors, both human made and naturally occurring, that can harm our health by disrupting sensitive biological systems. In TICM, toxins disrupt the functioning of the Liver system.
I also ask my patient if they can transmit nutrition properly. A bogged down Liver directly impairs the function of the Stomach and Spleen, hindering digestion which disrupts the flow of Qi (energy) and Blood, the function of the entire body.
Through TICM, the usual pathogenesis begins from toxin and emotional blockages that cause Qi (energy) and Blood stagnation. This takes place in the Liver as the Liver is the storage of our Blood and responsible for the smooth flow of emotions, Qi and Blood. It is also responsible for detoxing the body of toxins and medications. This results in the diagnosis of Liver wind rising with Shen/Ruh (spirit) disturbance arising from Liver Yin deficiency.
The importance of eliminating environmental toxins through lifestyle and food changes cannot be over emphasised.
Acupuncture, herbs, acupressure, Qigong, Salaah and supplements are used as a multifaceted approach to strengthen the Liver, open up stagnation to allow smooth Blood, Qi (vital energy) and emotional flow and remove toxicity.
Whether it's a belief or not, the body-mind effect is in full force. We have to be cognisant of everything we ingest, on a visible and invisible level.
Treatment for ADHD
It's time for ADD/ADHD to be addressed holistically through the understanding of the gut and brain connection. A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person's Stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress or depression. That's because the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected, something we have known in TICM for thousands of years.
Medication is easily prescribed without treating the root imbalance. The global use of ADHD medication rose 300% from 1993 to 2000. Drug therapy can sometimes help symptoms but never solve the root cause. Though we are so quick to discredit natural tools and herbs that have treated people for thousands of years, no one takes the time to research pHARMaceuticals. Parents do not know what the drugs cause yet always opt for the easy option.
Stimulant type drugs prescribed for ADHD can cause insomnia, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, Liver complications and more serious problems on the psyche that aren't as easy to trace. Non-stimulants can cause insomnia, high blood pressure, fatigue, nausea and promote Liver toxicity. Both types can further inhibit the absorption of critical nutrients like B6 which is linked to common ADD symptoms like fluctuating mood, sleep disturbance.
How do we help treat ADHD through herbs:
Liver formula's: helps to clear toxins that have built up and stagnated the Liver. These are ingested through our food, environment, skin, etc. This formula helps to release the smooth flow of Qi (vital energy), Blood and emotions.
Spleen formula's: supports the Spirit (Shen/Ruh) which is disturbed in ADHD cases, also works to restore digestion for proper nutrient absorption. Most people with these cases are not absorbing proper nutrients.
Kidney formula's: the Kidney system supports the Liver system. Helps symptoms like insomnia and helps balance the body's internal Yin-Yang to an overall stronger function.
Fractionated Pectin Powder: rich in galactoside residues,molecules that have an affinity for binding to certain types of unwanted cells, to naturally detoxify the Liver.
Magnesium and zinc: these supplements improve symptoms of ADHD. One study found that 58% of participants with ADHD had low serum magnesium levels. But I recommend get these nutrients through food.