Natural treatments are increasingly sought out for their relative lack of side effects, and are used for a wide array of conditions, including Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
What is Attention Deficit Disorder?
ADD, and its close relative ADHD, are behavioural disorders, typically diagnosed in young children though the condition can persist into adulthood. They are characterised by a variety of symptoms, including restlessness, mood swings and an inability to concentrate or complete a task. The conditions are thought to be caused by an imbalance in the chemicals of the brain, which hamper how internal elements of this vital organ communicate.
Some individuals are unfortunate enough to have symptoms of both disorders – hyperactivity and attention deficit.
Natural Treatments for ADD
Conventional medication for ADD includes the drug Ritalin, which some believe limits creativity in children. Some popular natural treatments for Attention Deficit Disorder include the following:
- Behaviour Modification and Attention Deficit Disorder: Behaviour modification is a form of psychotherapy that is based on positive or negative conditioning to achieve change in an individual. Examples of positive reinforcement could include praise or reward for a particular course of behaviour. For ADD patients, behaviour modification has been shown to be useful as it creates a structured method for dealing with sufferers problems; including focusing on rectifying the most worrying or obvious aspects of behaviour.
- Cognitive Therapy and Attention Deficit Disorder: Cognitive therapy is a form of psychotherapy utilised to break down negative behavioural traits and habits. It aims to replace these with more rational and positive thoughts. For ADD sufferers a therapist can aid patients to learn and develop the necessary skills to help them focus and pay attention – skills that are particularly lacking in ADD sufferers.
- Counselling and Attention Deficit Disorder: Counselling is a talking therapy with a client or patient interacting with a trained health professional – typically a qualified counsellor. The objective of these sessions for ADD sufferers, especially for children, is to help them understand why they are behaving the way there are – and to develop a strategy for dealing with the behavioural issues being experienced.
- Herbal Medicine and Attention Deficit Disorder: Herbal medicine utilises the ancient knowledge of herbalists, information that has in some cases been passed down the generations. This involves the use of plants, including the flowers, stems, leaves and roots. Extracts from the Ginkgo biloba plant are often recommended in cases of ADD, as it promotes enhanced blood flow to the brain, which facilitates more ordered thought processes.
- Hypnotherapy and Attention Deficit Disorder: Hypnotherapy is a form of psychotherapy undertaken while a patient is hypnotised. Due to the focused, relaxed state that this typically results in, ADD sufferers can find the therapy beneficial. Hypnosis should only be experienced under the guidance of a trained hypnotherapist.
- Nutrition and Attention Deficit Disorder: ADD can benefit from a diet high in fatty acids, especially Omega-3 – which includes oily fish species such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. These foods, together with avoidance of processed sugars, caffeine and artificial food colourings are some of the likely recommendations a qualified nutritionist would make – based on an evaluation of the patient.
- TCM and Attention Deficit Disorder: TCM considers human health as a combination of contrasting yin and yang - the theory of opposites which views the vitality of the human body to be dependent on the balance between these forces. The holistic approach of TCM views the kidney as the source of all developmental problems, which would include behavioural issues. A treatment plan for ADD is likely to include dietary alterations, acupuncture, acupressure and herbal remedies.