Helping with Attention Deficit Disorder
In the past decade, prescriptions for Ritalin, a stimulant medication commonly used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), increased five-fold, with 90 percent of all prescriptions worldwide consumed in the United States. As many parents grow leery of the traditional medical approach to ADHD, doctors of chiropractic are offering promising results with non-drug treatments that focus on postural muscles, nutrition and lifestyle changes that affect brain activity.
Doctors of chiropractic offer a non-drug and non-invasive treatment alternative for ADHD patients that targets the underlying problems, not just symptoms. "Motor activity—especially development of the postural muscles—is the baseline function of brain activity. Anything affecting postural muscles will influence brain development. Musculoskeletal imbalance will create imbalance of brain activity, and one part of the brain will develop faster than the other, and that's what's happening in ADHD patients.
Many chiropractors are trained to identify the underfunctioning part of the brain and find treatments to correct the problem, to help that hemisphere grow.
While chiropractic has had found success in treating ADHD and learning disabilities by providing the necessary brain stimulation, we also recommend nutrition and lifestyle changes that may help correct or prevent biochemical imbalances that cause ADHD. Parents are encouraged to:
- Remove as many food dyes, sugar, preservatives, and additives from the diet as possible.
- Focus on natural, mostly organic foods with as few pesticides or herbicides as possible.
- Determine if there is an allergy—usually starting with dairy and gluten and try elimination diets.
- Stop using pesticide sprays in the house.
- Avoid taking medications, nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs in pregnancy that may harm the fetus.
- Find ways to relax during pregnancy. Stress on the job may affect the unborn baby's health, as well.
- Breastfeed. The first months and years of a child's life are critical to physical and psychological development. Breastfeeding mothers' diets are important as well.