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Treat ADHD/ADD By Acupuncture And Chinese Herbal Medicine

Perhaps the most common diagnosis given to children in the United States is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Over 10% of boys and 5% of girls suffer from this disorder, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology (AACAP). ADHD involves inattention or hyperactivity and impulsiveness that complicates daily functioning and may contribute to developmental difficulties. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD is a brain disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.


Traditional treatment of ADHD and ADD (attention deficit disorder) is through the prescription of the stimulant methylphenidate (Ritalin). More and more parents are turning to alternative medicine for their children suffering from ADHD because of the side effects of Ritalin.

In recent years, acupuncture has become a popular complementary therapy for children suffering from ADHD.

Based on clinical research, both acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be used as an alternative therapy to treat ADHD.

In a clinical study in China, the researchers conclude that acupuncture reduces symptomatic presentations and benefits brain responses as measured by EEG for children with ADHD. The researchers conclude that acupuncture increases the efficacy of biofeedback treatments and is also effective as a standalone therapy for children with ADHD. EEG results and symptomatic presentations significantly improved with the implementation of acupuncture therapy protocols.


Acupuncture produced an 84.45% total effective rate as a standalone therapy and outperformed Chinese herbal medicine, which achieved a 78.77% total effective rate. Acupuncture combined with biofeedback achieved a 91.5% total effective rate. Children receiving only biofeedback achieved an 83.3% total effective rate. Based on the findings, the researchers conclude that acupuncture plus biofeedback had an additive or synergistic clinical effect producing greater positive patient outcomes.

Both acupuncture and Chinese herbs achieve a relatively good clinical effectiveness in the treatment of ADHD, particularly for the hyperactive and mixed subtypes. Furthermore, post-treatment recurrence rates are low. Hence, treating ADHD/ADD by acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine deserves to be popularized.

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