Over-medication of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has received much attention in recent years. Aside from cognitive behavioral therapy for ADHD, ADHD coaching, and time management exercises, medication has long since been the go-to treatment for this psychological condition for decades. Some of the most common medications that are administered to children with ADHD are Adderall and Strattera, which are often combined with anti-depressants.
According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ADHD diagnoses in children are on the rise, with the numbers peaking a few years ago. This has pushed many parents into a panic about trying to find ADHD alternative treatments to help their children deal with the symptoms of this condition, sans medication. Most of these pills come with side effects, such as mood swings, loss of appetite, and sleeping troubles.
For this reason, several alternative treatments have gained repute. Here are three ADHD alternative treatments that parents can look into for their child.
- Ayurveda. Ayurveda is an ancient medicinal practice developed in the East. The practice is based on three different bodily constitutions, namely Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Vata refers to a “wind-based” energy that governs movement; Pitta regulates metabolism and energy production; Kapha determines how the body is structured. While all people have a percentage of each of these constitutions in their bodies, Ayurvedic physicians assert that children with ADHD suffer from an out-of-balance Vata. They explain that the lack of grounding that stems from “too much air,” leaves people with a predominantly Vata-based constitution prone to anxiety, restlessness, and inattention. Instead of relying on medication, these physicians suggest adopting Vata-pacifying practices, such as avoiding cold foods, increasing fat and oil intake, and engaging in only light exercise.
- Keeping a Routine. The anxiety that often accompanies ADHD can make it hard for children to stay in control of their symptoms. Because of the heightened activity in their nervous system, change can be difficult. For parents who have children with ADHD, the best thing to do would be to set a routine for their child, and try to stick to it as much as possible. This will give the child a structure to follow, reducing his or her anxiety, and thereby boosting confidence.
- Relaxing Exercises. Keeping a child active is an important part of maintaining his or her overall health, but some sports and athletic activities can be overstimulating for children with ADHD. To balance these nerves, parents can work with their children on five to ten minute relaxation practices that can calm their system down. For example, using yoga poses, such as lying flat on the ground (Shavasana), children can close their eyes and use pleasant imagery to evoke a sense of peace. By doing this every day, parents could potentially see a difference in their child’s ADHD symptoms.
ADHD alternative treatments are in no way a cure for this condition, but they do offer parents other options. While medication can be a highly effective way to reduce ADHD symptoms, parents could see even more results with a combination of both natural healing methods, as well as allopathic treatments.