ADD/ADHD Natural Therapies
Everywhere there is talk about ADD/ADHD. What do we mean by this and how do you know you or your kids have it? ADD is short for attention deficit disorder, and ADHD is short for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The difference between the two is that ADD is more a person’s inability to focus and concentrate, whereas ADHD includes those that cannot remain still at the same time. In the US, some 4.5 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD according the CDC, with some 20% of them being misdiagnosed simply because they have been compared to the more mature students in their respective grade level.
Diagnosing ADHD includes the following:
- Frequent fidgeting
- Constantly talking and/or interrupting
- Restlessness and inability to sit quietly
- Always running around from one thing to another
- Inability to complete a task from beginning to end
- Difficulty waiting their turn
The above symptoms could describe most anyone at one time or another, the main difference with ADHD is that a person is always this way, whether at school or at home. Parents should not be bullied into having their children take health damaging chemical drugs simply because their child is behaving poorly due to immaturity.
The rise of ADHD can possibly be linked to the following causes:
- Consumption of highly processed foods such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, fruit juices, cereals, artificial food coloring and processed flour products like cookies, cakes and crackers.
- Food dyes, especially if combined with fructose or processed sugars.
- Childhood vaccinations due to the adjuvants used and their correlation to neurological disorders.
- Pesticides and environmental toxins such as PCB’s, lead, mercury and other industrial toxins and pollutants.
- Fluoridated water.
- Home environments that are unstable or where the child has little time with their parents.
- Nutritional deficiencies, especially B vitamins and essential fatty acids (EFA’s).
- Too much exposure to television, internet, cell phones and video games.
An allopathic Doctor most likely would prescribe drugs such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Vivance or Strattera for ADHD. These drugs all contain different formulations of methylphenidate, a psychostimulant that is in the same drug class as cocaine. In addition, Adderall contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, otherwise known as speed. The process of giving these drugs to children is creating a vast potential of new drug addicts with the increased probability of suicidal thoughts and tendencies, strokes, heart attacks and hallucinations.
What is a person to do?
Before doing nothing or considering drugs, try making the following changes:
- Replace soft drinks and fruit juices with non-fluoridated water.
- Do not chew gum with artificial sweeteners or any “diet” foods that contain artificial sweeteners.
- Remove most grains from their diet. This includes pasta, pizza, white bread, cookies, crackers and kid’s cereals.
- Minimize all processed foods that contain hydrogenated oils, artificial food coloring, flavors and preservatives, transfats and commercial salt, microwavable foods and TV dinners.
- Do take a good B complex vitamin and EFA”S as in fish/krill oil, and vitamin D3.
- Eat freshly steamed vegetables, lean protein sources and whole grains while limiting fruit consumption with the exception of berries.
- Get rid of pesticides around the house and buy organic fruits, vegetables and proteins.
- Find good neurofeedback tools to focus and concentrate.
Quantum Wellness offers sessions with the pirHEG neurofeedback ( Passive Infrared Hemoencephelography) device that utilizes infrared technology with an interactive computer program that teaches one to manipulate their own brainwaves and create their own peace and tranquility. Essentially, with ADD/ADHD the left and right brain lobes function well but there is an inability to send information to the frontal lobe where thought processing takes place. The pirHEG utilizes brain sensors that allow a person to see on a computer screen how efficiently their thought processes are allowing for focus and concentration, therefore, they can “push” their brain to move information to the frontal lobe where metabolic activity increases. This device works wonders in children and adults, and has been proven extremely helpful to people suffering from migraine headaches.
Within some thirty 20-30 minute sessions, most children and adults report changes, these are neuropsychological and behavioral changes (such as improved mood, clarity in speech, ability to pay attention, headache reduction). The changes tend to last longer with each session and are cumulative over time. Once or twice weekly sessions are recommended for this reason until the client‘s gains are secure. The process can assist the brain in creating an increased activation of control systems which reduce symptoms that are a result of inadequate control. As such, the symptoms become less pronounced or inactive. The brain possesses a quality, called “plasticity” which enables it to change and adapt.
The pirHEG works as follows, while watching a movie on a monitor:
- An infrared camera-like sensor is positioned on the forehead using an adjustable headband.
- The sensor continuously photographs or “reads” the metabolic activity of the frontal lobes of the brain.
- That information is transmitted through cables via a USB based Bio-interface unit.
- Software via computer then “feeds back” this information to the client through a digital video display, DVD.
- The movie will pause and a blue bar will appear on the screen when the activity decreases.
- When the DVD pauses, the client must increase the metabolic activity in the front of the brain to turn it back on. The client accomplishes this by being in the “Zone” for relaxed but intense focus on the blue bar.
- Then, the client is instructed to watch the bar rise above the yellow threshold that the computer has selected, to see the movie play again. This occurs several times in each session. This is called operant conditioning.
The best part of this training is that the changes can become permanent and the client takes charge of their health in an empowering manner, without the use of harmful drugs.
Training, not treatment
The interventions proposed here are not treatment devices, but training equipment. The difference is that a treatment must include a diagnosis of a condition and prescribed protocols. Training is done without regard to medical or psychological condition. Any customization of training is related to the performance of the training itself, not to differential therapeutic interventions.
Again, these exercise devices train the brain and nervous system to foster self-awareness and self-control at conscious and unconscious levels. These interventions relieve disorders in clinical populations in that context. However, they also enhance performance of the best singers and soldiers. The analogy is to aerobic cross training which boosts any other athletic activity and which reduces hypertension.
Adverse reactions are rare, minor and avoidable by proceeding gently.
Neurofeedback is remarkably safe and benign. Unwanted reactions to training are rare, minor and self-limiting. Unwanted reactions may take the form of a brief headache or minor feelings of discomfort. These dissipate quickly after stopping. Many experienced practitioners have never seen a bad session including the co-author of the large prison study-practicing daily since 1959. Some devices must be purchased by a licensed clinician. The FDA permits sale of many neurofeedback devices by the public.
BIOFEEDBACK refers to the process of “feeding back” physiological signals from the body with the intent of teaching the person how to control these signals. BIOFEEDBACK has a long and respected history, assisting people in the management of troublesome physiological and/or emotional conditions.
NEUROFEEDBACK refers to a special type of biofeedback. It uses physiological signals that originate within the brain (brain waves), as opposed to signals that originate from other sites such as cardiac activity or skeletal muscle activity.
HEMOENCEPHALOGRAPHY refers to a special type of neurofeedback. It uses physiological signals from the brain, but these signals are based on blood flow dynamics rather than electrical activity. This has the distinct advantage of being free from electrical artifacts that can distort brain wave based neurofeedback.
PASSIVE INFRARED HEMOENCEPHALOGRAPHY refers to a variant of that technique. It utilizes physiological signals from the brain, but these signals are based on thermal output, arising from changes in blood flow dynamics and cellular metabolism.