Prescription pharmaceutical drugs are merely symptomatic and are not designed to address the factors that cause the dysfunction. And when it comes to giving them to children with ADHD/ADD, parents are worried about the potential complications and very harmful side effects in their young children.
In this article, I would like to talk about a treatment approach that adopts both modalities of Western and Eastern medicine. Some years ago, a newspaper published a story about a US military physician who treated US soldiers suffering from battle trauma in Afghanistan and has attained excellent outcomes in the treating these soldiers using auricular acupuncture. So effective was the treatment that the US army integrated it into their medical training program. This story helped me become more convinced that this form acupuncture can address emotional and mental conditions such as ADD and ADHD in both young kids and adults.
Developed half a century ago by Dr. Paul Nogier, a French medical practitioner, auricular acupuncture is a type of energy therapy that uses very thin acupuncture needles into the outer ear. Dt. Nogier found out that the ears contain regions that associate with certain parts of the body. When they were palpated, certain parts of the ear elicited a painful sensation in the body part that corresponded to the palpated region of the ear. Also, the tendency to feel pain on the auricular acupuncture points increased as the severity of the dysfunction in the affected organs grew worse. Conversely, a lessening of the tenderness was felt when the patient’s health became better.
The doctor soon found out that the dysfunctional regions on the ears can receive significant medical benefits in the associated organs of his patients. Other researchers have now picked up where Dr. Nogier left off and the acupuncture points on the ears have now increased and brain regions that are affected by the acupuncture points have been mapped out in a fairly precise manner.
Western Europe has warmly accepted auricular acupuncture because of its effectiveness in treating a wide range of conditions and because it’s a relatively quick procedure, has very few side effects, affordable and efficient. In the countries of Switzerland, Austria and Germany there are over 20,000 medical doctors who have incorporated auricular acupuncture into their practice. Auricular and traditional acupuncture can be used either together or separately in a single treatment session. However, unlike, traditional (body) acupuncture, auricular acupuncture can single out specific areas of the central nervous system that cause these dysfunctions. Auriculotherapy is the treatment often chosen to treat psycho-emotional issues and addiction to substances.
A number of US studies have revealed that the cerebellum, pineal gland and the temporal and frontal cortex of the brain were smaller in size by 3% to 4% among those suffering from ADHD/ADD compared to people without any of these conditions. These nervous system parts govern general human behavior, language and memory skills, involved empathy, impulse control and attention span.
The studies helped in the development of a treatment protocol known as “Three Phase Auricular Therapy.” It has shown to be a quite powerful treatment for ADHD in the United States. The Three Phase Auricular Therapy starts by harmonizing the blockages in the energy vessels of organ systems that are responsible for the dysfunctional behavior. In diagnosing conditions using auriculotherapy, certain symptoms will be manifested like discoloration of specific areas of the skin. Brown or bright red skin spots, for example, are often signs of severe inflammation, while crusty scales or white flakes on the skin may signify a chronic condition in the affected organ system. Signs of unusual markings, depressions or protrusions on the auricular skin surface often mean pathological imbalances. These affected areas where blockage is known to occur can be stimulated using pellets taped on the skin surface of the ear for several days or using an electrical device.
The ear surface corresponding to the acupuncture points on the ear are examined for any irregularities, skin discoloration and extreme sensitivity to pressure after blockage has been determined to be cleared. The problematic regions of the brain that have been diagnosed are treated with body acupuncture and/or auriculotherapy. Other more sophisticated and less invasive therapies such as laser therapy and micro current electric stimulation are ideal therapies for young children. Both young and adult patients can benefit from semi permanent pellets and beads made of silver or gold.
Parents and the young patients can opt for auricular acupuncture as an adjunct to conventional therapy to minimize the need for pharmaceutical medications. Of course, a medical doctor or psychiatrist needs to supervise any modifications in the medications used by the patient.
It’s possible that after the regions of the brain affected or causing the pathology are resolved, auricular acupuncture can then be considered as the only treatment needed for ADHD/ ADD.
DeJongh Acupuncture Clinic
2929 SW 3rd Ave #610
Miami, FL 33129