ADD / ADHD
On this page you can find a brief discussion about ADD, ADHD according to Chinese medicine principles, the possible causes of this condition in terms of Chinese medicine diagnosis, and the treatment protocol at our clinic.
Please keep in mind that Chinese medicine is very different in principles, concepts, language, and treatment methods from western medicine. The information here is intended for the lay people who have no knowledge about Chinese medicine, therefore this discussion must be limited in scope and depth. The purpose is to impart the relevant information and to help you gain a general understanding, from your standpoint as a potential patient of Chinese medicine, how Chinese medicine views and diagnoses this condition of interest and what you can expect from a treatment if you decide to become a patient of our clinic.
Below are brief explanations of some common terms and concepts in Chinese medicine diagnosis that you would come across in a reading. This also helps you to understand better the discussion on this page.
- Qi - means energy. Qi is the universal energy that pervades within and without us everywhere in this realm of existence. Strictly speaking in our body, qi is the vital force that causes all movements, activities, functions, growth, development, control, check and balance, nourishment, protection, and transformation.
- Yin - pertains to the material basis of our body.
- Yang - pertains to the energetic, functional aspect of our body.
- Damp - refers to moisture in the body. The mentioning of damp in a diagnosis usually refers to an excessive accumulation that consequently produces problems.
- Heat, cold - temperature in our body. The mentioning of temperature in a diagnosis usually indicates an extreme level of imbalance.
- Wind - exists naturally in our body. The mentioning of wind in a diagnosis indicates an imbalance has occurred which causes the activity of wind to become excessive or in severe cases out of control.
- Meridian - another term for energy channel.
According to Chinese medicine, ADD and ADHD are the results of constitutional deficiencies. Chinese medicine can be effective for this condition but requires long commitment to the treatment. The principle to treat for deficiencies is to replenish, and the process of replenishing and rebuilding often requires time. Progress is gradual but Chinese medicine is one of the best natural medicine for this condition especially for children.
ADD, ADHD result from one or more of the following imbalances:
- Heart and kidney yin deficiency
- Spleen qi deficiency
- Liver qi stagnation
- Yin deficiency heat (especially in ADHD)
- Excess damp and/or phlegm
- Aggravation of internal wind
In treating ADD and ADHD, we use acupuncture and Chinese herbs to achieve the following effects:
- Fortify heart yin, kidney yin, spleen qi.
- Regulate heart qi.
- Regulate and soothe liver qi.
- Clear heat.
- Clear damp, phlegm.
- Subdue internal wind.
The initial course of treatment constitutes six weekly sessions and followed by a maintenance program. For children age 10 or under, only herbal therapy is used - we do not apply acupuncture unless the condition is severe. This treatment is long term. We encourage patience and commitment to the process especially on the part of the parents. A proper diet and nutritional supplements must also be incorporated.
An in-depth assessment and individually tailored treatment recommendation are conducted in person as there may be pre/existing factors of one's health that influence the condition of interest.