Friday, 26 July 2013

Treating ADHD through Alternative Medicine

We all know at least one child that won’t or can’t sit still, will never listen attentively or follow instructions, or who blurts out inappropriate comments at inappropriate times. Often branded as troublemakers, they may have ADD/ADHD. This disorder appears in early childhood, attention deficit disorder makes it difficult for these children to be understood or accepted. Medication is often prescribed, but today parents and doctors want to try alternative medicine in combination with education, behavior therapy, support at home and school, exercise, and proper nutrition.

Bear in mind that you must talk with your doctor before you take any alternative interventions to determine if the therapy will be safe for you

Interactive Metronome training

Interactive Metronome training comprises listening to a computerized rhythmic beat that the person then tries to mimic with hand or foot tapping. This training has a significant improvement in attention span, behavior, and motor control.

Chiropractic medicine 

Chiropractic theory is that muscle tone imbalance causes an imbalance in brain activity, by adjusting the ADHD patient's spine, balance is restored in the brain. 

Kinesiology or Neural Organization technique 

Treatment involves the chiropractor performing adjustments that realign the bones back to their proper position. 

Neurofeedback or EEG 

People with ADHD have excess theta (slow) waves and fewer than average beta (fast) waves when measured on an EEG (electroencephalograph ~ it can measure brain wavelengths). Neurofeedback treatment involves teaching the patient how to increase their arousal levels (increase beta waves and decrease theta waves), thereby increasing arousal, can decrease ADHD symptoms.

Ayurveda’s Answer

Adopting a vata-pacifying lifestyle is the best natural option 

1. Create a Routine
Regularity and structure counter the natural tendency toward chaos: a scheduled time to do homework, exercise, relax, eat, go to bed, and wake up to begin a new day.

2. Relaxation
Doing 5- to 10-minute Yoga or Transcendental Meditation or relaxation at least once a day 

3. Bedtime Massage
A bedtime massage is particularly calming for children with ADHD, organic unrefined oil (olive, almond, and sesame oils are especially grounding.)

4. Diet and Nutrition
Abolishing foods thought to increase hyperactivity, such as sugar, and common allergens such as wheat, milk and eggs, eliminating artificial food colorings and additives. Encourage plenty of cooked vegetables and whole grains, along with moderate amounts of protein and organic unrefined oils. In addition 50 mg of B-complex vitamins and 100 to 200 mg of fish oils geared for children.

5. Natural Rx
Lemon balm, chamomile, hops, passion flower, skullcap, brahmi, valerian, and St. John’s Wort are common Herbs that calm, soothe, and nourish the nervous system include. They can be taken safely as teas or tinctures.

6. Technology Time-Out
Limiting electromagnetic exposure (cell phones, playing computer games, watching TV) to an hour or less a day will greatly improve sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue, headaches, dizziness, memory and attention problems or distorted vision

7. Minimal Medication
“Holidays” from the medication when intense concentration and focus aren’t necessary (on the weekends, during summer break, etc.) goes a long distance is helping the child while decreasing his chances of experiencing side effects.

Aerobic fitness
Cognitive functioning and neural organization related to executive control during pre-adolescent development has improved on account of aerobic fitness

Art Therapy
Allowing the mind to express itself in several mediums of art is thought to be an effective therapy for some of the symptoms of ADHD

Nature or Green therapy

It has been proven that children who spend time outdoors in natural settings, such as parks, fields seem to display fewer symptoms of ADHD, which has been dubbed "Green Therapy"

To find creative ways is a move in the right direction. The goal of these alternative treatments is to make your child feel precious, grounded, and nourished.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

How effective is Integrative Medicine

As the American healthcare system grows increasingly expensive and ineffective and truly patient-centered care becomes progressively difficult to find, more people than ever before are looking for alternatives to the conventional healthcare model. As defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, integrative medicine "combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness." The goal is that this combined approach treats all aspects of a patient: "biological, psychological, social, and spiritual, including all aspects of lifestyle. In a survey of US medical centers using integrative medicine, 75% reported success using integrative practices to treat chronic pain, with more than half reporting positive results in the areas of gastrointestinal conditions, depression, anxiety, cancer, and chronic stress

The principles of integrative medicine:
  • It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient in the healing process
  • It is informed by evidence
  • A holistic approach – all factors that influence health, including body, mind, spirit and life style are considered
  • A philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically
  • Recognition that good medicine should be based in good science, be inquiry driven, and be open to new paradigms
  • Use of natural, effective, less-invasive interventions whenever possible
  • Explore the broader concepts of promotion of health, the prevention of illness and the treatment of disease
  • Training of practitioners to be models of health and healing, committed to the process of self-exploration and self-development
Some of the common approaches in integrative medicine include:

Stress Management – help one learn to manage general life stress or situational stress. 

Guided imagery - based upon the belief that the mind can affect the body's functions; this is a visualization technique that teaches people to focus on positive mental pictures 

Resilience Training - helps individuals develop positive strategies to manage stress and develop a resilient disposition

Massage Therapy – helps to relax and detox and rejuvenate the system

Acupuncture - proven to treat pain, nausea, and vomiting, asthma, menstrual cramps, and osteoarthritis.
Hypnosis - extremely successful in certain conditions, such as insomnia, anxiety, phobias and pain management

Meditation and Mindfulness techniques - useful to relax and rejuvenate the mind and body, connect to the true inner self

Hypnotherapy - divert patients' attention away from pain by inducing a state of deep relaxation.

Some guidelines before you embark on this road:
  • Make sure you know what you are trying and why: Find reliable information sources, not stores or websites that want to sell you something, or friends with you anecdotal information
  • Keep your doctor informed
  • Don’t think “either-or”: During an emergency, an asthma attack or cancer may best be treated with a conventional approach. You may switch back when the emergency has passed.
Today people who have been exposed to integrative medicine, prefer the customized, personal care and the whole-person perspective. Because integrative medicine is an approach that puts the patient at the center of care and addresses the full gamut of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect health, the benefits are myriad. By employing a personalized strategy that considers the patient's unique conditions, needs and circumstances, integrative medicine uses the most appropriate interventions from an array of scientific disciplines to heal illness and disease and help people regain and maintain optimal health, thus the effectiveness is greatly enhanced. Current review finds cost effectiveness in more than two dozen high quality studies. Integrative medicine lifestyle change programs have done exceedingly well for those with chronic disease, for people experiencing depression and as strategies to support wellness in all populations.