Sunday, March 9, 2014

ADHD Natural Treatment - Yoga

Most children take stimulant medication like Ritalin to manage their attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But just because prescription drugs are the most widely-used treatment option for ADHD, this does not necessarily mean it is the best treatment. In previous articles, we have talked about how ADHD medication benefits only a small percentage of children, and how these improvements last only a short period of time. Instead of depending on medication as a quick fix to this complex disorder, your child might recover from ADHD completely through natural mind/body approaches.
As part of a holistic treatment plan, yoga is known to help children with ADHD overcome their inattentive and hyperactive tendencies. Yoga makes use of physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayamas), and deep relaxation exercises to calm the minds of children and strengthen their nervous systems. Yoga's spiritual component also promotes greater internal awareness, which helps the child control impulses and learn to focus - two things that children with ADHD have difficulty doing.
A number of researchers have devoted their time to studying how yoga can help reduce ADHD symptoms in children. When the whole body is involved in physical activity, brain functioning drastically improves, because it receives neuronal stimulation from the postural muscles. Certain routines like the Sun Salutation are designed to stimulate both sides of the brain, to facilitate efficient learning and assist brain integration. The physical demands of the practice also serve as an excellent outlet for pent-up energy, especially for children with ADHD Hyperactive Type. At the same time, the slow pace teaches children how to exert control and focus on the task at hand.
Aside from the exercise, the structure of the yoga class itself instills discipline and focus in a calm, non-competitive environment. A typical yoga class for ADHD children begins with arranging the mat space and performing breathing exercises to warm up. Afterwards, children perform asanas designed to improve coordination and balance, which helps them control their thoughts and direct their attention to relevant stimuli. The calming atmosphere of the yoga studio also decreases the number of stress hormones, which are known to aggravate ADHD.
What makes yoga a particularly helpful treatment is that the qualities learned can be used in practical, everyday situations. Learning to control impulse and attention alone will increase your child's academic performance and enable them to harness their potentials. Yoga will also teach your child to listen to the instructor and follow directions instead of running off before instructions are given. In other words, yoga can correct certain behaviors characteristic of ADHD as it rehabilitates the body and mind.
Although the benefits of yoga will not show up immediately, the changes that will occur are profound and will last forever. Of course, yoga alone cannot treat ADHD. For your child to benefit from yoga, it should be part of a comprehensive treatment program that includes healthy meals, a toxin-free environment, and other therapeutic approaches designed to treat ADHD naturally.
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