Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic neurodevelopmental condition that affects millions of children. ADHD often begins in childhood and can persist into adulthood. It includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour (often inappropriate for the person's age). It may contribute to low self-esteem, troubled relationships and difficulty at school or work.
Prescription of stimulant based drugs such as amphetamines (Adderall, Adderall XR, Dexedrine) and methylphenidates (Concerta,Metadate, Ritalin) are common in the treatment of ADHD even amongst children, with the therapeutic effects of such stimulants often seen within minutes.
However, ongoing concern has been raised about the lack of long-term studies on the safety and efficacy of these medications (Zhang H, Du M, Zhuang S. Impact of long-term treatment of methylphenidate on height and weight of school age children with ADHD. Neuropediatrics. 2010;41(2):55–59.) Especially due to the fact that children are often more sensitive than adults to the side effects of psychiatric medication (Zito JM, Safer DJ, dosReis S, et al. Trends in the prescribing of psychotropic medications to preschoolers. JAMA. 2000;23;283(8):1025–1030., Ratzoni G, Gothelf D, Brand-Gothelf A, et al. Weight gain associated with olanzapine and risperidone in adolescent patients: a comparative prospective study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2002;41(3):337–343.).
However, there are non invasive, natural therapies out there. A 2012 study published in ISRN Pediatrics found yoga improved school performance in children with ADHD (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3539379/) and a small Australian study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders suggested yoga improved behavior and focus in ADHD boys on drug therapy (http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/108705470400700403). Several other studies have found yoga to help improve ADHD symptoms in children with ADHD (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16485612,http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.2466/pr0.1918.104.22.1685) Other alternative natural tharapies effective in controling and reducing the symptoms of ADHD include Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa Monnieri, L-Theanine, Omega-3 Fish oil and more (https://www.cognitune.com/best-natural-adderall-alternatives/).
In Ayurveda, ADHD is classified as a Vata imbalance. Vata is “wind energy”: it’s light, mobile, dry, cool, and changeable. It governs the movement of our bodies and our thoughts. While everyone has some vata in their constitution, those who have a who have a dominance of vata (i.e. a predominance of this light, moving and expansive energy), tend to have sensitive nervous systems. This means they experience the world with a heightened intensity and as a result, they’re prone to anxiety, inattention, hyperactivity, restlessness, and sleep problems.
Individuals that have ADHD are drawn to new activities (often sensory-stimulating in nature), adventure, movement and change. Yet they are balanced by the opposite: activities that are calming, nurturing, grounding and relaxing. Ironically, this means individuals with ADHD often create vicious cycles for themselves; engaging in activities and situations that agitate rather than calm, their already overactive nervous systems.
I endeavour to help individuals with ADHD by balancing their levels of vata in the central nervous system. Vata in the nervous system can be readily reduced using several holistic, natural, lifestyle approaches such as:
• Vata balancing yoga asanas: generally, yoga asanas for vata individuals are slow, grounding and calming in nature, occur in a warm, nurturing environment with soft light and music.
• Helping to create routine and structure: as individuals high in vata have a tendency towards chaotic fast paced lifestyles, creating a manageable routine together is often extremely helpful in reducing the amount of vata in the body.
• Warm, person centred communication: feeling loved and connected reduces vata.
• Learning a range of other helpful vata pacifying natural remedies
Note: External Ayurvedic medical advice and treatment by a certified Ayurveda practitioner is highly recommended for individuals with ADHD to provide crucial dietary, lifestyle, herbal and detoxification assistance.
Email me or call me directly to find out more: hello(at)laprana.com.au, +61 408 181 810
BPsych(Hons) & Registered Yoga Teacher
My aim is to improve the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of the individual using a holistic, mind-body model of wellness. I take a philosophical, person-centred approach as I work together with the client to uncover the underlying issue at hand. By identifying the root cause of an issue, I believe we can more readily achieve transformative, lasting wellbeing. Based on the premise that every individual is complex and unique; treatment is tailored and personalised to suit the particular physical, mental, emotional and social needs of each individual.
After completing my Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) at Queensland University of Technology, I travelled to India where I completed my yoga teacher training course. Since then, I have lived between Brisbane, Byron Bay and Melbourne, working both nationally and internationally to integrate my passions in yoga and psychology.
By layering and melding ancient Eastern Yoga philosophy with more contemporary Western models of psychology, the profound principles buried in each of them become clearer and stronger, and an intensity of effectiveness becomes possible. Using a synergistic blend of techniques from both East and West, I believe deeply transformative, whole-self healing is possible.