A 2016 ADHD acupuncture research study concluded that acupuncture reduces symptoms and improves brain responses on EEGs for children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Researchers concluded that acupuncture was an effective standalone therapy for children with ADHD and increased the beneficial outcomes of biofeedback treatment. Acupuncture produced an 84 percent total effective rate as a standalone therapy. Acupuncture combined with biofeedback achieved a 92 percent effective rate.
ADHD Acupuncture Research
ADHD involves a lack of attention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness that complicates daily functioning. Furthermore, healthcare practitioners believe AHDH may contribute to developmental difficulties. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, ADHD is a brain disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior.
Children diagnosed with ADHD participated in the study. Symptomatic improvements and EEG measurements provided the measurement tools determining results. Research administrators divided five hundred ninety-two patients into acupuncture groups, Chinese medicine groups, and control groups. For the acupuncture group, practitioners used differential pattern diagnoses to create an acupuncture protocol for each patient.
Acupuncture Treatment For ADHD
Patients with liver and kidney deficiency received the following acupuncture points:
Practitioners retained needles for 20 minutes per acupuncture session. Also, treatment included plum blossom acupuncture to the GV Channel (Du Mai) and bladder channel (Foot-Taiyang) using the tapping method. Treatments emphasized acupuncture points Ganshu (BL18) and Shenshu (BL23), as they greatly benefit the liver and kidneys.
Patients with liver qi stagnation received the following acupuncture points:
The total needle retention time for liver qi stagnation patients lasted 20 minutes per acupuncture session. Plum blossom needling was applied to the pericardium (xinbao) meridian and added to the left and right upper limbs.
ADHD acupuncture research study results were dramatic. As a standalone treatment, acupuncture achieved an 84 percent success rate. Chinese herbal medicine achieved a 79 percent effective rate. Both groups experienced significant improvements regarding symptomatic relief and EEG results.
The statistics revealed two important trends. First, the younger the patient, the greater the positive patient outcome rate. Second, patients receiving the liver qi stagnation protocol had more significant positive patient outcomes than patients receiving the liver and kidney deficiency protocol.
Second ADHD Study
In related ADHD acupuncture research, doctors compared children receiving scalp acupuncture plus EEG biofeedback to children receiving only EEG biofeedback.
Acupuncture plus biofeedback achieved a 92 percent total effective rate compared to 83 percent for children receiving only biofeedback. Based on these findings, researchers concluded that acupuncture plus biofeedback had a synergistic clinical effect producing more significant positive patient outcomes.
Second Study Details
Researchers equally divided one hundred children with ADHD into two groups – acupuncture plus biofeedback and biofeedback only. In the acupuncture group, patients received the following points:
Dingzhongxian (MS 5)
Dingpangyixian (MS 8)
Baihui (GV 20)
Sishencong (EX-HN 1)
After four acupuncture sessions, several monitoring tests demonstrated superior patient outcomes for patients with acupuncture plus biofeedback versus using only biofeedback. Tests included the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), Conners ADHD Index, and EEGs.
Acupuncture Improves ADHD
The ADHD acupuncture research studies discussed in this review demonstrate that acupuncture is an effective therapy for improving patient outcomes for children with ADHD.
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Hong L (2004) Prof. ZHANG Jia—Wei. Clinical Study on Acupuncture Treatment of 380 Cases of Infantile Attention—Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Shanghai Zhenjiu 23.
Ni XQ, Zhang JY, Han XM, Yin DQ (2015) [A Meta-analysis on Acupuncture Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder]. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu 40: 319-325.
He CD, Lang BX, Jin LQ, Li B (2014) [Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder treated with scalp acupuncture and EEG biofeedback therapy in children: a randomized controlled trial]. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 34: 1179-1183.
National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health. (2016). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Bethesda, MD: U.S.
Li S, Yu B, Zhou D, He C, Kang L, et al. (2011) Acupuncture for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database Syst Rev: CD007839.
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