Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Yoga as Alternative Health Therapy for ADHD

 There are many school aged children in the United States that are currently diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyper-Activity Disorder with governmental and educational reports stating that “5 out of 100 children” in the classroom exhibit various signs including “excessive” movement ((NIHCHY), 2004)(p. 1). We are sharing this information so that the public will have the opportunity to research martial arts, yoga, and other forms of disciplined exercise programs. We have researched the following studies and have included the reference information as a basis of further understanding the alternatives to Ritalin and other amphetamine type drugs.  It was interesting to learn from Chris Streeter M.D.’s scientific findings that yoga practitioners will increase the natural and internal GABA production in the body by 27% naturally by training the body for one hour of yoga practice using asana (held poses) and pranayama (practiced rhythmic breathing) (Streeter, 2010) (p.1145). This is a demonstration that the body on its own through routine practice of breathing and focused concentration is able to produce the necessary hormones to assist the ADHD patient. The effects of Yoga are a longer lasting and less intrusive treatment to the child.  The patient with ADHD is then able to help themselves during times where they begin to experience the symptomology of hyperactivity or attention deficit.  Parents will be assured with our confident recommendation to provide their children the opportunity to learn the practice of yoga, martial arts, and cycling exercises on a weekly basis with a recommendation that yoga is a practice completed daily.  The studies listed below document how the internal chemistry within the body will begin to function with stability as a result of yoga practice. We have also included studies that further document that pharmaceutical amphetamines are not a guarantee of behavior modification (Jensen, 2004)(p. 205) and (Maddigan, 2003) (p. 40). Yoga practice as a recommended CAM intervention will benefit the child as a treatment plan that is effective and long lasting that truly assists them in a healthy and balanced wellness plan.

                We also recommend the practice of yoga for anxiety and stress relief. The body internally builds core strength through the daily routine of asanas and pranayama in addition to the ability to produce an increase of GABA.  Please contact us for further information regarding this article.

Disclosure:  Integrative Therapeutic Medicine is a recommended practice in addition to the advice given to you by your traditional western medical physician. We encourage our clients to research their prescribed medications and require that you speak with your individual western trained health practitioner about any complementary and alternative medical practice.  We encourage you to practice your own research and independent thinking as we believe that our clients know their health needs and are their own best advocate.

Colorado Certified Holistic Health Practitioner
References and Suggested Reading:
(NIHCHY), N. D. (2004). Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder fact sheet. [On-line]. Retrieved from NIHCHY: National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NIHCHY), (2004). Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder fact sheet. Retrieved from ID Online:
Bluebelly. (2013). Amphetamines. Retrieved from Bluebelly :
Colorado University at Denver, Regents of the School of Medicine (2013, April 23). School of Medicine MD Degree curriculum overview. Retrieved from CU School of Medicine:
Jensen, P. K. (2004). The effects of yoga on the attention and behavior of boys with Attention-Deficit/hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Journal of Attention Disorders, 7, 205-216.
Kirk, M. B. (2006). Hatha Yoga, Illustrated. Champaign: Human Kinetics.
Maddigan, B. H.-B. (2003). The effects of massage therapy & exercise therapy on children/adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The Canadian Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Review, 40-43.
Roach, M. (2004). The Tibetan Book of Yoga. United States, United States: Doubleday.
Silver, L. M. (2010). Why are there so many different medications to treat ADHD? Retrieved from LD Online:
Streeter, C. M. (2010). Effects of yoga versus walking on mood, anxiety, and brain GABA levels; A randomized controlled MRS study. The journal of alternative and complementary medicine, 1145-1152.
U.S. Department of Human Services, N. I. (2011, July). CAM Basics. USA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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