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I do realize that it will be difficult to treat a child (8 years) with ADD with shiatsu or Tui na but may be you have some experience treating them this way, since medication is not always the right thing to do. may be you can calm them down with shiatsu/tui na?

appreciating your input.


Most of ADD children are genius in some area, for example: the sports items or other items, try to find what they really like or interesting, then lead them to develop in that area, I don&#39t think to force them calm down is a good way of treatment. For Tuina use Ub channel 1st and 2nd line on the back is a good way to calm down them.


There is quite a bit you can offer children that have ADD related symptoms with tuina. I would suggest you read our Tong Ren Therapy for ADD/ADHD page for the points that we use. While the article references Tong Ren Therapy (a form of medical qi gong - also great for children...), the points are applicable regardless of technique. The most important part of the protocol with regards to tuina is to open up the sky window points on either both sides or the side that is most sore on the child and the GB 13 point.

Another option we find very effective and safe for children is pearl powder as an herbal supplement for ADD. We offer it in lozenges that work well for children - or in capsules for older children/adults who need a larger dose. The lozenges are usually fine.

Finally, referal to an acupuncturist should be considered as there is quite a bit they can offer to children experiencing these symptoms. Acupuncture is well tolerated by children in my experience and can lead to a more permanent resolution of issues.

And while it is a nice thought, there is no clinical evidence that I have seen to back Feng&#39s notion that ADD coincides with higher intelligence. Is this true is some children, yes, most definitely, but it is not a rule... It is to varying degrees a biochemical process that is related to anxiety and/or depression and needs to be treated as such. In other words, behavioral changes and directed outlets will not resolve this in all cases and treatment beyond that is required. For all intents and purposes I prefer to use acupuncture, herbal medicine and tuina to accomplish this instead of western medications. Treated correctly patients have the possibility of avoiding many years of medication and side effects.


Two points that seem pertinent - one is to remember that ADD is not a &#39thing&#39, in a similar manner to schizophrenia, there is no consistent definition of ADD even in psychiatry so beware of placing too much attention and weight on the label. Look at it in terms of the patterns of imbalance not &#39ADD kids are a,b,c&#39. ADD is a label that often leads to &#39justified&#39 administration of powerful psychotropic drugs but the existence fo the label is driven by the medicalisation of experience that dogs psychiatry and drives drug company research.

The second is that with children you absolutely need to look at the context, Children often do not experience a great deal of control over their environment and when children start exhibiting signs of imbalance it is a sure sign that the context in which they are living is not meeting their needs.

This obviously means, amongst other things, parents and family systems. Without addressing these issues any treatment won&#39t be getting to the root of the matter. Many parents, understandably, are avoiding facing their responsibility in this area and like diagnoses because it confirms for them that there is something &#39wrong&#39 with their child rather than something wrong with the environment their child has developed in.

This is a very tricky area and needs sensitive but rooted practise to address but without addressing it any treatment will be limited in it&#39s longevity and depth.


While I appreciate your views on this matter, I&#39m not entirely certain how this goes to answering the posters question and I feel I have to express some disagreement. I may be reading into what you are saying as, in the most general terms possible, I agree with you - but from my experience with successfully treating these issues in Children I do have some contention with some of what you have said. I disagree in part with your subjective sense that their is an establishment that is somehow out to mess children up with medications. While I&#39m not quick to jump to western medications by any stretch and in a very general way I both understand and appreciate where you are coming from - the medications exist because there are real problems and corrupt or not they are trying to meet a need that is presenting itself. And, while not desirable in many ways, they do appear to, temporarily at least, help large numbers of children (as do lots of other things, including diet change, etc.). And until the general populace knows more about Chinese Medicine and other facets of healing and take more responsibility for their own parenting, emotions, etc. we should be somewhat happy that kids can at least focus in school and graduate, etc. even if the mechanism of help has many, many undesirable aspects.

Now, do some parents compensate their poor lifestyles and poor parenting skills with medication? yes. Do some children display these symptoms because of intelligence, unhappiness, poor diet, etc., yes. Medically speaking, however, - while true for only a fraction of the people who are diagnosed - there is such a thing as ADD/ADHD and it is biochemical in nature and it can and often is in children who have supportive parents in loving homes, etc. - who from your view may have perfect "context." This, in my opinion, also needs to be appreciated. If your statements were entirely true people would be able to change context and/or think or behave their way out of all mental illness and this is just simply not the case.

Are the western diagnoses meaningless in a Chinese Medicine context - yes, but that is also a given as Chinese Medicine doesn&#39t treat "conditions" but "patterns". Still as a discussion point, the diagnoses are meaningful for that purpose. As always proper diagnosis from a Chinese Medicine standpoint is critical as is a consideration of all other factors.

Certainly as practitioners we evaluate the parents and the childs lifestyle, diet and emotions, when treating them, this goes without saying as it is inherent within the Chinese Medicine framework. But saying that context (diet and lifestyle and parents, etc.) is all there is to it is, I believe, quite simply wrong (just as wrong as saying a medicine will "fix" everything). Furthermore your statements could even be considered insulting to those parents who have children with serious imbalances leading to these symptoms that are providing a good home environment, good diet and every other good thing they can provide, yet their children are still experiencing these issues. Much like when people with depression are told to "just be happy" or "just get on with life and you&#39ll feel better" - that can crush someone for whom that&#39s all they want...

I don&#39t know how many people you have personally helped with these types of issues, but I have helped many and if I was too quick to judge them or in effect blame their child&#39s issues on them or their issues on themselves, or look poorly on them for exploring help from western medicine - I would get nowhere with them. I firmly believe you cannot separate the two issues in many cases as you appear to be doing - you need both medical help (western, Chinese, or otherwise) and personal/spiritual/social development for all psycho-emotional based conditions. Given together people can make tremendous strides towards powerful permanent changes in their overall being.


Bit difficult to respond to youor mini-polemic without completely highjacking the thread so sorry to original poster but I felt I needed to respond.

I do think you have made a mistake in reading a two paragraph response on a forum and then make a whole load of implicit assumptions about my intention and beliefs.

My points were made as points to &#39consider&#39 , I think I used that word so please, consider them, don&#39t assume you know me from two paragraphs of quickly written prose.

Also, it seems odd to criticique me as not answering the poster&#39s question and then create 3 pages + all about my post and not about theirs.

The existence of labels for experiences IS driven precisely by a medical model of experience that pathologises certain collections of experiences.

This is what Psychiatric diagnosis do, it is their job, it is not a conspiracy theory it is a just a description of what the process is. If you learn about how the DSM was developed you will find that Psychiatry deliberately made the process a process of getting collections of &#39symptoms&#39 and applying labels to them. It is quite explicit about this, it was a deliberate exercise in removing causation and context out of the picture and focussing purely on collections of experiences that would be deemed abnormal.

Drug companies need profits to fund drug research, that is a fact of life. The problem is that this means that treatments that have no commercial value e.g. Tui Na, do not get the benefit of this kind of research because it doesn&#39t make business sense and so the research evidence base over time naturally becomes dominated by studies in favour of commercially viable treatments. The extension of this is that now the identification of new &#39disorders&#39 then provides the opportunity for the development of drugs to treat those disorders and so research that identifies disorders has commercial value so is more likely to be funded, it is not rocket science to see this happening. Whether you view it as scientifically flawed or go further and view it as sinister a matter for opinion but it is easy to see this happening and it is easy to find many many examples fo Drug companies suppressing data and negative trials to support their drugs.

I don&#39t really understand why you have got so upset about what I said, it is just descriptive of what has happened.

I&#39m afraid I don&#39t think it is insulting to parents to address their part in the picture. What is insulting is to presume that they are not adult enough to look at their part in things. yes it might be upsetting for them to find ways in which they could have been &#39better&#39 but who is perfect? It is normal not to be perfect and to make mistakes, should we pussy foot around the issues that might help a child simply because it might prove challenging for parents? For me that is what being a skilled practitioner is, helping people past their feelings fo failure into new areas of growth and development. I don&#39t feel avoiding thorny issues does that.

Should we be &#39glad&#39 these drugs exist. They have effects in some situations and of course sometimes that effect is what people want but what is the effect? Is it a cure, or is it just that the child stops showing the behaviours everyone finds so difficult because their brain has been altered. It is commonly commented that Children on Ritalin seem like they are not quite there, that tells you something about their experience.

it changes the behaviour of some kids in some situations but if you get rid of the &#39problem&#39 behaviours you get rid of the very sign that is driving people to help the child and so that is seen as a &#39cure&#39. What else does it take away? It is a dampener on a childs experience of life.

And what effect does the stigma of being labelled as &#39ill&#39 &#39with ADD&#39 have on the child in the long term, how do they feel.

I think this URL while a funny joke sums up the problem:

My opinions are a combination of my own observations but also in large part from listening to the experiences of my wife who is a very experienced child clinical psychologist and who works exclusively with severly traumatised children in care. I discussed the stridence and content of your reponse with her and she said, "yes people really don&#39t like it if you challenge the medical model. I don&#39t really understand why they find it so troubling when it is obviously so flawed."

I don&#39t either and your response has left me perplexed and disappointed in a number of ways, not least that I found it on a forum for practitioners of more rounded healing arts where I would have hoped for a more open minded response.


It&#39s not clear to me that you read my response very closely. You seem to take it personally, while, nowhere in my response do I attack you as an individual and generally (as pointed out numerous times) I agree with you. To break it apart in simple points, again not to judge or attack your viewpoints but to express a clear but opposing viewpoint for people who will read these responses in the future....

You did say - "one is to remember that ADD is not a &#39thing&#39, in a similar manner to schizophrenia" - this I disagree with entirely, although if you read my response I realize that this may not be so in many of the cases - likely the majority. My personal opinion is that it is "a thing" in some cases and the normal routes of dietary change, lifestyle change, parenting change, etc. will not resolve it.... Which is why it can be insulting to people who have done all the right things, have addressed their issues, etc. and their children still have issues - this I expressed clearly in my original response...

Along those same lines you said "This obviously means, amongst other things, parents and family systems. Without addressing these issues any treatment won&#39t be getting to the root of the matter." My point being, which I express very clearly in my response, that I agree generally, however, I strongly feel that there are cases that are not related to any of these issues (which is really my only point in responding at all for all the reasons specified in my original response). Furthermore, in many cases the child can be so unbalanced that addressing any of these issues is a null point - instead of disregarding useful treatments looking at them as stepping stones is an equally valid and, in my opinion, more constructive viewpoint.

And you said "ADD is a label that often leads to &#39justified&#39 administration of powerful psychotropic drugs" - which expresses a certain viewpoint that I simply disagree with for all the reasons specified in my original response (i.e. I believe in some cases it is properly justified...).

Finally I don&#39t appreciate the personal jabs in your response, particularly, "Also, it seems odd to criticique me as not answering the poster&#39s question and then create 3 pages + all about my post and not about theirs." .. First of all it&#39s a sensationalist response to say I wrote 3 pages of text, just plain unnecessary, it&#39s a few paragraphs... Second, If you were to read the entire thread you would see that I offered a lengthy reply to their post along with links to herbal and acupuncture/energy healing perspectives that I have written which offer constructive help to this set of issues...

Oddly your response "for practitioners of more rounded healing arts where I would have hoped for a more open minded response." sums up exactly why I responded to you in the first place. There is little I disagree with more than the knee jerk reactions against western medicine amongst so called "alternative" practitioners. No one system has all the answers and an open mind is able to bring in these perspectives and work towards something that benefits their patients without insulting other people or disregarding modern or ancient information in a vein attempt to support their particular biases. These knee jerk reactions also appear on the western medicine side of the equation which can wholeheartedly disregard other viewpoints at the expense of their patients and at many times logic itself. Both extremes I find very unproductive... While you obviously disagree, I feel my response expresses both a balanced view of our medical options and viewpoints of these complicated conditions and offers viable alternatives to the status quo. Not sure how much more open minded I could be, nor what else I could offer...

Finally it should be noted that nearly every page on this website, which I have written, challenges the western medical model.... so your wife&#39s comment is largely off base as well. I challenge this model every day.... I just find the denial of many aspects of western medicine, knowledge and research, out of a set bias particularly unproductive....

But to each their own, my only point in responding is to protect parents and children who may read this post and end up blaming themselves more for something that is either not or only marginally within their control. Or to feel even more frustration because of which medical options they have chosen to work with at this point in their lives.

On the other hand, I appreciate your responses that highlight that it can and sometimes is within their control so they could just as likely be empowered....

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