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Jun 24

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Today, more children and adults in the U.S. are being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD than ever before—and more prescription drugs are being issued all the time as well.

While it’s true that some of us have more trouble staying calm and focused than others, when it comes to making diagnoses, where do we draw the line between normal behavior and a disorder?  And when do we decide to take prescription medication, or give it to our children whose brains are still developing? Little is known about the long term effects of these drugs.

Taking medication, of whatever kind, is an individual decision, and not everyone will come to the same conclusion. Don’t let yourself be persuaded through advertising: Do the research and consider all your options.

There is another way, a holistic way.

Our bodies and minds are part of one unit, one system. A holistic approach means thinking about what we eat, what we take, what we read and watch, where we live, how we live. Everything we do has an effect. If we want our bodies and minds to work for us, we have to give them what they need to be healthy and strong.

The information that follows is based on an article that I wrote for the magazine New York Special Child: A Holistic Approach to ADHD. Follow the link to read the complete article. Below is a synopsis.

The Basics

Exercise.

Get to bed on time.

Turn off the computer and other electronic devices at least one hour before bedtime, preferably two.

Get out in nature.

Spend time every day doing something you love to do. Not only does this bring joy and fulfillment, but it helps you focus better on all your activities.

Some Other Things to Consider

Artificial ingredients and allergies:

There are many artificial ingredients in the foods we eat. Read all labels carefully and try to eat things without chemicals.

Sugar:

We all know how sugar makes us feel, and there is sugar in the most unlikely places these days. Again, read all labels and limit your sugar intake.

Pesticides:

Pesticides can be found in high concentrations in fish, meat, dairy products,  and certain produce. Try to buy organic whenever possible.

Supplements:

A good diet, eliminating harmful additives, and eating organic as much as possible will definitely improve body and brain function; but adding supplements can be beneficial as well. Check out the book Non-Drug Treatments for ADHD by Dr. Richard P. Brown and Dr. Patricia Gerbarg. Their website is www.breath-body-mind.com.

Mind-Body Practices:

Mind-body practices such as meditation, yoga, and breath work can be particularly helpful for all of the symptoms of ADHD and co-existing conditions such as anxiety and depression.  Practicing mindfulness and other mind-body skills can, over time, actually change the structure of our brains for the better.

Here’s the link again to the article:  A Holistic Approach to ADHD.

I hope you enjoy it.  Have a great month. Summer is here and we can all benefit from being in the sun and getting out in nature!

1 comment

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