A new study shows promise for treating ADHD by combining Neurofeedback and acupuncture.
With Vince’s diagnostics in hand, Dr. Jingduan Yang, founder and medical director of the Yang Institute of Integrative Medicine, created a treatment plan that combines neurofeedback with acupuncture. Patients typically do 40 minutes of each in one visit. Sessions can be once or several times per week. Neurofeedback focuses on the brain, while acupuncture hones in on the kidneys. “Chinese medicine believes that the energy and essence of kidneys are responsible for the development of the brain,” Yang explains. “Fundamentally, if someone is deficient in either energy or essence—what we call hormones, proteins and neurotransmitters—they have trouble concentrating and have other cognitive deficits. Acupuncture helps the kidneys be more efficient and preserve energy.”
Parents with years of experience dealing with their kids’ ADHD may raise skeptical eyebrows at Yang’s ideas. “Medication and behavioral therapy are the gold standards for treating ADHD, and most kids use both,” says Dr. Roger Harrison, a psychologist and pediatric behavioral health specialist at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
The science is still out on cures, too. But in the meantime, Harrison doesn’t completely dismiss QEEG or acupuncture. “I never tell families not to try them,” he says, “but I caution them against spending money on alternative treatments based solely on testimonials. Is there evidence that this intervention works better than a placebo? Are there blind clinical trials, and have they been replicated? QEEG studies have not been replicated. It is new and promising, but there’s not enough established science to recommend it.”