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Attention Deficit Disorder, ADD, ADHD, Etc.

Posted May 06 2009 1:33pm

Due to many of the great results we’ve been getting through nutrition, acupuncture, and chiropractic in our office, we get a ton of questions regarding things not ordinarily associated with a chiropractic office. One of the most common subjects that has been coming up recently is how to treat ADD, ADHD, Attention Deficit Disorder, Hyperactivity Disorder, or whatever other label they can come up with.

After receiving another email about this recently, I thought, “You know… this would be a good topic for the blog.” The following is a summary of the most common descriptions I hear from patients:

We have a history of ADD & ADHD in my family. Diagnosed or not, I recognize some of the symptoms in myself:

  1. While talking to someone, looking them right in the eyes, I’ll not hear a word they are saying because I’m thinking about three other things I need to do.
  2. I bounce from task to task. I can’t stay with one thing for very long.
  3. I get bored very easily.
  4. I have a hard time sitting still, i.e. in continuing educations classes, it kills me, I have to get up and move around every so often.
  5. I have a very bad memory, I forget where I park my car, etc.
  6. When I’m reading, I have to read things over and over again because I start drifting off to other things.

My answer to this patient, and to the many others that have sent near identical questions has been the following:

You’re potentially not going to like what I’ve got to say. Can I help? Yes… but perhaps not in the way you expect. Will this actually help? That depends on you.

First off… you do not have ADD. What you have is a high-functioning brain that gets bored with mundane tasks. That’s not a disease, nor is it a bad thing. It just means you need to learn how to train, control, and guide your brain. Often, when your brain is going several different directions at once, it’s because you have not been pushing and straining your brain power as far as it needs to go. It also means you are not managing your “brain time.” You need to practice controlling your brain, and forcing it to complete one task before allowing it to go on to the next task.

Let’s look at some of your complaints:

1) While talking to someone, looking them right in the eyes, I’ll not hear a word they are saying because I’m thinking about three other things I need to do.

Gonna be kind of blunt here… Stop it! Tell your brain… literally talk to your brain in your head, and say, “Focus on what this person is saying; the other stuff can wait. I can’t address the other thing right now anyway, so let’s finish the task that’s in front of us.” This will be a tough transition for you, but I’ll give you a technique that will help you later.

2) I bounce from task to task. I can’t stay with one thing for very long.

Same as above. Decide what you’re working on right now, and keep putting your brain back on target every time it strays. If you structure the tasks as varying degrees of priority, you’ll know which tasks must be completed first, and know that you have a plan for completing the other tasks later. Make a plan to structure your time, and then stick with it.

3) I get bored very easily.

This is not uncommon. It’s not ADD, it’s a comfort zone. For one reason or another, you have chosen tasks or recreational activities that don’t stimulate your brain like it wants and needs. As I said earlier, you have a high-functioning brain that wants to be pushed. Give it what it wants. Instead of mundane tasks or television, work puzzles. Play chess. Work on your genealogy. Play a game. Exercise. Whatever it is, it should have a goal that you must work for to achieve. When reading, choose material that you can either immerse yourself in one of the characters, or something you can learn from. You must excite your brain… then it won’t be bored.

4) I have a hard time sitting still, i.e. in continuing educations classes, it kills me, I have to get up and move around every so often.

This is just a continuation of the above. If your brain is able to sit through a continuing ed class and get everything out of it you need, but still needs a further push, work a crossword while you’re sitting there. Your brain will be constantly stimulated. Your priority will remain on concentrating on the speaker when it’s necessary, but when he/she is reviewing something you’re already fluent in, your brain will have another task to fall back on. Again, learn to prioritize. The speaker is number one, the crossword (or sudoku, jumble, logic puzzle, etc.) is number two, and every once in a while you’ll think of something else that needs to be done… jot it down so you can take care of it later.

5) I have a very bad memory, I forget where I park my car, etc.

Also very common. When your brain is not focused, and you’re not in control, you don’t attach any memory markers to the event. If you park in “lot 7,” remember that you parked with The Seven Dwarves. If you park in lot B-17, remember that you parked with the WWII bombers… dumb little stuff like that will go a long way towards helping you remember mundane items. Have you ever truly lost your car? Ultimately, you’ll realize that it’s not that important… you’ll find the car or remember soon enough. That’s not worth stressing over. If it’s something you really want to remember, attach a memory marker to it… something silly that you’ll remember.

6) When I’m reading, I have to read things over and over again because I start drifting off to other things.

Again… control. Make a plan and stick to it. If it’s something you really need to read and recall, use a highlighter to mark the important points. Go through it quickly; then rescan the areas you’ve highlighted. If it’s not something that you must read, and it’s not holding your interest, put it down and move on. Realize that your brain is functioning on a higher level than what that material is providing, and pick something that stimulates your brain… something that really interests you.

This is going to be tough for you to correct, but you can do it. Here’s your first task. Get a small notepad and pen and keep it with you at all times. When you find yourself drifting, take notes to keep yourself on point. Note what the person you’re talking to is saying. Note tasks that need to be completed later… but also note when you’re going to complete them. Focus on prioritizing your time… and your brain time, and you’ll be fine.

Nutritionally… you must avoid sugars and stimulants. These will greatly hinder your ability to reel your brain back in. Think of your brain as a four-year old. When you’re trying to keep him under control, put him to bed, and/or teach him something, you can’t give him sugar because he’ll be bouncing off the walls and can’t concentrate. Same thing with your brain. It’s already functioning on a high level, so don’t stimulate it any more than necessary. The supplement you need is called OPC Synergy by Standard Process. This is an all-natural product that supports healthy brain function along with being one of the strongest antioxidants available. Also available from Standard Process are Organically Bound Minerals or MinTran. These are both high-quality mineral supplements that assist in normalizing brain function. MinTran is best used in cases that have associated hyperactivity.

Dr. Gray

Gray Chiropractic is a full-service natural health care office in Independence, east of Kansas City. For further information check our website www.graychiropractic.com.

Due to many of the great results we’ve been getting through nutrition, acupuncture, and chiropractic in our office, we get a ton of questions regarding things not ordinarily associated with a chiropractic office. One of the most common subjects that has been coming up recently is how to treat ADD, ADHD, Attention Deficit Disorder, Hyperactivity Disorder, or whatever other label they can come up with.

After receiving another email about this recently, I thought, “You know… this would be a good topic for the blog.” The following is a summary of the most common descriptions I hear from patients:

We have a history of ADD & ADHD in my family. Diagnosed or not, I recognize some of the symptoms in myself:

  1. While talking to someone, looking them right in the eyes, I’ll not hear a word they are saying because I’m thinking about three other things I need to do.
  2. I bounce from task to task. I can’t stay with one thing for very long.
  3. I get bored very easily.
  4. I have a hard time sitting still, i.e. in continuing educations classes, it kills me, I have to get up and move around every so often.
  5. I have a very bad memory, I forget where I park my car, etc.
  6. When I’m reading, I have to read things over and over again because I start drifting off to other things.

My answer to this patient, and to the many others that have sent near identical questions has been the following:

You’re potentially not going to like what I’ve got to say. Can I help? Yes… but perhaps not in the way you expect. Will this actually help? That depends on you.

First off… you do not have ADD. What you have is a high-functioning brain that gets bored with mundane tasks. That’s not a disease, nor is it a bad thing. It just means you need to learn how to train, control, and guide your brain. Often, when your brain is going several different directions at once, it’s because you have not been pushing and straining your brain power as far as it needs to go. It also means you are not managing your “brain time.” You need to practice controlling your brain, and forcing it to complete one task before allowing it to go on to the next task.

Let’s look at some of your complaints:

1) While talking to someone, looking them right in the eyes, I’ll not hear a word they are saying because I’m thinking about three other things I need to do.

Gonna be kind of blunt here… Stop it! Tell your brain… literally talk to your brain in your head, and say, “Focus on what this person is saying; the other stuff can wait. I can’t address the other thing right now anyway, so let’s finish the task that’s in front of us.” This will be a tough transition for you, but I’ll give you a technique that will help you later.

2) I bounce from task to task. I can’t stay with one thing for very long.

Same as above. Decide what you’re working on right now, and keep putting your brain back on target every time it strays. If you structure the tasks as varying degrees of priority, you’ll know which tasks must be completed first, and know that you have a plan for completing the other tasks later. Make a plan to structure your time, and then stick with it.

3) I get bored very easily.

This is not uncommon. It’s not ADD, it’s a comfort zone. For one reason or another, you have chosen tasks or recreational activities that don’t stimulate your brain like it wants and needs. As I said earlier, you have a high-functioning brain that wants to be pushed. Give it what it wants. Instead of mundane tasks or television, work puzzles. Play chess. Work on your genealogy. Play a game. Exercise. Whatever it is, it should have a goal that you must work for to achieve. When reading, choose material that you can either immerse yourself in one of the characters, or something you can learn from. You must excite your brain… then it won’t be bored.

4) I have a hard time sitting still, i.e. in continuing educations classes, it kills me, I have to get up and move around every so often.

This is just a continuation of the above. If your brain is able to sit through a continuing ed class and get everything out of it you need, but still needs a further push, work a crossword while you’re sitting there. Your brain will be constantly stimulated. Your priority will remain on concentrating on the speaker when it’s necessary, but when he/she is reviewing something you’re already fluent in, your brain will have another task to fall back on. Again, learn to prioritize. The speaker is number one, the crossword (or sudoku, jumble, logic puzzle, etc.) is number two, and every once in a while you’ll think of something else that needs to be done… jot it down so you can take care of it later.

5) I have a very bad memory, I forget where I park my car, etc.

Also very common. When your brain is not focused, and you’re not in control, you don’t attach any memory markers to the event. If you park in “lot 7,” remember that you parked with The Seven Dwarves. If you park in lot B-17, remember that you parked with the WWII bombers… dumb little stuff like that will go a long way towards helping you remember mundane items. Have you ever truly lost your car? Ultimately, you’ll realize that it’s not that important… you’ll find the car or remember soon enough. That’s not worth stressing over. If it’s something you really want to remember, attach a memory marker to it… something silly that you’ll remember.

6) When I’m reading, I have to read things over and over again because I start drifting off to other things.

Again… control. Make a plan and stick to it. If it’s something you really need to read and recall, use a highlighter to mark the important points. Go through it quickly; then rescan the areas you’ve highlighted. If it’s not something that you must read, and it’s not holding your interest, put it down and move on. Realize that your brain is functioning on a higher level than what that material is providing, and pick something that stimulates your brain… something that really interests you.

This is going to be tough for you to correct, but you can do it. Here’s your first task. Get a small notepad and pen and keep it with you at all times. When you find yourself drifting, take notes to keep yourself on point. Note what the person you’re talking to is saying. Note tasks that need to be completed later… but also note when you’re going to complete them. Focus on prioritizing your time… and your brain time, and you’ll be fine.

Nutritionally… you must avoid sugars and stimulants. These will greatly hinder your ability to reel your brain back in. Think of your brain as a four-year old. When you’re trying to keep him under control, put him to bed, and/or teach him something, you can’t give him sugar because he’ll be bouncing off the walls and can’t concentrate. Same thing with your brain. It’s already functioning on a high level, so don’t stimulate it any more than necessary. The supplement you need is called OPC Synergy by Standard Process. This is an all-natural product that supports healthy brain function along with being one of the strongest antioxidants available. Also available from Standard Process are Organically Bound Minerals or MinTran. These are both high-quality mineral supplements that assist in normalizing brain function. MinTran is best used in cases that have associated hyperactivity.

Dr. Gray

Gray Chiropractic is a full-service natural health care office in Independence, east of Kansas City. For further information check our website www.graychiropractic.com.

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