“Under this approach, parents, teachers, and other caregivers learn better ways to work with and relate to the child with ADHD. You will learn how to set and enforce rules, help your child understand what he needs to do, use discipline effectively, and encourage good behavior. Your child will learn better ways to control his behavior as a result. You will learn how to be more consistent.”
Some children with ADHD may also need social skills training and behavioral therapy for help controlling impulsive behavior.
And of course, accommodations at school (504 Plan vs IEP) can also be helpful so that your child has extra time to take tests if needed, modified instructions and assignments, and extra break time, etc.
What About Alternative ADHD Treatments?
What about all of those “other” treatments for ADHD that you might have heard about?
Jennifer Gunter may be best known for calling out Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and her jade vaginal eggs, vaginal steaming, and other quackery. Active on Twitter, she also has a column in the New York Times, has a new book coming out, The Vagina Bible (pre-order it now!), and she is getting her own TV show!!!
She is another doctor you should be following, as she is doing a great job of calling out non-evidence based treatments.
And then there are these folks you should be reading and following (no, they are not all doctors…):
That they all don’t have millions of followers is one of the reasons that folks fall for medical misinformation so easily.
It’s the reason that you might go to a chiropractor when you are having problems breastfeeding, even though you don’t really understand how chiropractic works.
And why you buy homeopathic “medicines” when your kids have colic or a runny nose, not understanding that you don’t get any active medicine when you buy something with homeopathy on the label.
From misinformation about vaccines to every type of alternative medicine scam out there, these folks have been writing and warning us about them for a long time.
Surprised when someone “breaks a story” about celebrity anti-vaxxers or the “latest” alternative medicine fad that is hurting folks? You wouldn’t be if you were following these folks fighting medical misinformation.
More on Social Media Doctors Fighting Medical Misinformation
Interested in complementary or integrative medicine for your child? Going to see a holistic pediatrician? Learn about some of the most common treatments they might offer, from acupuncture and homeopathy to craniosacary therapy and using essential oils.
What does your alternative medicine provider think?
How does he or she heal what ails you?
In other words, what’s really behind the idea or philosophy behind what makes their techniques ‘work?’
“…there’s no such thing as conventional or alternative or complementary or integrative or holistic medicine. There’s only medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t.”
Paul Offit on Do You Believe in Magic?
Does it matter to you that the concept of innate intelligence of chiropractic “is derived directly from the occult practices of another era?”
Does it matter to you that following their bad advice might have deadly consequences?
A Parent’s Guide to Complementary and Integrative Medicine
You may think that it doesn’t matter how something works, as long as it works, right?
Unfortunately, these treatments have not been proven to work and sometimes do real harm to folks, especially when they have serious illnesses and skip using traditional treatments that could have really helped them.
Acupuncture – a practitioner of acupuncture “heals” by inserting needles along specific meridians to unblock your child’s qi (chi) or life force. Can also be done without needles (acupressure), with practitioners applying physical pressure to acupuncture points to clear blockages in specific meridians
Aromatherapy – invented in 1937 by Rene- Maurice Gattefosse, aromatherapy uses essential oils or “naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.” How do essential oils work? They help to “unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.” Is that what you are doing when you use essential oils?
Ayurveda – with origins in ancient India, practitioners believe that imbalances in three elemental substances (which are made up of five classical elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether) can cause disease, as they lead to excess or deficiency in one of three forces – vata, kapha, and pitta.
Traditional Chinese medicine – includes the use of herbal medicines, tai chi, and acupuncture, etc., and is rooted in Taoism and based on keeping yin and yang in harmony, the five elements (water, wood, fire, earth, and metal), and qi – a vital energy that flows through your body.
Chiropractic – chiropractic subluxations interfere with our innate intelligence that works to keep us healthy and our ability to heal ourselves. Daniel David Palmer, a magnetic healer, discovered this when he adjusted and “healed” a partially deaf janitor in Iowa in 1895. It is important to note that these chiropractic subluxations are usually not visible on xray, unlike true spinal subluxations. Like other alternative providers, chiropractors have vertebral subluxation and nerve charts that they think map to specific areas and parts of our bodies.
Craniosacral therapy – has to do with tides, rhythms, and flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which these practitioners think they can feel and manipulate by massaging your head. It was was developed by John Upledger, D.O. in the 1970s.
Cryotherapy – no, we aren’t talking about freezing warts, but rather whole body cryotherapy, the new trend that has hit your local strip-mall and many chiropractic offices.
Cupping – truly an ancient practice, cupping is supposed to draw toxins out of your body. It was once combined with bloodletting.
Dry needling – involves sticking needles into “myofascial trigger points” in your skin to create a local twitch reflex, which is supposed to stop pain. Another ancient practice? Nope. It was invented in the 1940s. Physical therapists often learn how to do dry needling at weekend seminars.
Electromagnetic therapy – do you believe that an imbalance of electromagnetic frequencies or fields of energy in your body is making you sick? Have you ever used a TENS unit for pain?
Faith healing – while there is certainly nothing wrong with praying when your child is sick, there are way too many stories of tragedies when parents rely on prayer alone.
Herbalism – herbalism is a part of many traditional medical traditions, but many practitioners make exaggerated claims about what these herbs can do.
Holistic Dentistry – use homeopathy, ozone therapy, essential oils, and other alternative therapies to take care of your whole body, not just your teeth. Many even have their own meridian tooth charts, thinking that you can map each tooth an organ in the body or a disease. And of course, they are often anti-fluoride and will want to replace any mercury fillings that you have.
Homeopathy – homeopathic medicine was created in Germany by Samuel Hahnemann in 1796. It is based on the concepts that “like cures like” and the “law of the minimum dose.” Homeopathic medicines are diluted so much, in fact, that they are said to only contain a memory of the original substance.
Holistic Pediatricians – likely panders to your fears about vaccines and incorporates many of the alternative therapies on this list, especially acupuncture, the use of essential oils, and homeopathy. Probably doesn’t take insurance, but has found a way to integrate a lot of expensive, non-evidence based testing and treatments into their practice, like meridian testing, Zyto scans, detox testing, and chelation therapy, etc.
Hypnotherapy – while maybe hypnotherapy can distract you during a painful procedure, there is less evidence that it helps treat medical and psychological problems
Iridology – the “science” of the iris of the eyes, a certified iridologist, by consulting an iridology chart, can diagnose your problems “based on the markings, fibers, structures, pigments and color variations in the iris which are located in specific areas”
Naturopathy – in addition to licensed naturopathic physicians that have to complete four years of schooling, there are also unlicensed, traditional naturopaths with much less formal education, which is why you see many using a lot of non-evidence based treatments. Naturopaths combine herbalism, homeopathy, acupuncture, IV therapy, and other alternative therapies.
Phrenology – developed at about the same time as homeopathy, phrenologists thought that they could tell things about a person’s personality by feeling their skull.
Reflexology – although it may have its origins in ancient Egypt, modern reflexology traces itself to Dr. William H. Fitzgerald and Eunice D. Ingham in the early 20th century. Reflexologists believe that they can diagnose and cure diseases by feeling a persons feet or hands, as, the International Institute of Reflexology claims, “there are reflex areas in the feet and hands which correspond to all of the glands, organs and parts of the body.”
Reiki – rei (universal) and ki (life energy) was introduced to Western Cultures from Japan by Hawayo Takata in the 1930s. Reiki practitioners, trained by a Reiki Master, can, according to the The International Center for Reiki Training, get “miraculous results” and Reiki is reportedly “effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect.” How? Reiki is “a non-physical healing energy made up of life force energy that is guided by the Higher Intelligence, or spiritually guided life force energy. This is a functional definition as it closely parallels the experience of those who practice Reiki in that Reiki energy seems to have an intelligence of its own flowing where it is needed in the client and creating the healing conditions necessary for the individuals needs.”
Rolfing – invented in the 1920s by Dr. Ida P. Rolf, rolfing is like deep tissue massage, except that it also “aimed at improving body alignment and functioning,” to keep your body’s energy field in alignment with the gravitational field of the Earth.
Sclerology – the belief that a practitioner can diagnose your medical problems by looking at the veins (the red lines) on the sclera (the white part of your eyes), as a sclerology chart shows you that each part of our body is represented in a different part of the sclera.
Shamanism – ancient practices, typically of indigenous people, who invoke spirits and travel to the spirit world to heal people and the community.
Shiatsu – accupressure from Japan
Shonishin – this is pediatric acupuncture, so acupuncture for little kids, but don’t worry, they don’t actually use needles…
When you go to one of these practitioners, do you really think you need help unblocking your qi, an adjustment to help your “Innate Intelligence” get unblocked, or to have your life force energy moved around?
Do their charts and maps really make any sense to you?
But these are ancient treatments, so doesn’t that mean that they must work? Many of these treatments aren’t so ancient, but were invented fairly recently. Even those that are ancient, they have often been replaced by modern medicine in the places where they were discovered.
But many modern medicines are derived from natural substances, so doesn’t that mean herbal therapies and natural treatments can work? Sure and when they do, they become conventional medicines. It doesn’t mean that everything that is natural is a good medicine.
And it certainly does’t mean that you should try the latest fad holistic therapy on your child.
More on Complementary and Integrative Medicine for Kids
What is the evidence for going to a chiropractor or getting craniosacral therapy when you need help breastfeeding?
Despite what some folks believe, most pediatricians are very interested in breastfeeding and learning as much as they can to help their families breastfeeding effectively for as long as they wish.
They are not looking to push baby formula or bottles to sabotage a mom’s chances of breastfeeding her baby.
And they will typically do anything to help the mom breastfeed, as well as make sure the baby is getting enough to eat. At least they will do anything that has some evidence to show that it is effective.
Chiropractic for Breastfeeding Problems
Will they refer their babies to a chiropractor for extra help with breastfeeding?
“Chiropractic manipulation in children who are < age 12 years is considered unproven and not medically necessary as a treatment for any diagnosis as there is insufficient published evidence to assess the safety and/or impact on health outcomes in the pediatric population.”
Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation in Children
Probably not, as there is no real evidence that it would help. Unfortunately, well meaning pediatricians do often refer their patients to lactation consultants who may then recommend further management by a chiropractor.
“Based on their case studies and the volumes of previous research, these researchers concluded that subluxations and the neurological interference they cause play a major role in Hypolactation. The researchers suggest, “Chiropractic evaluation for subluxations would be a key element in the holistic assessment of the failure to establish milk supply in the post partum patient.””
icpa on Chiropractic Helps New Mothers Produce Milk
Maybe it is because they don’t understand that when chiropractors use the term subluxations, they are not referring to something you can see on an xray, but rather something they think they can feel, and when manipulated, unblocks the flow of energy that prevents your body’s innate ability to heal itself.
“DD Palmer, an American magnetic healer, believed that diseases are often caused by subluxations of the vertebrae, which, in turn, lead to an interruption of nervous impulses; and that the correction of these subluxations allows the body to heal itself. This is still a central tenet of chiropractic.”
Chiropractic care for children: Controversies and issues
Is that why your baby is having trouble breastfeeding? An invisible subluxation is blocking the flow of energy in your body?
What about the “research” chiropractors talk about?
They are case studies, which is basically a chiropractor telling a story (glorified anecdote) about what happened to their patient, without any evidence of why it happened or how it could have happened.
“High-quality evidence supporting effectiveness of spinal manipulation for nonmusculoskeletal concerns is lacking, especially in infants and children, for whom the risks of adverse events may be the highest because of immature stability of the spine.”
AAP on Pediatric Integrative Medicine
The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Integrative Medicine even warns parents about taking their kids to a chiropractor. And that’s saying something, as they promote some other holistic therapies that aren’t actually all that evidence based.
Craniosacral Therapy for Breastfeeding Problems
What about craniosacral therapy?
Similar to chiropractic, it has to do with has to do with tides and rhythms of cerebrospinal fluid, which these practitioners think they can feel and manipulate by massaging your baby’s head.
Is that why your baby isn’t breastfeeding well? The tides and rhythms of his cerebrospinal fluid are off?
“When a baby is unable to nurse or nurses so poorly that he causes pain to his mother, he presents a true challenge. A mother who experiences pain or who perceives that her baby is not breastfeeding effectively is a mother who is at risk of prematurely weaning this baby.
After working through all of the usual avenues of information and resources that can help in this kind of situation, some Leaders have found a new therapy, called CranioSacral Therapy (CST), can be helpful. CST is a light-touch manual therapy used to encourage the body’s self-correcting mechanisms.”
La Leche League on Considering CranioSacral Therapy in Difficult Situations
Not surprisingly, there is no real evidence that craniosacral therapy helps breastfeeding or anything else.
It is very surprising that some parents are willing to pay $600 or more for a few craniosacral therapy sessions.
And it is disappointing that a lactation consultant would refer their patients for this kind of therapy, since there is no evidence that it will work.
What to Know About Chiropractic and Craniosacral Therapy for Breastfeeding Problems
Parents looking for breastfeeding support should view a referral to a chiropractor or to get craniosacral therapy as a red flag and consider getting a second opinion for their breastfeeding problems from someone who uses evidence based therapies that have been proven to work.
More on Chiropractic and Craniosacral Therapy for Breastfeeding Problems