Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, otherwise known as ADHD, is a disorder that usually affects children and adolescents, but can continue into adulthood as well. Despite the relatively low incidence of the disease (roughly only three to five percent of children are affected), ADHD is a highly stressful event for both the sufferer and for the family. Children with ADHD usually have difficulty paying attention or concentrating. This often leads to feelings of frustration (since they become easily distracted), and can manifest in temper tantrums or disruptive behaviour.
Treatments for this disorder usually consist of both medication and psychotherapy. However, many mental health practitioners are suggesting alternative treatment methods. This is because of the growing number of cases of children being overmedicated or not responding well to current mainstream treatments. One such alternative is massage therapy.
Studies suggest that touch therapy effectively alleviates symptoms of certain illnesses, though further research to back this claim is needed. Massages involve triggering certain pressure points in the body to soothe pain in the muscles. They have a relaxing effect and are also known for encouraging the production of particular “feel good” hormones. These effects combined with standard therapy plans could lead to a more positive and dramatic outcome.
Researches are being conducted on the specific effects of massage therapy on ADHD patients. Initial data are encouraging, showing that children who receive regular massages are better tempered and able to focus. However, authors of these studies stress that massage or touch therapy should not be considered the sole treatment for illnesses. A mental health professional must be consulted prior to the application of the therapy as supplement to ongoing treatment.