Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is associated with a lack of attention, impulsivity and distractibility. This neurobiological condition is thought to be genetic in nature and appears in early childhood.
Children with ADHD have difficulty inhibiting spontaneous reactions and the classroom can be challenging, as patience and the ability to sit still or concentrate often seem beyond their control.
Ayurveda is a 5,000 year-old science with an emphasis on bringing the body into balance. According to Ayurveda, disease is a manifestation of an underlying imbalance in the primary energies, which are known as Doshas. Ayurveda prescribes natural ways to temper the symptoms of ADHD. Ayurvedic remedies treat the cause of the disturbance and work to reestablish the balance of the Doshas.
According to Ayurveda, ADHD is considered to be a Vata imbalance. Think of Vata as being made up of air and space. Accumulating too much Vata in the system can make it difficult to concentrate and remember things. People with ADHD can seem “spacey” and have difficulty completing tasks.
Vata is dry and cold and can be balanced with a warm oil massage. Abyangha (ah-bee-ang-ah) is a full-body warm oil massage that can be powerfully rejuvenating to the mind and body. Sesame oil and almond oil are considered to be particularly effective for balancing Vata.
The focus of Yoga practice for Vata is both grounding and calming. Recommended asanas (poses):
- Sun salutation (warming)
In order to learn, we depend on our senses to process information. The individual with ADHD has a hard time maintaining focus. Vatas tend to learn quickly, but also forget quickly. Easily over-stimulated, they are sensitive to sound and can learn best by listening. Individuals with ADHD may find it helpful to hear something, while reading it at the same time. Following along with a book on tape is recommended.
Vatas are known to have sensitive digestion. They do best with warm, cooked foods. Start the day with oatmeal, maple syrup and soymilk. Almonds are Vata balancing and a good snack to keep on hand.
Mantra meditation, where the focus is on repeating a sound, word or group of words, is especially beneficial for Vata types because they are sensitive to sound. It helps an active mind to focus on a sound and helps to avoid flitting from thought to thought.
The ancients considered the color yellow symbolized logic and intellect. Citrine is a golden or light yellow quartz gemstone and in Ayurveda, thought to assist in concentration. Citrine is also warming and that is very good for balancing Vata.
A regular routine helps to keep Vata in check and will promote a more restful night’s sleep.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils, which are very useful for relaxing the mind and body and may improve focus. Vanilla, orange, lavender and pine are all Vata balancing fragrances.
Warm yellows, gold, and calming greens balance Vata. It is best to avoid bright red, which is obviously too stimulating.
Lissa Coffey is the author of “What’s Your Dosha, Baby? Discover the Vedic Way for Compatibility in Life and Love. http://www.whatsyourdosha.com
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