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Part 3 - Alternative Holistic Help for


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he American Psychiatric Association estimates that 3-7% of children suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition that can make it difficult for a person to sit still, control behavior and pay attention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as five out of every 100 children in school may have ADHD, and boys are three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with the condition.

Is there an Alternative to Medication?

While stumulant medications such as Ritalin have proven to be helpful in improving the symptoms of some children with ADHD, many parents feel uncomfortable with these medications. They would prefer that their children minimize the use of drugs or not use them at all, but are at a loss for true alternatives. Our "All Possibilities" program, featuring the Interactive Metronome® (IM) offers such an alternative.

Why the Increase?

We will continue the discussion of the Ten Unique Discoveries:

7. Most of these conditions are clearly due to a right brain hemisphere deficit.
ADHD, ADD, OCD, Tourette's, Asperger's, Autism: all clearly involve loss of right hemisphere function.

8. Main factors are environmental. Genetics always play a role. Genetic factors cannot, however, account for the dramatic increase in ADD/ADHD and other learning problems over the course of the past 15 to 20 years. - To quote one New York teacher: "I don't know how it works. But it has something to do with the fact that kids don't move their big muscles anymore."

Increased sedentary behavior in our children and adults is the single largest environmental factor to contribute to the dramatic increase in these conditions. TV/VCR viewing hours and time spent in front of the computer have skyrocketed; so have child and adult obesity. In many families both parents are working. TV has become the babysitter. Parental fear keeps many kids inside. Without sufficient motor activity the brain fails to develop properly.

Other environmental influences

  • poor nutrition
  • increased caloric intake, especially carbohydrates and sugar
  • food allergies to dairy, wheat and sugar
  • environmental toxins
  • vaccines (many contain mercury as preservative)
  • dental amalgam (mercury) fillings
  • birth injuries - especially to the neck: forceps deliveries, breech, coning of the head, small birth canals
  • prenatal stress - illness, stress, drugs, cigarettes, alcohol

9. Treatment must do the following:

  • improve posture and motor performance (this will equally improve cognitive function)
  • stimulate under-active brain hemisphere
  • restore timing and synchronization of the two hemispheres

10. Neuroplasticity - The Brain Responds.

There are approximately 100 billion neurons in your brain. Each neuron has maybe 10,000 connections (synapses) with other neurons. Our brains have trillions and trillions of connections that can and do constantly change and grow. There are more connections between neurons than stars in the known universe.

New brain cells?

It is a commonly held belief that the brain cells we have at birth are all we'll ever have, and that they only decrease in number throughout our lives. Most of us would also agree that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Today it seems that you can't teach many young dogs new tricks. Many kids can't and/or won't learn.

Brain reseacher Fred Gage and his group in La Jolla, California showed that the brain can and will make new nerve cells. He conducted experiments with mice and showed that the number of neurons in their brains increased with one activity in particular: running on a spinning wheel - repetitive physical activity - over long periods of time.

Learn the Violin at age 70?

People of all ages were asked to learn to play the violin. With PET scans it was discovered that the brain of each participant responded to this challenge by making new pathways and connections. The changes were biggest in violin students under the age of 12. However, there were clear and noticeable brain changes in all age groups. The brain is plastic. The brain responds to stimulation at any age.

Our "All Possibilities!" program is designed to induce changes in brain function without medication.

Some references:

  • ADD/ADHD Symposium, Robert Melillo, DC, DACNB and the Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies, 2002.
  • Neurobehavioral Disorders of Childhood, Robert Mellillo and Gerry Leisman, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2004
  • I of the Vortex, Rodolfo R. Llinas, MIT Press 2001
  • Synaptic Self, Joseph Ledoux, Viking 2002
  • Principles of Neural Science, Kandel, Schwartz, Jessell, McGraw-Hill 1991 and 2000
  • Brain Asymmetry, Richard J. Davidson, Kenneth Hugdahl, MIT Press 1996
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ( DSM-IV)
  • Survival of the Busiest, Sharon Begley, Wall Street Journal article, 10/11/2002


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© Peter M. Zeischegg, MS, DC, 2013

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