Can Reiki Help With ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, typically begins in childhood and can affect the sufferer throughout his or her life. This condition is incredibly common, with more children being diagnosed each year. In fact, during 2011, the Centers for Disease Control reports that more than one out of every ten children aged 4 to 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD.
Different treatments are used to help people with this condition to cope with their symptoms. However, some people with ADHD also find that they benefit from engaging in Reiki sessions on a regular basis.
ADHD is a disorder that causes people to be impulsive, hyperactive and inattentive. Some of the specific symptoms of ADHD include:
- Difficult waiting to speak or take a turn.
- Excessive movement or fidgeting.
- Excessive talking.
- Being easily distracted.
- Difficulty staying on topic.
This disorder can impact the sufferer’s life considerably, making it difficult to focus on school, work and other important tasks. Children with ADHD may do poorly in their classes and fall behind their peers. Adults with ADHD may struggle at work and have difficulty advancing their careers. Some people with ADHD also experience problems in their interpersonal relationships.
Researchers do not know exactly what causes ADHD, nor do they know how to prevent it. However, studies have shown a possible link between this disorder and certain factors, including genetics, a history of head injuries and exposure to various toxins even before birth.
ADHD is typically diagnosed after a child experiences significant problems at home or at school. In most cases, doctors will prescribe different medications following a diagnosis of ADHD, such as Focalin, Concerta or Adderall. Some individuals with ADHD also participate in cognitive behavioral therapy or other psychiatric treatments designed to improve their symptoms. However, even with these treatments, many people with this condition will continue to experience problems that affect their quality of life. In addition, many of the medications used to treat ADHD can be habit-forming and can cause significant side effects. For this reason, people with ADHD often look for alternative treatment options in addition.
Reiki is a noninvasive technique that can be used to help people suffering from a variety of different conditions, including ADHD. Reiki is based on the idea that an individual’s lifeforce energy, sometimes called “ki” or “chi”, plays a role in his or her physical and mental condition. Physical and/or mental problems develop when this energy is blocked and unable to flow freely. The purpose of Reiki is to unleash this energy and restore a healthy flow in order to promote the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
During a Reiki session, the practitioner typically places his or her hands over the client in specific positions to encourage energy flow. The practitioner may also touch the client gently during the process.
How Reiki May Help ADHD Sufferers
Reiki offers a number of different benefits that may be helpful for people struggling with ADHD. Some of these potential benefits are listed below.
- Reiki may improve concentration.
One of the most pervasive problems experienced by people with ADHD is an inability to concentrate on conversations or important tasks. Reiki may help potentially to improve concentration over time, allowing individuals with ADHD to maintain their focus more effectively. This can help the individual to be more successful in school, at work and while performing everyday tasks.
- Reiki may aid in relaxation.
People with ADHD find it hard to calm down, even when they have no appropriate reason to be excited. One of the primary benefits of Reiki is relaxation, which may be helpful for someone who struggles with hyperactivity. Over time, the individual may find it easier to relax even outside of his or her Reiki sessions.
- Reiki may reduce stress levels.
Stress can exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD. In addition, living with ADHD can be stressful in itself, as many sufferers struggle to succeed in school or in their professional lives. According to studies, people who participate in Reiki sessions on a regular basis report that they feel less stress and anxiety than they did before beginning Reiki. This reduction in stress can help to lessen the symptoms of ADHD and improve the client’s overall quality of life.
- Reiki may improve the quality of sleep.
Many people struggling with ADHD experience sleep disturbances, including trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, problems with sleep cycles and more. These sleep disturbances have a direct effect on the individual’s health, and they can make many of the symptoms of ADHD worse. Reiki may improve the quality of sleep for these individuals.
- Reiki may boost the mood.
Although mood disturbances are not always a symptom of ADHD, some people with this condition do deal with depression as a result of their struggles. Studies have shown that people who participate in Reiki sessions on a regular basis feel less depressed and more optimistic.
- Reiki won’t interact with other treatments.
Reiki is completely noninvasive and causes no side effects. Thus, people with ADHD can engage in Reiki without altering any other component of their treatment plans.
Reiki for Children
Both children and adults struggle with ADHD. In fact, for most people, this disorder begins in childhood. Fortunately, Reiki is considered safe for children and may improve the symptoms of ADHD for people of any age. However, because young children with ADHD may have trouble remaining calm and still during Reiki sessions, shorter sessions may be required. In some cases, the child may begin with short sessions that gradually increase in length over time as the child becomes more comfortable with the process.
How to Get Started
Both research studies and anecdotal reports indicate that Reiki may potentially help with the symptoms of ADHD. If you are struggling with ADHD and you think that Reiki may be beneficial, you can visit the IARP web site to learn more about Reiki and to find a Reiki Practitioner in your area.
**This article appeared in The Reiki Times, the official magazine of the International Association of Reiki Professionals.