Relief from Neck Strain

Treating ADHD With Massage Therapy

by Sophie Hill

For parents of children with ADHD, treatment options may seem frustrating. Most physicians rush to put children on medications in order to control the symptoms, but there are more natural methods of treating the disorder. Massage therapy has been shown to be especially effective for treating ADHD in children and adults. Here are some reasons why therapeutic massage can be extremely effective for managing ADHD symptoms.

It promotes a sense of calm

There's a reason why massage therapy is used for stress relief. It promotes a sense of calm and relaxation that can last well beyond the massage therapy session. This can help those with ADHD find a sense of peace and reduce impulsive behavior which can cause problems at work or school. Studies have shown that regular, short massage sessions can help children remain less impulsive and more focused in the classroom.

It encourages focus

Massage therapy encourages the person receiving treatment to focus on the way it makes them feel. In addition to lying still for a brief period of time, (something that ADHD sufferers may find difficult to do in a classroom or work setting) it encourages them to focus on relaxing their bodies and minds. By becoming aware of how massage relaxes their bodies, patients can try to replicate that sense of calm with at-home massage sessions and meditation between therapy sessions.

It can reduce cortisol levels

ADHD sufferers with high levels of the stress hormone cortisol have a prolonged exposure to the 'fight or flight' response within their bodies. This constant stress can make it difficult to focus and can make sufferers nervous and fidgety. Massage therapy has been shown to help reduce cortisol levels within the body and end the constant 'fight or flight' response that plagues some sufferers.

Since increased cortisol levels are also believed to be responsible for health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes, anything that reduces excessive cortisol levels can be highly beneficial, especially in adult patients. 

It has very few side effects

One of the reasons why massage therapy is effective for many patients is the fact that it provides benefits without harsh side effects, unlike many medications commonly used to treat ADHD. Some patients may experience mild tenderness or discomfort in the area being massaged, but that usually goes away after a few sessions. If performed by a trained massage therapist, it can be a safe and effective way to treat the effects of ADHD without the use of medication.

If you or your child has ADHD, speak to your medical care giver about incorporating massage therapy in your treatment plan. It's an effective way to manage symptoms without medications, or it can be used in conjunction with medication for additional benefit.