J. Manzanares M.D.
Foot Reflexology for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Foot reflexology has been used with good results in the treatment of different emotional and mood problems including postpartum depression1, anxiety2 and mood alterations in cases of dementia3.
Clinical Case Study
The patient, a nine year old male, was examined for the first time in January 2012. He was eventually diagnosed with depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder 1 year ago,4,5,6,7,8 with a score of 23 in the ADHD RATING SCALE IV for parents.
The paternal family has a history of depression including an 11 year old cousin diagnosed with ADHD. The parents have university degrees. The patient is the second of two children, and has a sister who is 12 years old. He has difficulties learning in school. The parents explain that he has been a very restless child since early childhood and it was hard for him to concentrate when performing a task. During pre-school and kindergarten the traits of impulsivity and hyperactivity increased and treatment with melatonin was initiated at age 5 due to difficulties when trying to fall asleep. In elementary school, at age 7, changes in character appeared which were manifested with sadness and introspection.7,10
The parents asked for an evaluation and were referred to the Child Psychiatry Unit. The initial diagnosis was depression and after further evaluation, diagnostic studies for ADD were made. After the psychiatric evaluation was completed, the patient was diagnosed with depression and ADHD. The following treatment was recommended: 36 mg of Methylphenidate in the morning11,12,13,14 and 2 mg of Diazepam at night.
The parents decided against pharmaceutical treatment and the patient started psychological treatment from age 7 to age 9, in which he underwent one session per week. During the almost two years of psychological treatment there was no improvement in his mood or the ADHD, and the parents then decided to begin treatment with alternative medicine (foot reflexology).
During the initial interviews (January 2012) and the clinical evaluation, he presented symptoms of impulsivity, difficulty in concentration, depression, insomnia, was easily frustrated and had great difficulty in dealing with frustration. He is a right handed child for both limbs as well as for hearing and sight. In the evaluation with foot reflexology we found:
- Imbalance in the right prefrontal cortex15,16,17,18,19,20
- Imbalance in the parietal cortex bilaterally15,16,17,18,19, 20
- Imbalance in the left temporal cortex15,16,17,18,19, 20
The initial treatment consisted of 15 sessions of reflexology massage for 30 minutes each, stimulating: the frontal cortex (bilateral, predominantly in the right frontal cortex), parietal cortex (bilateral) and left temporal cortex. The sessions were scheduled on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The pressure level for the stimulation is enough to overcome ...
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