How Qigong Helps People with ADD

Mimi Handlin, MSW - ADHD Coach for Women
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What is Qigong? It is a graceful, moving Chinese meditation that uses inner focus, affirmations, visualizations, and breathing in order to enhance the flow of chi (life energy) in the body and improve mental and physical health. It is considered a branch of Chinese medicine and there are many different forms of qigong. It is closely connected to and has many similarities to Tai Chi, although Tai Chi is rooted in the martial arts. Qigong is easier to learn and our consciousness is as important as the movements.

How can Qigong help people with ADD? It is a moving meditation which can be easier for the restless body. It includes visualizations which fit with creative, bright minds. It promotes focus, deep relaxation, and anchors us to our bodies, which is so important when our thoughts are all over the place. And it balances and modulates our organs – including the brain.

A University of Miami School of Medicine study showed that Tai Chi/Qigong helped reduce ADHD symptoms in adolescents. According to the research, thirteen adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) participated in Tai Chi classes twice a week for 5 weeks. Teachers rated the children’s behaviour on the Conners Scale during the baseline period, after the 5 week Tai Chi session period and 2 weeks later. After the 10 Tai Chi sessions the adolescents displayed less anxiety, improved conduct, less daydreaming behaviours, less inappropriate emotions, and less hyperactivity. These improved scores persisted over the 2-week follow up (no Tai Chi period).
[Hernandez-Reif, M., Field, T.M., & Thimas, E. (2001). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: benefits from Tai Chi. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 5(2):120-3, 2001 Apr, 5(23 ref), 120-123.]

I’ve been practicing and studying Qigong for almost 12 years. It literally saved my life. If you want to know more, email me! If you have experience with Qigong, feel free to post a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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