Although children with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder do not seem able to relax, they significantly appreciate getting a massage. The ADD or ADHD child is simply a hypersensitive child with more senses than the usual child. The child’s hearing is very sensitive and it picks up more sound, which can cause more distraction. The child’s visual field can easily be stimulated and its scope is greater. As a result; the child has difficulty focusing. The nerve receptors of the skin are constantly in action. The child has difficulty staying in one place, the body itches. In fact, our ADD and ADHD children are clumsy super heroes. They are not under developed when compared to other children, on the contrary they have more powers and they need to learn how to harness these.
An ADD or ADHD child perceives a massage as a contact with his/her body, and since it is constantly stimulated he/she never takes the time to get in touch with it. Deep, slow, pressure gets the child to relax, and reduces breathing. The ADD or ADHD child may experience memory loss during stress periods because of muscle contraction and decreased supply of oxygen to the brain; a simple pause would allow the child to re-establish the equilibrium.
During a massage treatment with these children, I will sometime talk to them about different things because they are in a position to receive information and to memorize it.
The supply of oxygen to the brain and the muscle relaxation provide the brain with a better ability to retain.
Having worked in the field of CPE for nearly 18 years, and having accompanied and made intervention plans for these children, I am able to guide them, to make them aware of what is happening to their body.
ADD and ADHD children are often seen as problem children when in fact they are just misunderstood because of what they experience and need to be given the proper tools to harness their super powers.
ADD and ADHD also exists in adults, but over time they have built their tool box, have mastered their brain and found tips to improve their daily lives (note blocks, music, massage therapy, exercise …). We sometimes confuse adult ADD and ADHD and depression. The ADD and ADHD adult is fundamentally a stressed and anguished person. Increasing stress does little to reduce the anxiety level.
And an increased anxiety will in turn reduce oxygen to the brain. This will result in a decrease in memory, a decrease in the supply of nutrients, and a decrease in energy. Sometimes just to become aware of this stress can give the person the proper tools to avoid getting stuck in a depression and receiving medication. Massage therapy will favour this awareness in addition to playing an important role in the exchange of essential nutrients in the the body.