If one has Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, oftentimes, a diagnosis of Tourette’s syndrome comes along with it. The Institute for Traditional medicine says that these two behavioral disorders often manifest together. For Tourette’s syndrome, certain drugs that control the neurotransmitters of the brain and for ADHDS, stimulants are often prescribed. The thing is many people especially parents of ADHD children think that these medications aren’t worth being taken by the children since the side effects are as worse, and on certain occasions, even worse than the condition they are trying to resolve. A lot of these parents and patients are looking for alternative modes of treatment. One of the best and safest alternative modality they can try is acupuncture.

Drugs and ADHD

ADHD is a brain dysfunction that causes behavior not considered proper and makes concentrating a problem for people diagnosed with the problem. Sadly, a high number of children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD compared to children living in other countries. Most of the children with ADHD in the US are prescribed with stimulants such as Adderall or Ritalin to help stem the symptoms. These drugs are extremely loaded with toxins that cause really serious side effects especially when they are taken for a long time. Because of the side effects of these drugs, people are seeking for more natural and safe ways to help people with ADHD. Fortunately, acupuncture has shown to be a truly effective and very safe therapy for ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome patients.

Being a neurological disorder, Tourette’s syndrome causes individuals to make unusual sounds and movements, such as blurting out obscenities, jerking the head and tics. Males are more prone to this disorder. It often arises during childhood. Several medications including Botox, antidepressants, stimulants and drugs that block or deplete the brain’s neurotransmitters are used to treat this condition. Some of these drugs, however, especially stimulants have been shown to worsen the involuntary movements. All those drugs also cause negative side-effects, including obesity and the dulling of the mind. There is a much better alternative for these drugs if you are looking for one that is natural and much more effective. That alternative is acupuncture.

Chinese Medicine

Tourette’s syndrome and ADHD are viewed by Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners in a much different light than Western practitioners. Chinese medicine concentrates more on the imbalances of the spirit and how they affect the person instead of merely observing and treating the deficits and chemical imbalances in the brain as probable reasons for these two conditions. ADHD is a sign of agitation or a deficiency in nourishment of the spirit as viewed by Chinese medicine. A combo of acupuncture and traditional herbs are Chinese medicine’s mode of treatment for both Tourette’s and ADHD.

Acupuncture Applied

Acupuncture along with other complementary and natural therapies, can help to either entirely cure or alleviate symptoms of ADHD/ Tourette’s syndrome including managing of mood, sedating hyperactive or fidgety behavior and improving attention and focus. The meridians of the large intestine and stomach are needled during acupuncture therapy, to clear stagnant heat that may be causing high activity and other associated manifestations in people with ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome. Other meridians that are needled are those associated with deficiency in brain development and the lack of essence in the brain. It has been revealed in a research work posted in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine that acupuncture proven effective in treating patients with Tourette’s syndrome patients by reducing and sometimes curing the symptoms in about three quarters of the patients who participated in the study.


You need to talk to your healthcare provider for other forms of treatment such as acupuncture if you have a child or if you yourself have ADHD or Tourette’s syndrome prior to stopping prescription drugs. You need to cooperate with your health care provider to find the proper treatment choices for your children or for yourself.


Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.