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Home > Newsletters > March 2009 > Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Case Study

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Case Study

Attention Deficit Disorder and TCM

By Shaolin Deng, OMD, MS,

A 10-year-old fourth grader was brought to the office because his parents were complaining that he wasn’t focusing on his studies and he is often easily distracted. According to them, this has been on-going for two to five years.

First Visit: March 6, 2008

The patient was adopted from Argentina when he was 8-years-old. His adopted parents were told that he doesn’t like reading and would rather be doing outside exercises. The subjects in school he does like are mathematics and science. His teachers found that he does not pay close attention to details and makes careless mistakes in his school work, homework, and other activities. Because he could not focus in the classroom, he was brought to the school clinic and was diagnosed with ADD a year and a half ago. Therefore, according to some suggestions, his parents started to give him ‘medicine’ to help him sleep, but his condition did not change. His parents didn’t want him taking Western medication, so they brought him to Mainland Acupuncture Center (MAC) to get alternative medical treatment for his condition.

During his initial visit, the conversation with the patient and his parents showed the doctor that his case of ADD was milder than the norm. For example, he listened and answered questions that the doctor was asking him about himself. He was not impulsive, wasn’t fidgeting or restless and maintained eye contact when conversing. He seemed to listen when spoken to, and he didn’t always have an issue of losing things, such as toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools.

Physical Evaluation: Compared to his age group, he was slightly behind in growth development based on his size. He had a great appetite, which consists of eating five times a day, and stable sleeping habits. His pulse was deep and rapid, which is faster than the norm. It is thought that because of how fast his heart rate was, he had some heat trapped inside.


1. Acupuncture therapy:
Yin Tang (extra)
Bai Hui Du 20
Tai Chong Li 3
He Gu LI 4

With electricity 20 minutes
Two herbal patches on his Liver and kidney back Shu points ( UB 18 ,UB 23) for toning his liver and kidney

2. Herbal therapy
1. Ju Ju Be formula which contains Ju Ju Be Suan Zao Ren, Poria Fu Ling, Dragon Long Gu, Oyster Mu Li
2. Topical Zzz cream was prescribed to help him sleep. This cream contains herbal extracts and essential oils to calm the spirit and tranquilize the mind. Unlike chemical-based sleeping aids, Zzz cream is comprised of all-natural herbal ingredients that act in concert to relax the mind and body.

At same time, his parents discontinued any other “medicine.’

3. Food therapy
The doctor encouraged him to eat more vegetables and to avoid eating ‘heat’ temperature foods.

Second visit: March 15, 2008:

His parents said that there was some improvement since his last treatment, and he was sleeping better. He started to read with his parents now.

To enhance the effect of acupuncture, we added Feng Chi GB 20 points with electricity and Gua Sha was applied on his back.

We also added Liu Wei Di Huang Wan to assist his kidney essence.

Third Visit: March 22, 2008

His condition kept improving with alternative treatment, but he did not like the needles on his ear area (GB 20 points).

We changed points to Si Shen Chong (extra points) and didn’t use Feng Chi GB 20. All the other techniques were performed as before: needles with electricity 30 minutes and Gua Sha skin script was provided on his back.

He was prescribed to continue the previous herbal formulas. Since his condition improved, he was scheduled in two weeks instead of one.

Fourth Visit: April 5 2008

He didn’t like taking the Liu Wei Di Huang Wan for his kidney essence, but he did like taking the Ju Ju Be herbal formula. With the formula, he felt calmer.

His sleep was stable, and he was able to follow the suggested reading with his parents for 30 minutes twice a day. He was able to follow directions and instructions made by his teacher, and he finished his school work and his home work. He still enjoyed his normal activities of playing outside during the afternoons with friends. The prior week to his appointment, his parents brought him out-of-town for the county’s spring break, and everything was in normal condition. He was then scheduled a month later because of his tremendous improvement.

Fifth Visit: May 3, 2008

His condition kept getting better and better. He was now considered to be ‘stable,’ and he made the honor roll as a straight A student for the first time.

He received the same treatment as before and was refilled on his two formulas: Ju Ju Be and Zzz cream, and the doctor told him to keep doing whatever it is he’s doing. Also, the doctor told his parents that he just needed encouragement, needed to be reminded time to time and needed to eat more diverse food. He is a good boy!


What is attention: Attention is a psychological phenomenon that indicates the abilities of direction and focus from mind activity. There are two kinds of attentions: initiative and passive. Children’s attention spans processes the development from careless to them have no intention.
Some research shows that:

Age (years) Time of intention
5-6 10-15 minutes
7-10 15-20
10-12 25-30
< 12 <30 minutes

From TCM, the mind is housed by the heart. Its function and nutrition are related to the liver, lung, spleen and kidney. For example, before 14 years old for females and 16 years old for males, kidney excess is not mature. Therefore, the balance between the Heart (fire) and Kidney (water) has not arrived. This is called the Zhi Yang in Chinese, or the ‘childish Yang’ in English, and the Zhi Yin in Chinese, or the ‘childish yin’ in English. All this information tells us that for kids, if they show some ADD, medicine is not the first option as treatment. We prefer more education training-like therapy, such as setting up a certain time for that child, putting like children together, etc. From TCM therapy, the treatment consists of the heart calming down and a balance of diverse foods. If this patient had taken the chemical drug in his age range of 8 to 10 years old, the side-effects could be more than the effect.

Shaolin Deng, OMD, MS, AP received her medical degree from Hubei University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 1982. She had been a teacher and doctor in Hubei University of TCM in China for nine years. In 1991, Dr Deng came to the United States and worked as a medical researcher in University of Florida and Georgetown University. Her research was focus on hypertension and had published several research papers. In 1997, Dr Deng opened her first acupuncture clinic in Florida. Now she is the owner of Mainland Acupuncture Center and also has a teaching position of herb study at Chi Institute of TCVM.

Since 1982, Dr. Deng has developed remedies for allergy, chronic fatigue, pain, stress, sleep disorder, immune system, skin diseases, women’s diseases and other diseases. Thousands of patients have been benefited from these remedies.

Dr Deng is also knowledgeable of western medicine. The use of traditional Chinese medicine does not preclude the concurrent use of Western medical therapies. Today, a well-trained practitioner not only uses the traditional way of diagnosis, but is also able to use other approaches integrated with conventional western medicine.

This Month's Articles

March 2009
Volume 7, Number 3

Cupping Therapy

The Challenge of a Healthy Heart

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Case Study

Recent Research

Ask The Doctor

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