Sunday, July 09, 2006

Ayurveda, Hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorder

Ayurvedic Medicine approaches the subject of Hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorder from an elemental and doshic perspective. It is this understanding that leads to a complete model of management that is truly holistic and integrates the care of the body, mind, and spirit of the patient.

Reviewing the five elements, earth is the capacity for stability in the body and mind. Water is the capacity for flow and feeling. Fire is the capacity for discrimination and digestion. Air is the capacity for motion, both physical and the movement of thought.

Ether is the capacity for expansiveness and creativity. In the case of hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder, there is an excess in the qualities of air and ether and a deficiency in the qualities of earth. Hence, from the perspective of Ayurveda, ADD and ADHD are conditions of increased expansive and creative energies and a decrease in stability.

The end result is a person who can go into creative spaces that others can not enter and therefore thinks outside of the normal perceptive view of the general population. The loss of stability is required to enter the realm they are in. Increases in the qualities of the elements air and ether are called a “vata disturbance” by practitioners of Ayurveda.

While the condition has its creative advantages, it can also reach a degree of disturbance in which it becomes difficult to function well in the world of common experience.

By Dr. Marc Halpern,

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