Acupuncture For ADHD: Is It Effective?

by | Feb 28, 2024 | Acupuncture

Are you or someone close to your heart grappling with the ups and downs of ADHD, contemplating if acupuncture for ADHD is effective? might be a friendly sidekick in this journey? The presence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in our lives beckons us to sift through every possibility that could ease its energetic dance.

Here at Family Wellness Acupuncture, Ryoko Takayama has embraced the ancient artistry of those delicate needles right here in Irvine, CA, shining a light for those who yearn for tranquility and focus amid the ebbs and flows of restlessness and diversion.

The burning question stirring in the minds of many is as intriguing as it is deep: Can acupuncture genuinely lend a hand to folks with ADHD? In our vibrant Orange County enclave—and all around this vast world—we’re witnessing traditional Chinese medicine like acupuncture step up as an ally to more orthodox treatments.

By diving into both scholarly studies and heartfelt stories from those who’ve walked this path before us, we’re committed to uncovering whether these slender pins can indeed chart a course toward enhanced attentiveness and serenity.

Picture yourself discovering an inner equilibrium that quiets the noise of ADHD symptoms.. It isn’t just castles in the air; recent research gives us glimpses of encouraging possibilities.

So stay tuned—let’s take this enlightening stroll together!

Key Takeaways

  • Acupuncture might help with ADHD symptoms like hyperactivity and lack of focus.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine uses fine needles to calm the mind in acupuncture.
  • Studies show mixed results, so more research is needed to prove if it works for ADHD.
  • Acupuncture is generally safe but can have side effects like bruising or dizziness.

Understanding ADHD


ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a mental disorder that makes it hard for people to focus. They may also act without thinking and feel very restless.

Kids, teens, and even adults can have ADHD. Usually, doctors notice it in kids when they are 6 to 12 years old.

People with ADHD might forget things often or get distracted easily. They might have trouble sitting still or waiting their turn. These actions can make school and everyday life quite challenging.

We at Family Wellness Acupuncture understand this struggle well. Here in Irvine CA, Ryoko Takayama helps people who have ADHD find balance through acupuncture—a traditional healing method that’s been used for thousands of years.

Discover more by visiting us at Family Wellness Acupuncture and find out if Acupuncture for ADHD will be effective for you.

The Role of Acupuncture in Treating ADHD

A person meditating after an acupuncture for ADHD treatment

Acupuncture for ADHD might play a role in effectively lessening ADHD symptoms like hyperactivity and impulsivity. This traditional practice involves placing fine needles at specific points on the body.

Experts believe that this can calm the mind and improve focus.

At Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine, CA, Ryoko Takayama uses acupuncture to help people with ADHD. She aims for balance in their bodies and minds. Kids and adults alike visit her clinic, hoping to find relief from ADHD without medication side effects.

To learn more about how acupuncture could benefit those with ADHD, check out our website: Family Wellness Acupuncture.

Analysis of Various Studies on Acupuncture for ADHD

A treatment room used for acupuncture ADHD treatments

We will delve into the findings of various studies on acupuncture for ADHD to understand its effectiveness in treating this condition. To learn more about the role of acupuncture in addressing ADHD, click here.

Study Protocol for a Randomised Controlled Trial

Let’s dive into how the study was set up to test acupuncture for ADHD. Researchers at Kyung-Hee Oriental Medical Center in Seoul started with a clear plan. They divided participants into two groups—one group got acupuncture right away, and the other waited their turn.

This way, everyone had a fair chance of getting treated. Each person had a 50/50 shot at being in either group.

Before any needles were involved, every participant took a special test called the Korean version of the ADHD-Rating Scale. This scored how severe their ADHD symptoms were. After some weeks passed, they did the test again to see if there were any changes.

The goal was simple: find out if sticking to regular acupuncture sessions could really make a difference in managing ADHD symptoms compared to just waiting around without treatment.

Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses

We’re delving into the world of acupuncture and its potential benefits for those with ADHD, exploring what the research says about this traditional Chinese medicine technique. It’s important for us, as people curious or in need of acupuncture, to understand the findings from systematic reviews and meta-analyses. These studies compile and distill data from multiple sources to give us a clearer picture of effectiveness.

Here’s a snapshot of the systematic reviews and meta-analyses conducted on acupuncture for ADHD:


Study Type Number of Studies Participants Outcome Measures Main Findings Quality of Evidence (GRADE)
Systematic Review Varied Children and Adults with ADHD Response Rate, CIH Score Mixed results, some indicating potential effectiveness Low to Moderate
Meta-analysis Varied Primarily Children with ADHD Improvement in ADHD Symptoms Some evidence supporting acupuncture as an adjunct therapy Low due to heterogeneity of studies

We see that these studies have resulted in varying conclusions. While some systematic reviews point towards a promising role for acupuncture in managing ADHD symptoms, others call for more rigorous research. The existing reviews underscore the need for larger, more comprehensive trials to solidify the evidence base. Our understanding is that the evidence level for the effectiveness of acupuncture on ADHD symptoms remains low. However, this doesn’t discount acupuncture’s potential as a complementary therapy, especially alongside more conventional treatments like pharmacotherapy or behavior therapy.

Remember, the methodological quality of these studies plays a crucial role in the evidence we rely on. The varying results highlight the importance of consistency in research protocols. We’re keeping an eye on new findings and ongoing high-quality research that will offer us more definitive answers in the future. For now, we remain cautiously optimistic and curious about what acupuncture can offer to those of us seeking alternative or supplementary therapies for ADHD.

Protocol for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

We meticulously designed the protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis to ensure rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating ADHD. By following strict inclusion criteria, we aimed to gather all relevant studies and maximize the pool of data available for analysis.

Our focus was on ensuring transparency and minimizing bias by adhering to established guidelines such as PRISMA, thus enhancing the reliability and validity of our findings. Through this extensive process, we sought to provide clear insights into the potential benefits that acupuncture may offer individuals with ADHD.

Moving forward, let’s delve into an exploration of outcome measures associated with acupuncture for ADHD.

Outcome Measures of Acupuncture for ADHD

Acupuncture Treatment for ADHD

We used the Korean version of the ADHD rating scale (K-ADHD-RS) as our primary outcome measure. Here are the specific measures and methods we employed:

  1. Participants in Group A received 12 acupuncture treatments over 6 weeks, while Group W continued with their existing ADHD treatment regimen for the first 6 weeks before receiving the same acupuncture treatments.
  2. The trial protocol was reviewed by the Kyung-Hee Korean Medical Center Institutional Review Board. Informed consent forms were prepared for participants aged 7-13 and 14-18.
  3. We carefully monitored and recorded changes in symptoms and behaviors related to ADHD throughout the treatment period.
  4. Our research team analyzed both quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate the impact of acupuncture on ADHD symptoms and overall well-being.
  5. Assessments were conducted using established clinical tools and subjective reports from participants to ensure comprehensive measurement of treatment outcomes.

Strengths and Limitations of the Studies

The study was ethically approved and registered with the Clinical Research Information Service, ensuring that high standards of research ethics were adhered to. Different approaches to acupuncture were used in the research studies, allowing for a comprehensive analysis of its effectiveness in treating ADHD.

Despite these strengths, it’s important to note that certain limitations exist within the studies, including potential biases and variations in participant demographics across different trials.

Additionally, while the study protocol is groundbreaking as the first trial protocol study in ADHD, aiming to gather objective measurements and provide better quality acupuncture studies for ADHD; researchers need to address potential confounding variables and ensure consistent methodology across future investigations.

These considerations are crucial when interpreting the results and determining the overall efficacy of acupuncture for ADHD treatment.


Based on the analysis of various studies, we will summarize the main results and discuss the methodological quality and quality of evidence to provide a comprehensive understanding of the efficacy of acupuncture for ADHD.

Click here to read more!

Summary of the Main Results

The primary outcome of the trial revealed differences in K-ADHD-RS before randomization, 3 and 6 weeks after randomization, and 3 weeks after completing treatment. The acupuncture group received treatment two times per week for a total of 12 sessions over 6 weeks.

However, large-sample, high-quality randomized controlled trials are still necessary to draw reliable conclusions regarding acupuncture’s role in treating ADHD. Additionally, the included meta-analyses examined response rate, CIH score reduction rate, change in Chinese medicine syndrome, and post-treatment hyperactivity scores in children with ADHD who received acupuncture treatment.

Therefore, readers may find it beneficial to await more extensive studies before determining the efficacy of acupuncture as an alternative or complementary therapy for managing ADHD symptoms.

Methodological Quality and Quality of Evidence

We assessed the methodological quality and reliability of conclusions about acupuncture for ADHD using the AMSTAR-2 tool and the GRADE system. Large-sample and high-quality randomized controlled trials are crucial to draw reliable conclusions regarding acupuncture’s role in treating ADHD.

The poor quality of existing available evidence limits our ability to draw definitive inferences from included studies. Due to variations in results and discrepancies in the literature, the effectiveness of acupuncture for improving response rate and CIH score in children with ADHD remains debatable, contributing to a low level of evidence.

The methodological quality and reliability of findings on acupuncture’s effects on ADHD were evaluated using recognized assessment tools like AMSTAR-2 and the GRADE system. The need for large-sample, high-quality randomized controlled trials is emphasized to ensure dependable conclusions about acupuncture’s efficacy for treating ADHD.

The Efficacy of Acupuncture for ADHD

Acupuncture has shown promising results in managing ADHD symptoms in children and adolescents. A study conducted at Kyung-Hee Oriental Medical Center included participants aged 7-18 who received 12 acupuncture treatments over a span of 6 weeks.

This trial aims to evaluate the role of acupuncture in effectively addressing ADHD, with findings set to be disseminated at the study’s conclusion, potentially offering valuable insights into alternative treatment modalities for ADHD.

For more information on this topic or similar subjects, you can visit Family Wellness Acupuncture based in Irvine CA, led by Ryoko Takayama.

Risks Associated with Acupuncture for ADHD

Transitioning from the positive aspects of acupuncture, it’s important to note potential risks associated with its use for ADHD. While generally safe when performed by a qualified practitioner, some common side effects may include mild bruising at the needle insertion sites and occasional dizziness or fatigue post-treatment.

Additionally, there’s a small risk of infection if proper sterilization procedures are not followed diligently. It’s crucial to ensure that Family Wellness Acupuncture in Irvine CA provides treatment under strict safety protocols supervised by experienced professionals like Ryoko Takayama.

Remember to have an open discussion with your acupuncture provider about any pre-existing conditions or concerns you might have related to pain, bleeding disorders, or other medical issues before starting treatments.

By addressing these potential risks openly and proactively, you can make informed decisions regarding your holistic healthcare journey while seeking relief from ADHD symptoms through acupuncture therapy.


In conclusion, acupuncture shows promise as an effective treatment for ADHD. Studies indicate its potential to positively impact brain activity in children and adolescents with ADHD.

Embrace a new chapter in your health story with us. Connect with us at (949) 836-2857, visit, or email: Begin your transformative journey with a clinic that prioritizes your well-being, every step of the way.

Or if you just have a question about acupuncture, get in touch with us here:


1. Can acupuncture help treat ADHD?

Yes, acupuncture can serve as a complementary treatment to traditional ADHD medications—targeting specific acupoints may improve attention and reduce hyperactivity.

2. What does research say about the effectiveness of acupuncture for ADHD?

Clinical trials show mixed results, but some studies indicate that certain patients might see improvements in their symptoms after undergoing consistent acupuncture therapy.

3. Are there any side effects associated with using acupuncture to treat ADHD?

Acupuncture is usually considered low-risk; however, minor side effects such as bruising at needle sites may occur—always consult with qualified healthcare professionals before starting treatments.

4. How does acupuncture work for treating mental disorders like ADHD?

By stimulating specific points on the body, known as acupoints, acupuncture aims to restore balance and enhance neurocognitive function—which could positively impact those diagnosed with ADHD.

5. Is it necessary to use medication if you’re trying out acupuncture for treating ADHD symptoms?

While some individuals may find relief solely from therapies like acupuncture or behavior modification techniques; others might need a combination approach including stimulant medications under professional guidance.

6. What should I look for when finding an acupuncturist who understands how to treat psychiatric diseases including ADHD?

Seek out licensed practitioners well-versed in both traditional Chinese medicine and Western health practices—those affiliated with accredited institutions often ensure high standards of care and accuracy in diagnosis.



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