How Acupuncture Helped a Boy with ODD (And other Alternative Treatments)

By Susan Williams on May 04, 2011

Daily Mail Reporter: “A ‘one-boy wave of terror’ who has stolen cars, committed arson and terrorised residents is being given free acupuncture in a bid to stop his behaviour. His mother, Nadine West, says the holistic approach is showing signs of working. She said: ‘Sonny loves the acupuncture. He is definitely a lot calmer when he walks out after the sessions, but he is still a menace.”

The child was said to have ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder).

What is ODD?

The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) describes ODD (Oppositional defiant disorder) as an ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior toward authority figures which goes beyond the bounds of normal childhood behaviour. Children who have it may appear very stubborn and angry. People with ODD do the opposite of what they are told. Part of the characteristics or symptoms of ODD is mismanaged anger, tantrums or outburst, disregard for authority, delinquencies, and disrespect to parents and peers. People with ODD are irritable and indignant of others. When someone did something they don’t like, they resort to vengeance. To be considered as having ODD, a child or adolescent’s behavior should have caused considerable distress in the family or have significantly with academic or social functioning as presented by DSM.

How is ODD treated?

There is no definite treatment for ODD. However, it is claimed that the most effective way of treating ODD is behavioral therapy. Behavioral Therapy or Modification Therapy is a psychotherapy that focuses on modifying bad behaviours of the patient. In this therapy, patients are being presented with the negative results of their actions and provide positive approach in changing such malevolent behavior to good ones in order to gain “rewards”.

Acupuncture for ODD

Sonny Grainger, 14, is notorious in his Hull, East Yorkshire, was reported to have ODD. His mother, Nadine West said the “holistic approach is showing signs of working”, but confessed his son remains a menace. Acupuncture is a medical practice that is said to address a broad range of physical concerns, promoting physical health, relief from pain, and therapeutic purposes. Though acupuncture does not clearly treat ODD, it has a positive effect on a patient’s attitude and composure. The NIH (National Institute of Health)’s Office of Alternative Medicine funded a University of Arizona conducted a study that showed how acupuncture relieves stress. According to NIH, acupuncture is concerned in regulating our life force or “Qi” and gives a relaxing, calming, and tranquilizing effect that highly reduces stress and anxiety.

Hypnotherapy for ODD

Hypnotherapy uses “hypnosis” which comes from a Greek word meaning “sleep”. This therapy aims to deeply relax a patient’s body and mind, half conscious. In this kind of therapy, a person in a “deeply focused state” is unusually responsive to an idea or image responses (but is not under control of the hypnotherapist). Hypnotherapy relaxes the mind of an ODD patient while teaching him to master his own state of awareness.

Psychotherapy for ODD

Psychotherapy is used to treat mental and psychological disorders. This kind of treatment is done by building up relationships and open communication with the patients. The therapist designs activities like dialogue, group sharing, and picture analysis to improve the patient’s interpersonal and social relationships. Activity for each patient is designed to improve hi/her psychological condition. Psychotherapy also includes counselling.

ODD is a worrying disorder and that children or adolescents having this need special attention from people around them especially from their family. Support, and not punishment, is necessary for the patient’s treatment and recovery.

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