24 Healing Options for any Illness

Martial Arts

One common symptom of ADHD is impaired executive functions. The term "executive functions" encompasses a wide range of cognitive skills, including the ability to entertain ideas, give thoughtful responses, remain focused, and behave in a non-impulsive manner. Over the years, many activities have been shown to improve executive functions, including martial arts.

The benefit of activities like martial arts is that they require participants to repeat and practice certain actions, with increasing difficulty and complexity over time. It is this repetition and increasing challenge that helps hone and improve executive function. All children can benefit from these types of activities, but it is especially helpful for those who have cognitive problems like ADHD.

Martial arts is only one of many potential options out there, but it has the benefit of being both a physical challenge as well as an opportunity for social development. Martial arts classes typically consist of multiple students, providing ample opportunity for social interaction, bonding, and friendly competition. It can also be customized to suit the needs of the individual, with a wide range of styles and difficulty levels to choose from.

Scientific Studies:

One of the many great things about martial arts is that it can easily be combined with other forms of treatment. A 2012 study incorporated mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy with martial arts to create a more well-rounded experience. The aim of the study was to look at the impact of such therapy on executive functioning in a group of adolescent boys with learning disabilities, including several with ADHD. The ADHD participants showed improvements in behavior, cooperation, and overall conduct as reported by their parents, as well as better social skills and decreased anxiety. The authors concluded their report by stating that this mixture of mental and physical therapy was a promising alternative to medication.

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