Hallowell Connections Color
September Newsletter )
The Power of Connection September, 2008
In this Issue
  • ADHD Awareness Week Announcements and Resources
  • Alternative Therapies for ADHD - Consider Qigong
  • Alternative Therapies - My Sensory Solution and Dore
  • In the News: New Hallowell Book; Michael Phelps
  • Book Reviews - The DaVinci Method; Beyond Reason
  • Many of you know that this coming week, September 14-20, is ADHD Awareness Week. That means that there are lots of special events going on for those interested in learning more about ADHD. We've highlighted a few of our favorites at the beginning of this newsletter.

    If you want inspiration, look to the article about Michael Phelps in "In the News". His mother tells about the many ways she helped Michael overcome his ADHD. Or, read Rebecca Shafir's first hand account about why she recommends Qigong to many of her patients.

    After a long summer break, there was just too much to put into this one newsletter. Expect the October newsletter to follow early next month!

    We hope that you all had a wonderful summer, and that everyone is settling in for a fun-filled Fall. As always, if you have a topic of specific interest about which you would like us to write, please feel free to email it to me.

    Melissa Orlov, editor

    ADHD Awareness Week Announcements and Resources

    If you want a crash course in ADHD, this is the week to get it. September 14-20 is ADHD Awareness Week, and there are several seminars going on in September as a result. Here are a few of our favorites:

    Virtual ADHD Conference - This conference includes 20 top ADHD experts such as Dr. Hallowell, Dr. Amen, Sari Solden, Terry Matlen and Jennifer Koretsky. We're pretty excited about this conference - you can "attend" via phone and internet, making it both convenient and less expensive than regular conferences. The conference takes place September 22 - 24 and covers child and adult ADHD. For a complete agenda, please g o to this link. There is a charge of either $197 or $297 to participate, depending upon whether or not you wish to receive transcripts and CDs or not.

    ADHD Awareness Week Program, from ADDA, CHADD and ADDitude Magazine - These three organizations have joined together to provide information focused around the theme "From First Years to Golden Years: ADHD and Life's Relationships". Events, which do not seem to be as extensive as the conference mentioned above, include some teleclasses. For more information, go to this link.

    ADHD Awareness Marathon - From Sept. 14 - 20 you have a week-long opportunity to get your questions answered fast. ADDClasses.com is sponsoring this event, which includes ADHD experts who will be available by phone, chat and message board to answer your questions. For a list of experts and details, go to this link. The Awareness Marathon is free.

    Alternative Therapies for ADHD - Consider Qigong

    Written by Rebecca Shafir - Back in the 70's in college I became a serious student of Transcendental Meditation. The words of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi still stick with me today: "Each individual is given the gift of an abundant potential of talents and abilities (I'm paraphrasing, after all, it's been a few years!). It's up to us to discover and develop them." To this day I truly believe this and make an effort to take advantage of whatever opportunities may expose one of these hidden talents. Therefore, my day is pretty packed. I probably get less sleep than the average person, and I'm not on a special diet. When people ask where I get the energy, I reply that it's my martial arts training that has given me the "chi" (pronounced "chee") or energy to do what I do.

    I became a student of marital arts several years ago, and particularly in the last few years studying Qigong (or Chi Gong), I noticed a surge of mental and physical energy that surpassed my usual energy level. Since then I've recommended qigong practice to my patients with ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression and those with low energy or too much unfocused energy.

    How can energy become better controlled with Qigong practice? To answer these questions I sought out the experts. My teachers, Michael and Ron Williams are co- founders of the Martial Arts Research Institute (MARI) in Salem, Massachusetts. They have studied with some of the foremost Qigong masters in the world and pass down these teachings to their students. They teach a wide variety of Chinese, Indonesian and Filipino martial arts including the Chinese healing arts.

    The Chinese word 'Qi' means life energy. 'Gong' means "benefits acquired through perseverance and practice." Thus, Qigong means working with life energy; it is a process of learning to control the flow and distribution of energy to improve the health of the mind and body. This energy exercise is over 4000 years old. There are several aspects of Qigong that make it an appealing choice of exercise for anyone at any level of conditioning. It does not require memorization of lengthy forms like Tai Chi (a slow series of fighting movements), and to spice it up, there is a wide range of soft to hard exercises: short meditative stances to more strenuous core strengthening exercises. The benefits of practicing qigong with a qualified instructor include not only increased physical and mental focus (many students in my class have experienced this very early in their training), but improved circulation, better sleep, faster recovery from flus and viruses, improved muscle tone and increased flexibility. Greater energy is often accompanied by improved productivity and better mood. Patients with chronic headaches can also benefit from Qigong training.

    Williams describes Qigong according to its five regulations: posture, breath training, mind focus, chi, higher energy state of the mind and mindfulness. When you regulate your breath you can better manage your state of mind. The breath work in Qigong allows the red blood cells to accumulate more oxygen which brings more oxygen to the brain and every other system of the body. This results in improved ability to concentrate and sets the stage for improved sleep.

    For more information on the Qigong program at the Martial Arts Research Institute and its other programs for help with ADHD and stress reduction, go to their website at mari.cmasdirect.com or contact RonaldWilliams25@gmail.com

    Editor's note: A recently released brain imaging study done at the Emory University School of Medicine supports Ms. Shafir's ideas. This study found that practiced meditators could clear their minds of distractions more quickly than non-meditators. While not martial arts, specifically, the concepts of controlling the mind and breathing are similar.

    Alternative Therapies - My Sensory Solution and Dore

    The Hallowell Center is now offering My Sensory Solutions - a Tomatis-based, individualized listening program, integrated with balance, voice, movement and visual activities for people ages three and up with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, sensory integration, auditory processing and other related difficulties.

    My Sensory Solutions offers either a clinic professional program, a home unit or a combination of the two- home and in clinic. Listening therapy relies on the concept of neuroplasticity - the brain's ability to reorganize itself as a result of experience. During listening therapy, specific sound frequencies and patterns are delivered via specially designed bone conduction headphones that include the vibration necessary to effect change in the vestibular system.
    Visit www.mysensorysolutions.com to learn about the grand opening specials with pay as you go pricing. Be sure to schedule your FREE pitch discrimination test and consultation to see if My Sensory Solutions is your solution.

    If you are in the Boston area, you can find out more by going to one of the Hallowell Center open houses on the following dates: Thursday, Sept. 18; 10am to 12 noon OR 7 - 9 pm Wednesday, Oct. 15: 7-9pm Tuesday, November 18: 7-9 pm

    Hallowell Centers Again Offering Dore - The Hallowell Centers are once again offering the Dore program in Boston and New York. For more details, go to the main Hallowell Center website.

    In the News: New Hallowell Book; Michael Phelps

    SuperParenting for ADD: An Innovative Approach to Raising Your Distracted Child Release Date Set - The publishers of Dr. Hallowell's new book have finally set a release date - December 31, for his upcoming book on parenting. The book takes an upbeat, confirming approach to helping your child find his or her talents. The book is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com and other online booksellers.

    Michael Phelps and ADD - Yes, Michael Phelps was diagnosed with ADD at an early age. To read a really terrific article about moms who helped their kids acheive greatness, including a long section interviewing Michael's mom, go to this link at ADDItude Magazine.

    Book Reviews - The DaVinci Method; Beyond Reason

    The DaVinci Method by Garret LaPorto, reviewed by Rebecca Shafir

    Are you impulsive? Risk-taking? Do you crave risk and excitement? Chances are, you are a DaVinci! In this fascinating book Gary Laporto helps the reader discover the secret genius that drives entrepreneurs, artists and innovators and ADDers to achieve greatness. Laporto offers readers a 16 item quiz to see if, in fact, you carry the DaVinci gene, the DRD4 exon III 7-repeat allele. Research from the Herzog Memorial Hospital and Ben Gurion University in Israel found that people with this gene tend to be extroverted, impulsive and extravagant. Other genes influencing the expression of the DRD4 polymorphisms could result in the variations of the traits attributed not only to Leonardo DaVinci but to Einstein, van Gogh and Steven Spielberg.

    This book re-visits a long forgotten therapy approach, "Will Therapy" devised by Otto Rank, a protégé of Sigmund Freud, combined with new methods of brainwave measurements. Rank spent his career studying the DaVinci psychology - the psychology of the artist. Laporto takes the reader through a very readable and thought provoking analysis of aspects of the DaVinci nature. He puts a positive spin on the negative traits that are typically associated with ADD/ADHD. For example, DaVinci was well known for his boundless creativity and intellect, but also for his unfinished projects and procrastination. DaVinci accounted for this behavior by saying "Art is never finished, only abandoned." He condones periods of day-dreaming or a slow wave state to invoke the genius process. DaVinci's hyperfocused state allowed him to rise at dawn and paint all day without eating. After 2-3 days of rest, DaVinci would return to add a couple strokes to the project and abruptly leave. Sound familiar?

    LaPorto gives DaVinci types several exercises and strategies gleaned from Rank's Will Therapy for problem solving, dream interpretation, image streaming and transcending addiction. He ends with a daily regime consisting of physical exercise and creative thinking. The DaVinci Method is really an anti- method, one that will help ADDers and anyone else blessed with the DaVinci traits to shed limitations and experience their true genius.

    Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate by Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro, reviewed by Melissa Orlov

    Those who find themselves in difficult relationships may well find this book helpful. Though it is written with business negotiations as the primary examples, the authors' outline of the five core concerns in negotiation perfectly fit the issues inherent in many adult ADHD relationships. This book will help you understand why expressing appreciation for others, working as partners, and providing autonomy are so important to good communication. It also provides specific examples that should help you develop better communication (okay, negotiation!) skills with your partner.

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