Ferrari Engines & Tricycle Brakes

Let’s pretend you have a Ferrari. What would happen if for some reason there was a complication during manufacturing, and they installed tricycle brakes instead of the right ones? What would happen as you were driving? The acceleration wouldn’t be affected, it’s still a Ferrari after all. In fact, that’s the biggest strength of a Ferrari. But when it came time for the brakes to stop and control that speed, some issues would arise, to say the least. If your kiddo struggles with ADHD, you have probably seen a similar phenomenon.

Kids who have ADHD have a brain like a Ferrari engine, but they have trouble calming it down. They are often extremely intelligent, yet paradoxically they struggle in school. They are seeing 10 miles down the road, but we only want them to look down at their homework.

ADHD is at its core a neurological phenomenon. Our nervous system is our body’s master controller and is profoundly affected by STRESS.

Stress comes at kids in many different forms, namely 3 main categories: physical, chemical and emotional. Stress activates our “fight or flight” system which is designed for survival above all else. In “fight or flight” our senses are heightened, our impulsivity goes up, and it’s hard to concentrate for more than a few seconds at a time. When our “fight or flight” system is engaged, our “rest and digest” system is cut off. The “rest and digest” system is where all the good stuff happens: self-calming, self-soothing, healing, growing, and repairing. When we are stressed, it’s like we are revving the gas and cutting the brakes at the same time. This explains the behavior of so many kiddos struggling with ADHD.

As pediatric chiropractors we use gentle and specific adjustments to calm the excessive stress response in the nervous system, breaking them out of “fight or flight” and stimulating the “rest and digest” response and a more balanced nervous system. A child with a balanced nerve system can use and direct their Ferrari engine brains when they need to, but also calm down and focus when they need to. Far from looking to fix or cure ADHD, chiropractic care is about balancing the nervous system, which often coincides with changes in the symptoms commonly associated with ADHD.

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