7 Surprising Home Remedies for Sensory Processing Disorder
Sensory Processing Disorder is an unfortunate neurological condition that affects many people around the world, but there are many home remedies for this disorder that can help ease the symptoms, including cognitive practice, salt therapy, homeopathy, skullcap, increasing melatonin levels, and dietary alterations.
Sensory Processing Disorder
Many people confuse sensory processing disorder with other forms of autism spectrum disorder, but in fact, the two are very different. Sensory Processing Disorder is characterized by the inability to properly interpret and experience sensory information from one’s environment. This issue can often go undiagnosed, and the child is instead considered overly picky, easily agitated, distracted, hard to please or simply “difficult”. The problem, of course, is that this neurological disorder can severely impact learning and behavior, a problem that can last well into their older ages. This can manifest as being overly sensitive to various textures, movement, tactile skills, and movement, or it can affect balance, eating and normal play activities. It is believed that this disorder is caused by genetic and neurological factors, many of which are still being researched.
Sensory Process Disorder comes in three main types – sensory modulation disorder, sensory-based motor disorders and sensory discrimination disorders. The first is defined by the inability of the brain to interpret the duration, frequency or intensity of a sensory input, making children feel anxious and unwilling to engage or experience new sensations or activities. Essentially, these children are either over-responsive or under-responsive to certain stimuli, making it difficult for them to interact or function normally while performing basic daily tasks. The second form of Sensory Processing Disorder manifests as difficulty with posture and motor skills, as a result of sensory input being disorganized or mistranslated by the brain. The final variety happens when sensory information is not processed. This final variety is often evidenced by poor performance in school or a lack of attention when being spoken to.
All of these disorders are often overlooked and ignored as a legitimate neurological issue, but poor sensory information processing can have serious side effects. A number of formal behavioral and cognitive therapies have been suggested and implemented in cases around the world, but there are also home remedies that can improve the symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder.
7 Surprising Home Remedies for Sensory Processing Disorder
Homeopathy: Certain homeopathic remedies for Sensory Processing Disorder have been praised over the years, including belladonna and Stramonium. As with most homeopathic remedies, it is important to speak directly to a trained practitioner, particularly with such powerful substances that are meant to sedate and alter neurological function. That being said, anecdotal evidence has shown behavioral and cognitive improvements in children following the use of certain homeopathic remedies.
Cognitive Practice: Neurological disorders may be difficult to diagnose at times, but if your child has been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, then it is important that you engage in daily practice sessions to improve cognitive function and form neural pathways that allow your child to better operate in the world. From the creation of visual cues and practice materials to real-world applications of social interactions and game-play, it is possible to see positive results if you are consistent in supporting and encouraging new forms of behavior and understanding of their condition.
Salt Therapy: There is a great deal of natural evidence that salt baths can be highly effective for certain hyperactive conditions and other neurological disorders. Epsom baths are inexpensive and have been trusted around the world for hundreds of years. You can also apply Epsom salt topically to the skin, in the form of creams, or through simple foot baths as well. It is believed to impact Sensory Processing Disorder by calming the nerves, promoting restful sleep, and lowering anxiety levels, all of which can be experienced by children suffering from this condition.
Dietary Alterations: Certain foods can negatively affect neurological function and processes, which is why paying attention to one’s diet when suffering from Sensory Processing Disorder can be important. Some people have found that removing all grains from the diet is helpful, particularly in terms of gastrointestinal issues. This is also known as the Paleo Diet, but before administering it to your child, speak with a doctor to see if that could be a potential option.
Skullcap: One of the most popular herbs for the treatment of Sensory Processing Disorder is skullcap, which possesses strong nervine properties that can boost cognitive function and improve the connections of the brain. This can prevent the onset of neurological disorders, making it particularly useful in the treatment of sensory-based motor disorders.
Ginseng: Ginseng is the ancient Chinese remedy that seems to make the list of every natural remedy, and with good reason. Ginseng can positively boost cognition, increase concentration levels, and stimulate the proper function of neurotransmitters. All of these side effects of ginseng can make it a valuable asset as a home remedy for Sensory Processing Disorder.
Melatonin Boost: Some research has linked low levels of melatonin with Sensory Processing Disorder, meaning that the body doesn’t make enough. While this connection is still being explored, plenty of anecdotal evidence argues that melatonin deficiency leads to the sleeplessness, mental exhaustion and physical fatigue that accompanies SPD. For young children, not getting enough sleep can have serious impacts on cognitive ability and neurological function. In other words, add some melatonin-rich foods like pineapples, bananas, oranges, sweetcorn or tomatoes to your child’s diet to prevent or manage SPD.