Bull L: Sunflower therapy for children with specific learning difficulties (dyslexia): a randomised, controlled trial.
Complementary therapies in clinical practice 13 (1): 15-24, 2007.
Abstract: The aim of the study was to determine the clinical and perceived effectiveness of the Sunflower therapy in the treatment of childhood dyslexia. The Sunflower therapy includes applied kinesiology, physical manipulation, massage, homeopathy, herbal remedies and neuro-linguistic programming. A multi-centred, randomised controlled trial was undertaken with 70 dyslexic children aged 6-13 years. The research study aimed to test the research hypothesis that dyslexic children 'feel better' and 'perform better' as a result of treatment by the Sunflower therapy. Children in the treatment group and the control group were assessed using a battery of standardised cognitive, Literacy and self-esteem tests before and after the intervention. Parents of children in the treatment group gave feedback on their experience of the Sunflower therapy. Test scores were compared using the Mann Whitney, and Wilcoxon statistical tests. While both groups of children improved in some of their test scores over time, there were no statistically significant improvements in cognitive or Literacy test performance associated with the treatment. However, there were statistically significant improvements in academic self-esteem, and reading self-esteem, for the treatment group. The majority of parents (57.13%) felt that the Sunflower therapy was effective in the treatment of learning difficulties. Further research is required to verify these findings, and should include a control group receiving a dummy treatment to exclude placebo effects.