Acupuncture for Insomnia
Everybody has difficulty sleeping from time to time. It is usually temporary and has a specific cause, such as being nervous before an interview or test. However, many people suffer from insomnia every night. Some lie in bed tossing and turning, unable to drift off for hours, while others fall asleep quickly but wake multiple times throughout the night.
Sleep is extremely important to our physical and emotional health, and not getting your full eight hours quickly leads to other issues. These include daytime tiredness, poor concentration and an increased risk of accidents to name just a few.
Dealing with Insomnia
Conventional treatments for insomnia are very limited. Most sleeping tablets can lead to feelings of grogginess the following day, and some can be addictive.
The best way to deal with insomnia naturally is by practicing good sleep hygiene:
- Try going to bed and waking up at a regular time each day
- Make sure your bedroom is comfortable, cool and dark enough
- Avoid eating late or drinking caffeinated drinks in the evening
- Avoid looking at electronic screens such as computers or smartphones just before bed - the light they give off can interfere with your natural sleep-wake cycle
- Do something relaxing before bed such as taking a bath or reading
If you have tried all of these things but are still suffering from insomnia, you might consider trying acupuncture and other traditional Chinese medicine. This ancient system of medicine offers a safe and natural way to improve your sleep without the need for harmful medications.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Insomnia
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is thousands of years old. It includes herbs, acupuncture and a variety of other therapies which can both maintain health and treat disease.
In TCM, the body is viewed quite differently from the way it is seen western medicine. The organs have similar, but slightly different functions and there are unique concepts such as yin, yang and qi.
There are several reasons why a person might suffer from insomnia according to TCM theory. The first is an imbalance in yin and yang.
Yin and yang are the two complementary yet opposite forces of nature. Yin corresponds to night-time, stillness, rest and sleep. Yang corresponds to daytime, movement, activity and wakefulness. When these two forces are in harmony, we should feel energetic during the day, and sleepy at night. However, if they become imbalanced, insomnia can occur.
Insomnia is often caused by an insufficiency of yin. This is common in our hectic, modern lives as we all too often push ourselves forward without taking enough time to rest and recover. This causes our yin to become depleted, which in turn causes a relative excess of yang. This means that at night, when we should be sleeping, our minds are often racing with thoughts instead.
Another common reason for insomnia according to TCM is having disturbed shen. Shen is a Chinese word meaning “spirit” or “mind”. It is said to be housed by the Heart and rooted in the blood. If the Heart is weakened, or if blood is insufficient, this can cause shen disturbance. The symptoms of this include inability to fall or stay asleep, excessive dreaming or waking suddenly as you begin to drift off.
Treating Insomnia with Traditional Chinese Medicine
When you go for your first session, your practitioner will carry out a detailed consultation in order to find the underlying reason behind your insomnia. They will then prescribe herbs and acupuncture, as well as offering you personalized dietary and lifestyle advice to help your condition.
Herbs are known to be helpful in restoring the balance of yin and yang and building up deficient blood. Acupuncture is a deeply relaxing treatment which helps to regulate brain chemistry to improve mood and sleep. These treatments have been tried and tested over the course of many years and have proven to be both safe and effective.
So if you are suffering from insomnia, it is well worth giving TCM a try. It could be just the solution you have been searching for!