Acupuncture - Treating
35 million Americans suffer
from insomnia, but even more people suffer
from lack of sleep. Do not underestimate the
power of a good night’s sleep. People
who get less than seven hours of sleep a
night are more likely to suffer from
emotional imbalances, stress and depression,
diminished memory capacity and speech
control, increased irritability, lowered
concentration and an increase in muscle pain
and physical tiredness.
Insomnia can present itself
in two ways. Some people have difficulty or
an inability to fall asleep. Others are
unable to reach a deep state of sleep and are
often easily awakened by noise or dreams.
In Western medicine, causes
of insomnia include stress, depression,
anxiety, irregular work schedule, drug or
alcohol abuse and chronic pain. Many
medications also have insomnia as a listed
In acupuncture theory,
insomnia is separated according to each
person's unique body and combination of
symptoms. Most of the sleep disturbances
involve an imbalance in the heart system,
although this is not always the case.
Heart and kidney disharmony
includes symptoms of restlessness, being
awakened easily and having difficulty falling
back to sleep. You might have palpitations,
irritability, dizziness, tinnitus, poor
memory, back soreness and face flushing. You
may also have a generally weak constitution
and suffer from frequent chronic illnesses.
Heart and spleen disharmony
is characterized by having a difficult time
falling asleep, easily waking during the
night with lots of dreams. Palpitations, poor
memory, dizziness, fatigue, poor appetite, a
pale complexion and a low-quality or
imbalanced diet may also be on the list of
things you experience.
and gallbladder qi deficiency is
distinguished by having a lot of dreams and
easily waking up in fright. You might have a
tendency to be a timid and afraid person.
Also, you might experience palpitations,
breathlessness and fatigue.
Liver Fire Flaring Upward is
characterized by sleep that's disturbed by
very scary dreams or nightmares. You might
also have irritability, thirst, desire to
drink, headaches, red eyes, bitter taste in
the mouth and constipation. There might be a
lot of emotional stress going on in your
Phlegm Fire Disturbing the
Mind includes restless sleep that has you
tossing and turning a lot. You might also
have irritability, dizziness, a feeling of
heaviness in the head and oppression in the
chest, nausea and poor appetite. A
low-quality or imbalanced diet may also
accompany these symptoms.
Whatever the diagnosis may
be, acupuncture has been proven to be a safe
and effective way to decrease the staggering
effects of insomnia and lack of sleep. In
fact, acupuncture is being sought out
increasingly for insomnia, even by people who
successfully achieve sleep when they use
Two of the main concerns with
medication are dependence on the medication
and its side effects. A common complaint is
that medicated sleep is not good quality
sleep, and people do not wake up feeling
refreshed. Artificial sleep may be better
than none at all, but it is not as
restorative as sleep that is induced and
sustained by the body's own natural cycles.
Acupuncture, as always addressing the root
cause of the problem, allows people to fall
peacefully back in their own natural rhythm
and get a great night's sleep.
acupuncture, there are other ways to combat
insomnia. You should maintain a routine to
your sleep schedule. Keep your bedroom dark,
cool and quiet. All electronics, including
televisions and computers, should be taken
out of the bedroom. It may also help to
position the clock away from your bed.
Caffeine, nicotine and sugar intake should be
reduced or eliminated completely and heavy
meals should be avoided before bedtime.
There are many people who do
not realize the importance of a good
night’s sleep. I had a patient who came
in complaining of irritability and a fast
temper. She had a high stress lifestyle, a
difficult job situation and a very busy home
life. She was only sleeping 4 to 5 hours per
night. Although she could fall asleep very
quickly, she would awaken several times
throughout the night only to have difficulty
falling back to sleep.
After her very first
acupuncture treatment, her sleep improved by
at least 50%. A few weeks later, she reported
sleeping a full eight hours with no waking.
She felt refreshed, alive and much more able
to handle the stress in her life. Her
insomnia was a thing of the past.
You should never allow any
disease or disorder to have any control over
your life. Insomnia shouldn’t decide
when or for how long you can sleep.
Acupuncture is a great way to lead you back
to a place of balance and calm, giving you
the power to lay insomnia to rest.