Relieving Insomnia with Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
Insomnia is a common by-product of stress, aging, lifestyle issues and physical imbalances. Insomnia is 1.4 times more common in women than in men. Although insomnia is not a disease but a symptom of one of several sleep disorders. Insomnia is defined as “difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both” and it may be due to inadequate quality or quantity of sleep. It is typically followed by functional impairment while awake.
Acupuncture and Insomnia
A doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) will focus on the Chinese Heart, Liver, Spleen or Kidney organs and channels when insomnia is a patient’s main complaint.
In Chinese Medicine, the Heart and Liver both house a specific aspect of the spirit or “shen”. When these two organs are out of balance, the spirit may wander from not being housed properly, and ‘float’ i.e maintain consciousness. The spirit is supposed to rest and recuperate in the Liver blood overnight, but if that blood is deficient, too hot, or stagnant, the spirit will not want nor be able to rest in the blood.
Chinese Medicine also states that when the Spleen is injured, (through diet and lifestyle issues usually) the subsequent blood deficiency will lead to insomnia.
The Kidneys are in charge of generating the Yin fluids or calming aspects of the body. When the Kidneys are disrupted, there will be more relative heat at night, also causing the shen to rise, i.e insomnia.
Western medical research has shown that acupuncture is associated with a significant nocturnal increase in endogenous melatonin secretion and reduces insomnia and anxiety. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone and is important in the regulation of the circadian rhythms of several biological functions, including sleep.
Chinese Herbs may be a safer alternative to sleeping tablets, as they work on regulating the imbalance in the Liver, Spleen, Heart and Kidney organs, optimising the body’s ability to regulate its own circadian rhythms, and create a suitable resting place for the spirit at night.
If you have sleeping issues, come have a chat with Dr Alexandria Page-Robertson (TCM/Acu) and see what TCM may be able to do for you!
Call/SMS: 0419 383 146
Research on Acupuncture and Insomnia
• Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences: Acupuncture Increases Nocturnal Melatonin Secretion and Reduces Insomnia and Anxiety: A Preliminary Report
Conclusion: Acupuncture treatment may be of value for some categories of anxious patients with insomnia.
• Journal of Advanced Nursing
Effects of acupuncture therapy on insomnia.
Conclusion: The results of this review suggest that acupuncture may be an effective intervention for the relief of insomnia.