Are you facing so many sleepless nights in today’s fast paced stressed-out world?
Do you seek help from sleep medicine yet fear the side effects and addiction?
If yes, you may be one of the 30% American adults having insomnia! Read on, know more about this disease and see how we can help.
What are insomnia and sleep disorders?
The average adult needs slightly more than 8 hours of sleep a day, but only 35% of American adults consistently get this amount of rest. Insomnia is defined as difficulty initiating, or maintaining sleep at least 3 nights per week, in addition to complaints of sleep-related daytime impairment.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Inability to fall asleep at night despite being tired
Waking frequently throughout the night
Waking too early in the morning
Not feeling refreshed after sleep
Sleep that is chronically non-restorative or poor
Daytime drowsiness, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and impaired ability to perform normal activities
Anxiety as bedtime approaches
Why is good sleep important?
Sufficient and restful sleep is a human necessity. It is critical to maintain Qi and a body in harmony. Lack of sleep causes the body to over produce “stress hormones” such as adrenaline and cortisol, which causes people to be nervous and more aggressive. Increased level of cortisol due to chronic stress is also linked to high blood pressure, suppressed immune system and weight gain. While occasional restless nights are normal, prolonged insomnia leads to poor job performance, impaired memory, concentration and judgment, increased risk of substance abuse, serious accidents when driving or operating machinery, headaches, and depression, etc.
What are the causes of insomnia and sleep disorders in oriental medicine?
Insomnia may stem from a disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm, which is an internal clock that governs the timing of hormone production, sleep, body temperature, and other functions. Everyday anxiety and stress, coffee, and alcohol are the most common culprits. Oriental medicine recognizes the importance of adequate sleep for physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. Insomnia is viewed as an imbalance of Zang (Heart) function. Stress and poor diet produce stagnation of Qi, this stagnation of Qi travels as fire to the Zang of Heart, which is also the repository of the mind and spirit. The damage caused by the heart fire results in insomnia and sleep disorders.
What oriental medicine and acupuncture can do for insomnia and sleep disorder?
Acupuncture has been used very effectively by practitioners of oriental medicine to treat insomnia and improve sleep, without any of the side effects of prescription or over-the-counter sleep aids. As in all things, oriental medicine and acupuncture for insomnia do not just treat a symptom, but attack the root of disharmony in the body causing the condition. Therefore, those who use acupuncture for insomnia achieve not only better sleep, but also an overall improvement of physical and mental health.
acupuncture treatment for insomniaUnlike western medicine, there is not one “prescription” for using acupuncture to treat insomnia. Each oriental medicine practitioner will use acupuncture for insomnia effecting a different combination of meridians or points specific to the patient’s individual problem. It is because in oriental medicine perspective that each person’s body is considered unique with its own individual Qi flow and resonance. Therefore there are as many forms of acupuncture for the treatment of sleeplessness.
Some reports suggest that certain acupuncture procedures have a nearly 90% success rate for the treatment of insomnia. Through a complex series of signals to the brain, acupuncture increases the amount of certain substances in the brain, such as serotonin, which promote relaxation and sleep.
Several clinical studies have found that auricular (ear) acupuncture, using needles placed at various points in the ear, is effective in reducing symptoms of insomnia, such as difficultly in falling asleep and remaining asleep. Clinical studies of elderly people with sleep disturbances suggest that acupressure enhances sleep quality and decreases awakenings during the night.