Insomnia and Acupuncture

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Our first blog written by Jessica Liu, L.Ac.

Enjoy!

“Did you know that the lack of sleep causes cancer”or “Sleep deprivation leads to serious health problems”? Yes, yes, we have seen plenty of these headlines throughout the years. However, what are the solutions?  Sleep more, obviously. But what if you just cannot turn off your brain? No, Benadryl is not the solution for all sleep problems. In fact, the use of Benadryl as a sleep aid could not only lead to tolerance, but also lead to altered mental states and sleep walking. 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 40 million Americans are affected by the sleep disorder, insomnia.

Insomnia includes:

  • Difficulty FALLING asleep
  • Difficulty STAYING asleep
  • Difficulty RETURNING to sleep

Encountering any of these scenarios affects an individual’s overall quality of sleep and impacts the body’s health. So in theory, those headlines do in fact hold truth. In traditional Chinese medicine, the body’s organs have something similar to that of a body’s circadian rhythm with each organ having an allotted 2 hour time slot where the energy and function of that organ is at its peak. To put in perspective, when someone stays awake past 1:00 am, Liver organ’s peak time, their Liver’s function to filter blood, detox, and metabolize is impacted. This can ultimately harm the body by not letting the body properly reset and restart for the following day.

Just as insomnia can be displayed in individuals differently, traditional Chinese medicine explains the root cause of a condition differs from person to person. For example, insomnia in women undergoing peri- and post-menopause is different from insomnia experienced by someone who had too much greasy foods to eat the night before. In this first scenario, the cause of insomnia is due to a deficiency condition in the body. In the later scenario, the condition is due to an excess condition leading to the insomnia.

When we conduct a comprehensive intake, we observe an individual’s condition as a whole. We pinpoint the root cause via the TCM model.  In our experience, Acupuncture has shown to be effective in helping our patients afflicted with insomnia by relaxing the body and mind, reducing stress, and alleviating pain which is also a factor in sleep quality. Another important thing, eating too close to bed time (especially heavy meals) may alter the body into digestive mode ‘active mode’ which will overturn the ‘passive mode’ of quality rest.  Our bodies require ‘passivity’ in order to reboot and replenish. If this is compromised, one becomes weaker as a whole, and more susceptible to becoming ill.  We also prescribe herbs, which may also work in conjunction with acupuncture to assist in treating insomnia.

Insomnia is not a condition that should be overlooked. Without proper sleep and rest, the body’s ability to function gradually decreases and mental capabilities are impacted. At Acupuncture Remedies, we are here to listen, and help each and every one take control of their health. Everyone works too hard and deserves a good night’s sleep zZz.

 

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