Can't Sleep? Why don't you try Acupuncture & Herb treatment?
Do you struggle to get to sleep no matter how tired you are? Or do you wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours, anxiously watching the clock? Insomnia is a common problem that takes a toll on your energy, mood, health, and ability to function during the day. Chronic insomnia can even contribute to serious health problems.Acupuncture treatment will help you .
Can’t sleep? Understanding insomnia and its symptoms
Insomnia is the inability to get the amount of sleep you need to wake up feeling rested and refreshed. Because different people need different amounts of sleep, insomnia is defined by the quality of your sleep and how you feel after sleeping—not the number of hours you sleep or how quickly you doze off. Even if you’re spending eight hours a night in bed, if you feel drowsy and fatigued during the day, you may be experiencing insomnia.
Although insomnia is the most common sleep complaint, it is not a single sleep disorder. It’s more accurate to think of insomnia as a symptom of another problem, which differs from person to person. It could be something as simple as drinking too much caffeine during the day or a more complex issue like an underlying medical condition or feeling overloaded with responsibilities.
The good news is that most cases of insomnia can be cured with acupuncture treatment—without relying on sleep specialists or turning to prescription or over-the-counter sleeping pills.
Symptoms of insomnia:
Difficulty falling asleep despite being tired
Waking up frequently during the night
Trouble getting back to sleep when awakened
Relying on sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep
Waking up too early in the morning
Daytime drowsiness, fatigue, or irritability
Difficulty concentrating during the day
Causes of insomnia: Figuring out why you can’t sleep
In order to properly treat and cure your insomnia, you need to become a sleep detective. Emotional issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression cause half of all insomnia cases. But your daytime habits, sleep routine, and physical health may also play a role. Try to identify all possible causes of your insomnia. Once you figure out the root cause, you can tailor treatment accordingly.
Are you under a lot of stress?
Are you depressed or feel emotionally flat or hopeless?
Do you struggle with chronic feelings of anxiety or worry?
Have you recently gone through a traumatic experience?
Are you taking any medications that might be affecting your sleep?
Do you have any health problems that may be interfering with sleep?
Is your sleep environment quiet and comfortable?
Are you spending enough time in sunlight during the day and in darkness at night?
Do you try to go to bed and get up around the same time every day?
Common mental and physical causes of insomnia:
Sometimes, insomnia only lasts a few days and goes away on its own, especially when the insomnia is tied to an obvious temporary cause, such as stress over an upcoming presentation, a painful breakup, or jet lag. Other times, insomnia is stubbornly persistent. Chronic insomnia is usually tied to an underlying mental or physical issue.
Psychological problems that can cause insomnia: depression, anxiety, chronic stress, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder.
Medications that can cause insomnia: antidepressants; cold and flu medications that contain alcohol; pain relievers that contain caffeine (Midol, Excedrin); diuretics, corticosteroids, thyroid hormone, high blood pressure medications.
Medical problems that can cause insomnia: asthma, allergies, Parkinson’s disease, hyperthyroidism, acid reflux, kidney disease, cancer, chronic pain.
Sleep disorders that can cause insomnia: sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs syndrome.
Anxiety and depression: Two of the most common causes of chronic insomnia
Most people suffering from an anxiety disorder or depression have trouble sleeping. What’s more, the sleep deprivation can make the symptoms of anxiety or depression worse. Treating the underlying psychological issue is the key to curing insomnia.
Acupuncture treatment for insomnia
A study published recently in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, reports that patients who received acupressure and transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) experienced a significant improvement in their insomnia symptom, including problems of fatigue, sleep quality and depression. The results from this study suggest that acupressure or TEAS might have an important role in managing patients with fatigue, poor sleep quality and depression.
Oriental medicine relates insomnia to the heart. Of course, an insomnia remedy would include a complete diagnosis and treatment system that would focus on each individual, and the many syndromes that are differentiated within the context of insomnia would be explored. Other organ systems and syndromes may be involved, and until the body is brought back into balance through Oriental medicine treatment such as herbs for insomnia and acupuncture, each insomnia symptom will continue.
One contributor to insomnia, stress, weakens the function of the Liver, which in turn affects the health of your nerves. According to the 5 Element Theory, the relationship between the Liver and nerves flows both ways, causing the function of the Liver to be weakened from the accumulation of things that "get on your nerves." Stress-related insomnia is often accompanied by another nerve-induced problem: restless leg syndrome. This can make bedtime even more of a battle for sleep. When your Liver is unbalanced and being asked to deliver energy it does not have, uncomfortable symptoms are your body's way of signaling the need to get things back into harmony, the need for an insomnia remedy .
Acupuncture has a calming effect on the nervous system. It clears obstructions in the muscle and nerve channels, facilitates the flow of oxygen-enriched energy and relaxes the system. Common noted benefits of acupuncture include deeper breathing, improved digestive abilities, better sleeping patterns, decrease in various pains and a general sense of well being, which are all excellent treatments for insomnia. General acupuncture protocol for the treatment of chronic insomnia includes 10 initial treatments at two to three treatments per week, followed by a two to four week observational period and possibly one treatment per week.
Acupuncture and herbs as an insomnia remedy can greatly improve sleeping patterns, but in order to successfully and completely resolve sleep disturbance one must address all the contributing factors. Oriental medicine helps do this by treating the whole person and focusing on bringing the entire body into balance. Other suggested actions include:
Learn to relax physically
Techniques such as yoga, meditation, biofeedback and progressive relaxation, as well as acupuncture and massage, can help your body become more restful.
Have a regular bedtime
If you are not asleep after an hour, get up, go to another room and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Don't try to force yourself to sleep.
Reduce food and drinks that increase sleep problems
Heavy meals before bedtime, late afternoon or evening consumption of alcohol, chocolate, tea, coffee and caffeinated soda should be avoided. Consider adding herbs for insomnia to your diet as well.
Keep in shape
Regular exercise helps with stress and reduces fatigue, both of which can exacerbate insomnia. Systems such as Tai Chi or Qigong are gentler exercises that balance staying fit with staying relaxed.
Treat physical problems
If physical pain or discomfort is a factor in the inability to fall asleep, don't put up with it. Acupuncture has proven successful in treating pain associated with arthritis and many other physical conditions.
Nutritional Counseling and Lifestyle Changes
Nutrition can contribute to the cause and cure of insomnia. Excess protein and the over reliance on stimulants and quick-energy foods contribute to fatigue by weighing on the liver, kidneys and intestines. Quick fix foods increase the depletion of the body-mind energy reserves. Tailoring a diet that includes foods such as whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits to the individual replenishes energy and diffuses built-up stress.
Chinese Herbal Medicine and Supplements
Chinese herbs and herbal medications are also useful in combating insomnia. An Oriental medicine practitioner can recommend an insomnia remedy to best suit individual insomnia symptoms. Herbs for insomnia such as longan fruit, golden thread, sour jujube seed, fossil bone or mimosa bark may be prescribed.
Insomnia should not dictate when or for how long you sleep. It can be frustrating and scary when any disease or disorder takes away control. Oriental medicine will lead you back to a place of balance and calm, giving you the power to lay insomnia to rest.