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How to reduce Insomnia: Self-Care recommadations from an Acupuncturists

Insomnia is rampant these days. Many people are walking around exhausted, medication-dependent, or resigned to a sleepless existence. More people are turning to acupuncture and other non-drug therapies for insomnia.

Insomnia is one of the most common complaints seen by acupuncturists.

Regular acupuncture treatments can be extremely helpful for combatting insomnia. Acupuncturists customise treatments based on the individual diagnosis of insomnia from which someone is suffering.

Some people have trouble falling asleep while others can’t stay asleep. Some are woken from frequent dreams while others can’t stop their minds from spinning. Some wake up every single night at 1:34am. Others sleep like babies until 3:37am.

What time do you wake up at night?

You can use the Chinese-medicine clock to get clues about which of your systems are out of balance and causing insomnia. In traditional Chinese medicine like acupuncture, the flow of energy, or qi, through the 12 meridians (6 yin and 6 yang meridians) is thought to be highest for a two-hour period every day at each organ, Acupuncturists use this information diagnostically, as well as to determine the optimal time for treating specific imbalances.

One helpful diagnostic tool used by acupuncturists for insomnia is the Chinese-medicine clock. It assigns a two-hour window to each of the body’s systems.

This can be helpful in determining which system may be out of balance. For example, if you consistently wake up at 1:34am, an acupuncturist might suspect a Liver imbalance.

For people who wake up between 1am and 3am, Liver qi stagnation tends to be the culprit. f this is your pattern, you can jumpstart the Liver system by starting the day with a cup of warm water with the juice of half a lemon squeezed into it. It’s also important to move the qi through exercise for at least 30-60 minutes every day. I sometimes reccomend taking 1-2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar throughout the day.

If you’re up every night at 3:37am, Lung could be the issue. This is the time the Lungs are supposed to help anchor your spirit and allow you to rest. The Lungs are easily injured by dryness, which could be due to speaking too much at work, forced-air heating and cooling, or living in an arid climate.

Why you can’t fall asleep?

If you’re having a hard time falling asleep; opposed to waking in the middle of the night. It’s usually an indicator of one of two things: either your Gall Bladder won’t calm down, or you’re dealing with Heart Qi or Blood deficiency.

Stressed out - Gall Bladder

Gall Bladder energy is strongest from 11pm-1am, so if you can’t fall asleep until 1am, it could be because your Gall Bladder system is all amped up.

The Gall Bladder is often impacted by stress, so a good long-term plan for dealing with insomnia is to reduce your stress.

Since that’s easier said than done, a more immediate solution is to massage the sides of your head, an area were the Gall Bladder channel runs. Rub the temporal region of the head, right above and behind the ears, within the hairline, followed by rubbing or squeezing the tops of your shoulders. This can help clear the energy away from the mind so that you cn rest.

Heart Qi Deficiency

The inability to fall asleep due to Heart qi deficiency usually involves anxiety and blood deficiency.

It may not be stress as the underlying issue. It is more likely to be general overwhelm from too much happening in our lives. Anxiety with insomnia is a great indicator that it is time for a meditation practice like meditation, mindfullness practices, yoga, tai chi, or qigong; anything to help calm your mind and give you a break from all that is happening.

For her patients with insomnia of the Heart qi deficiency kind, shutting down all devices, eliminating the glow of Blue LED lights from the room, light reading, and perhaps drinking a cup of chamomile tea before turning off the lights.

Whether you struggle to fall asleep at night or suffer from disturbed, broken sleep, acupuncture is a remedy which may help you sleep.

What does the research say?

In a research published by Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, acupuncture was found to be more effective than sleep drugs to battle insomnia. It was also found that it improved the quality of sleep and its duration. The results of the study found that acupuncture achieved a 92.9 per cent total effective rate, and a sleeping medication achieved a 67.9 per cent total effective rate.

If you have been battling with poor sleep, it is important to understand the root cause of the problem. For bookings please call ☎07941 660036. — Heiwa Clinic

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