Treating Insomnia with Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees sleep as a sign of good health. If sleep is poor, this is regarded as a sign of an underlying imbalance of Qi, the life force which flows around the body and regulates your health by maintaining harmony, balance and order.
Insomnia means difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning, even though you’ve had enough opportunity to sleep. Symptoms include:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Waking throughout the night
- Restless sleep or inability to achieve deep sleep
- Waking in the early hours of morning with the inability to fall back asleep
- Awake all night
Approximately one third of adults experience occasional or persistent sleep disturbance throughout their lives. Things which influence the amount of sleep needed include age, lifestyle, diet and environment. Whilst some people are fine with a relatively short amount of sleep, most healthy adults sleep between seven and nine hours a night. The prevalence of insomnia increases with age and is more common in women.
What Causes Insomnia
Insomnia can be caused by many different things including:
- Stress, anxiety and worry
- Health conditions such as: asthma, hormonal problems, arthritis and long term pain
- Certain medication including some anti-depressants and epilepsy medicine
- Sleep disorders: such as sleep apnoea and restless leg syndrome
- Psychiatric disorders
- Alcohol or drug misuse.
There are also temporary causes of insomnia that go away once the causes are removed: episodes of grief or shock, fever or pain.
The effects of insomnia are both mental and physical. Lack of sleep leads to tiredness, lack of energy, irritability, difficulty concentrating and muscle stiffness. People suffering with chronic insomnia may develop depression or anxiety disorders. Long-term sleep deprivation may increase the severity of chronic diseases.
Insomnia and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine recognises five types of insomnia, involving multiple organ and meridian systems. The organ and meridian systems most commonly involved in chronic insomnia are the heart, liver, kidney and spleen.
TCM treats insomnia by first identifying the root cause of the specific imbalance from which the patient is suffering. Each patient will have their own particular set of symptoms. Once the Practitioner has diagnosed the root cause of the insomnia, they will prescribe Chinese Herbal Medicine formulated to treat the specific imbalance, together with Acupuncture. The pairing of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture is critical for success.
It is also important that patients suffering from insomnia:
- Take daily exercise, for example, 30 minutes walking, at least four hours before bed time
- Have a daily routine, getting up and going to bed at the same time
- Avoid drinking tea, coffee or alcohol in the evening
- Avoid eating a heavy meal in the evening
Disclaimer & Important Information
We can’t guaranteed the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are un predictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. GinSen’s acupuncturist will discuss your care before carrying out the treatment, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.
Contact us for insomnia treatment
Throughout my life, I have always found exams of any kind extremely stressful. Recently, when I was training to be an aerobics instructor, the thought of the practical examination filled me with dread. I had several acupuncture treatments in the run up to my exam to relieve anxiety and reduce stress. The acupuncture, herbal medicine, breathing exercises and reflexology massages made a huge difference. Although I did still suffer some nerves on the day of the exam, the overall effect was that the stress reduced significantly and I passed the exam. I cannot thank GinSen enough, they taught me to control my nerves, and without them, I am not sure I would have made it through my exam quite so easily