All people have had suffered from insomnia at some point in their life. People suffering from insomnia may suffer from transient, acute or chronic insomnia. To be able to treat insomnia with traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the practitioner must know what type of insomnia the patient is suffering from.
Insomnia is a failure to fall asleep or sustain sleep over a fairly amount of time. Practitioners of TCM see insomnia as a syndrome with lots of symptoms: waking up in the night, excessive dreaming, waking up very early in the morning, restless sleep and inability to fall asleep easily. They believe that insomnia is a result of imbalances in chi and Blood, Yin and Yang, Jing and Shen, which are essence and spirit respectively and also imbalances in the Kidney Lung Spleen Heart and Liver. They also believe that these imbalances have external causes.
TCM states that the amount and quality of sleep is contingent primarily on the state of the mind and particularly the association of the mind to the body. Insomnia is the result of a disconnect between mind and body. For most people, insomnia happens because of anxiety and worry. When these factors become habitual they can imbalance the energy of the Liver, Spleen and Heart. The energy in these organs may either become deficient or excessive. When this happens, Shen or spirit wanders and sleeplessness occurs.
Fatigue, overwork and stress are also major factors in creating insomnia. The stressful environment and long work duration can lead to sleepless nights. These conditions sap the energy form the Kidney and eventually affects the Heart as well. This disharmony in Heart and Kidney is often experienced in the elderly or in peri-menopausal situations.
Unhealthy and irregular diets combined with stress and anxiety also causes insomnia. Eating hurriedly, excessive eating, unhealthy diet or under eating all affects the Stomach which eventually puts tension in the mind.
Besides these, there are other causes that lead to sleeplessness. Some of these include chronic physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, depression, illness or death of someone close to the person, sudden stressful situations such as divorce and side effects of certain drugs.
One of TCM’s most popular treatments for insomnia is acupuncture Linwood. This ancient modality produces beneficial effects such as helping increase serotonin levels in the body, which greatly induces sleep; and regulating the natural sleep pattern. The great advantage of acupuncture to sleeping pills is that the former has no negative side effects. Acupuncture when combined with a healthy diet, a healthy lifestyle and medication will immediately result in gainful, restful and adequate sleep. There is really no harm in trying out acupuncture if you haven’t gotten satisfactory sleep for a considerable amount of time. Who knows, it might be the long sought for solution to your insomnia.