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Insomnia - Acupuncture can help

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia describes a variety of different symptoms associated with sleep disturbance, including inability to sleep, difficulty falling asleep, frequent waking, restlessness at night, disordered sleep cycle and dream disturbed sleep. Sleep disturbance due to pain, itching, asthma and breathing disorders cannot be considered true insomnia. Traditional Chinese herbal remedies are very helpful for mild to moderate insomnia without causing side effects.

Causes of Insomnia

  • Frustration, anger, resentment, prolonged emotional turmoil, repressed emotions and stress.

  • Prolonged worry, anxiety and depression, or a sudden shock.

  • Overindulgence or irregular dietary habits (eating late at night, midnight snacks, eating while upset, eating too quickly.

  • Over consumption of Phlegm producing foods such as rich, greasy, sweet, spicy foods and alcohol.

  • Overwork, physical and mental exhaustion, worry, irregular diet and too much cold, raw or sweet foods.

  • Overwork, excess sexual activity, insufficient rest and sleep, aging, etc.


Treatment with acupuncture and herbs usually produces a reliable result in most types of insomnia. Many patients with chronic insomnia will be taking sedative medication of some sort, and they should be slowly weaned off the drugs over a period of weeks or months as the TCM treatment takes effect. Adjuvant therapy is useful in most types of insomnia, particularly relaxation or meditation to calm the mind.

The most important distinction is between excess and deficient types of insomnia. The excess varieties tend to be more difficult to treat than the deficient varieties, as in excess patterns there are often complicating lifestyle features - like unhappiness or stress at home or at work and habitual mental emotional responses that have to be dealt with for a satisfactory result. The deficiency patterns general respond quite well to treatment, although herbal and/ or acupuncture treatment may need to be combined with an appropriate nourishing diet. Obvious and easily modifiable aggravating factors, such as coffee, excessive visual stimulation at night (like staying up late watching television), heavy exercise at night and excessive alcohol should be avoided.

Tips for Improving Your Sleeping

1- Yoga

Here are some Yoga poses for insomnia that help ease your sleeping. If you find they are hard

to practice, go with the easy versions first until you are comfortable with these forms. For more details, please go to this link:

2- Soak your feet in hot water

See this post The health benefits of foot soak


Will Maclean & Jane Lyttleton - Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine - The treatment of Disease with Traditional Chinese Medicine - Volume 2

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