Acupuncture and Chinese medicine seek to address the root cause of insomnia and sleep disorders. Some of the symptoms of sleep disorders are:
COMMON REASONS FOR HAVING TROUBLE SLEEPING
HOW ACUPUNCTURE & CHINESE MEDICINE CAN HELP
Many patients are looking for non-drug alternatives to treating insomnia and sleep disorders since sleep drugs often come with their own side effects. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs provide a natural way to treat sleep issues, and can have more lasting effects than other alternatives.
Some of the benefits include:
A meta-analysis that looked at the effectiveness of acupuncture for insomnia found that acupuncture was significantly better at improving various sleep parameters related to sleep quality and duration when compared with no treatment, sham acupuncture (acupuncture done on non-acupuncture points), or medications. Additionally, the combination of acupuncture and other treatment modalities appeared more effective than those other treatments alone.
(Source: Acupuncture for Treatment of Insomnia: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156618/)
Acupuncture helps balance the nervous system (see my prior blog post) and activate various neurotransmitters in the brain. It has also been found to help increase specific hormones that promote sleep (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14990755).
Chinese herbs are often used along with acupuncture for insomnia and sleep issues. There are several commonly used herbal formulas that address different symptoms and root causes of insomnia.
A study that reviewed the use of Chinese herbal medicine for insomnia to determine their pharmacological actions concluded that some herbs have sedative qualities that act on various neurotransmitters such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin receptors (5-HT1A) which affect sleep quality.
Source: Treatment of Insomnia With Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28807167
Contact Us For More Information
It is important to consult with a licensed acupuncturist and board certified herbalist to ensure that they have the proper acupuncture training and are prescribing the right formula for your condition. Acupuncture treatments and herbal formulas are not a one size fits all solution and are customized for more complex sleep conditions.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or to set up a free phone consultation.