Acupuncture and sleepAcupuncture and sleep: overview

Traditional Eastern medicine focuses on treating the body as well as the mind—non-pharmacologically, or without drugs– and practitioners place special attention on the life energy necessary to maintain a proper body/mind balance. Acupuncture is one of the more well-known Chinese therapies and has been used to treat all types of diseases and medical conditions for centuries. Acupuncturists regularly treat insomnia and consider the ailment a significant indication of a mind/body energy disturbance.

Today the practice has been embraced by Western medicine as an alternative and/or complementary therapy and has won many Western practitioners. A growing population of patients are trying acupuncture for the relief of a wide range of health problems, from disease to drug and alcohol addiction and insomnia. The disruption of yin and yang energy, light and dark, day and night, is believed to be the chief cause for insomnia, according to acupuncture medicine.

Acupuncturists use very thin long needles that they insert in various regions of the body along points of energy flow, called meridians. The needles are painless and are used to open channels of life energy, which have become blocked. When your physical and spiritual energy flow is shut off your body responds with symptoms of sickness and other discord, like insomnia. These specific symptoms are indicative of the energy obstruction, which acupuncture relieves.

Acupuncture for poor sleep

Acupuncturists have been successfully treating insomnia symptoms for centuries and continue to provide relief. Before your practitioner begins sticking needles in you, though, he or she spends time distilling the nature of your insomnia. In Chinese medicine there are a number of types of insomnia, including:

  • Sleep onset or difficulty going to sleep
  • Middle of the night, or waking and unable to go back to sleep right away
  • Terminal or late insomnia, or waking in the very early morning and cannot return to sleep again
  • Sleep with vivid and disruptive dreaming
  • Inability to sleep, in general.

Each of these particular types of insomnia indicates a unique energy imbalance in Chinese medicine unlike any of the others. No one type of insomnia will ever be treated in exactly the same way during acupuncture, each is related to a particular imbalance.

Insomnia symptoms are not cured with one trip to the acupuncturist. Fact is your practitioner will likely advise you to return for subsequent therapies a few times a week over the course of a period of time, depending upon the nature of your insomnia. Many patients report a calmness and relaxation they have not experienced in a long time while in an acupuncture session others report an almost involuntary release of emotions.

You can find a reputable acupuncturist by asking your doctor, by referral from others, by referral from an acupuncture school, or from the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Acupressure for poor sleep

Acupressure is an alternative medicine technique of Acupuncture. In acupressure physical pressure is applied to trigger points by the hand, elbow, or with various devices. Acupressure was developed in Asia over 5,000 years ago. Using the power and sensitivity of the hand, Acupressure Therapy is effective in the relief of stress-related ailments, and is ideal for self-treatment and preventive health care for boosting the immune system. Acupressure releases tension, increases circulation, reduces pain, and develops spirituality and vibrant health.

Acupressure is a gentle approach that can be applied by our sleeping partner or by us. Some studies have shown that receiving acupressure had significantly lowered levels of fatigue and increased levels sleep quality. However acupressure has received various criticisms from (Western) scientific thinking.

Acupuncture & Acupressure use the same pressure points and meridians, but Acupuncture employs needles, while Acupressure uses gentle to firm finger pressure. When these acupressure points are stimulated, they release muscular tension, promote circulation of blood, and enhance the body’s life force energy to aid healing.

You can learn self-care applications and pressure point formulas for specific conditions, such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, chronic muscular pain, mental stress, addiction recovery, learning disorders, trauma, emotional imbalances and more.

Guidance for self-acupressure

Official acupressure site for more information on acupressure in general

Sleep pressure points

Self-acupressure for good night sleep

A video showing insomnia acupressure points

References & Disclaimer

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