In our increasingly stressful and fast-paced society, the amount of people suffering from sleep disorders is on the rise.
As people are finding it harder and harder to get and maintain a good night’s sleep, a large amount of people turn to sleep medication to help put them down for the night.
However, many people fear the side-effects of these medications and are slowly turning to holistic solutions to help them stay well-rested.
Thankfully, acupuncture has been used to treat insomnia for thousands of years and can provide relief without the side-effects of other sleep medications.
Contrary to Western medicine, there is not one fixed solution to treating insomnia with acupuncture. TCM practitioners look to identify the root cause of the body’s disharmony.
Once the problem is recognized, the practitioner will target a combination of different points on the body to heal and relieve insomnia relative to the patient’s specific needs.
HOW DOES INSOMNIA AFFECT OUR HEALTH?
Restless or sleepless nights might be a bigger problem than you may think.
Aside from being a frustrating experience that causes additional stress and affects our ability to focus, insomnia can expose us to long-term health issues that can present themselves over time.
Lack of sleep causes our bodies to over-produce adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormones of the body. The increased levels of these hormones in the body can be linked to things such as weight gain, high blood pressure and a suppressed immune system.
These same increased levels in our body lead to more immediate symptoms such as irritability, impaired judgment and can affect our brain’s ability to think clearly and handle situations well under pressure.
TREATING INSOMNIA THROUGH ACUPUNCTURE
Acupuncture has been used to great effect over the years by TCM practitioners and without any of the side-effects that come with over-the-counter sleep medication.
In line with the philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture does not target and treat the symptoms of insomnia. Instead, it attacks the root cause of the condition in the body in order to restore harmony to it.
Therefore, when acupuncture is used to treat insomnia, the patient will not only achieve better sleep; but better mental and physical health as well.
Stress is considered to be a more common cause of sleep problems.
TCM practitioners will use acupuncture to stimulate the nerves directly and relieve stress and tension in the surrounding muscles, allowing the patient and their muscles to relax.
Along with stress, pain is also considered to be a common cause of insomnia.
The insertion of needles into different areas of the body sends signals to the brain that it should begin the production of endorphins.
Norepinephrine and Encephalin, endorphins produced during acupuncture, act as the natural painkillers of the body.
Studies have shown that acupuncture increases blood flow in the body and by combining that with the reduction of pain and tension, patients are able to sleep better and heal more effectively.
With stress and pain being two of the most common symptoms and causes of insomnia, acupuncture provides additional benefits through the direct stimulation of internal hormones.
Acupuncture aids and increases the production of melatonin in the body, which is the chemical that allows us to feel drowsy and fall asleep.
By increasing our body’s ability to induce sleep naturally, acupuncture can have many lasting positive effects on pain management, stress-relief, rest and well-being.