Evidence Based Oriental Medicine

If you suffer from chronic insomnia, it’s important to find out what is causing the condition. For example, if you are working at a very stressful job, it might be time to switch careers or utilize relaxation techniques like meditation or massage to help address this cause. If the cause is medical, it’s vital that you work with your healthcare professional to treat the condition. Though acupuncture can often provide relief for those suffering from chronic insomnia, it will always be more effective if it is combined with lifestyle changes, treatment of any medical conditions, and complementary TCM techniques like cupping or herbal remedies.

Other practical tips to treat insomnia include:

  • Creating relaxing bedtime rituals such as listening to soft music, reading, a bath, or practicing yoga.
  • Avoiding stimulants or overeating several hours before bedtime.
  • Sticking to a regular sleep schedule.
  • Creating a pleasant sleeping environment that is the proper temperature and dark.
  • Not forcing sleep.
  • Avoiding daytime naps.
  • Drinking non-caffeinated tea before bedtime

Tips on choosing an acupuncture provider 

Primary chronic insomnia is poorly understood by the mainstream medical community. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that it stems from a fundamental imbalance of yin and yang energy as sleep is part of the natural body rhythm of yin and yang qi. Further explanations include deficiencies or excesses in the body such as a yin deficiency in the kidneys, an excess of certain emotions like anger, and qi deficiencies in the heart, gallbladder, or spleen. 

How does acupuncture help those with insomnia?

How to work with your acupuncture provider to treat insomnia 

Insomnia, which is defined as the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, affects millions of people. It can lead to daytime drowsiness, anxiety, inability to concentrate, and a general decrease of overall well-being. If insomnia become persistent, it can have negative effects on your health including high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

Temporary insomnia can be caused by anything from taking daytime naps to eating too much for dinner to stress. In most cases, insomnia will resolve itself if these reasons are addressed. However, if insomnia persists for at least three nights a week for a period of three months or longer, it’s considered chronic. There are two types of chronic insomnia: primary and secondary. Primary chronic insomnia is not due to any underlying health conditions or life situations while secondary chronic insomnia can be attributed to ongoing stress, medications, or a health condition such as COPD.

How long does it take for acupuncture to treat insomnia?

A holistic approach 

Every patient who seeks acupuncture to treat their insomnia will be given a unique treatment plan. However, it’s common for the treatment to produce results after a four to six weeks of weekly appointments. If the underlying causes of insomnia are treated, you may not need to have more treatments. However, some find they need to return for more acupuncture treatments when symptoms return. 

How does Traditional Chinese Medicine explain insomnia?

Once you’ve chosen a TCM provider, it’s important that you help them treat your insomnia. Here are some tips to optimize your experience:

  • Be honest about your lifestyle including your diet, exercise habits, drinking, and stress levels.
  • Arrive on time for your treatments.
  • Arrange your schedule to avoid strenuous activity directly after your appointments.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing to your appointments.
  • Have a light, healthy snack or small meal before your treatment.
  • Try to relax and breathe deeply during your treatment.
  • Do not ingest any stimulants or alcohol before your treatment.

If you have insomnia, acupuncture could be an effective therapy to add to your treatment regimen. If you’d like to learn more, schedule a consultation today to see if acupuncture might be right for you. 

How Can Acupuncture Help Those with Insomnia?

Because it is believed that insomnia stems from an imbalance in qi, acupuncture can be used to restore the balance and improve sleep. Acupuncture, which is the insertion of very thin needs into the body at strategic energy points, has been proven to be an effective treatment for insomnia and is often preferred to other treatments such as sleeping pills because of the lack of side effects. Acupuncture can also help treat underlying causes of insomnia such as stress, chronic pain, and depression. When these causes are successfully treated, insomnia often resolves itself.             

​Choosing the right provider to help you with insomnia is key when it comes to experiencing the benefits of acupuncture. You should choose a clinic that has a stellar reputation and professional, experienced, and educated practitioners. Dr. Yueshan Hu, the main acupuncture practitioner at our clinics, has more than 20 years of experience and has eight years of alternative medicine education. He also has experience in conducting clinic trials to determine how patients respond to alternative medicine techniques and is internationally known as an authority in this field. 

Acupuncture at EBOM Evidence Based Oriental Medicine