Acupuncture for Insomnia: An All Natural Approach to Better Sleep
Getting stuck with needles doesn't sound like a fun time for most people, but if you suffer from insomnia this might just be the answer to those sleepless nights. There is a growing amount of real science based evidence backing up acupuncture as a treatment for insomnia.
One such study was published in the September 2012 issue of Asian Journal of Psychiatry, which found that acupuncture was just as effective as the sedative drug zolpidem (Ambien) for sleeplessness.
But one big advantage of acupuncture: no side effects and is actually a very pleasant, relaxing experiencing. Sleeping pills can have a number of side effects including grogginess, dizziness, headaches, muscle spasms and even various digestive issues such as constipation and upset stomach.
How Acupuncture Helps Treat Insomnia
The Western medicine view is that acupuncture helps release various neurotransmitters and hormones, such as serotonin and melatonin, which are crucial for helping to regulate your sleep cycles.
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, various symptoms develop when a patient's Qi (vital energy) is blocked. Acupuncture needles restore smooth flow by stimulating various points around the body, sort of like straightening kinks in a hose. It helps strengthen the body's ability to heal itself in order to eliminate much of what is causing your insomnia.
What to Expect
Each treatment is tailored to each individual's need, so every patient's treatment plan will be different. Typically, 10 to 20 sterile, single-use needles are placed in various areas of the body, usually in the arms and legs. Sessions last between 30 to 60 minutes. There is minimal discomfort since the needles are very thin.
For the first two weeks, 2 treatments per week are recommended, followed by once a week for another 2 to 6 weeks. Length of treatment depends on how long you have had insomnia for, more chronic cases take a larger number of treatments.
After these series of treatments, maintenance treatments every month or two is recommend to keep your health in tip top shape. Some people feel a difference within the first 3 treatments, while others can take 6 or 8 treatments to see a big difference. An herbal prescription may also be recommended to boost your acupuncture sessions.
I have had great success treating insomnia in my office, even when it has been a secondary complaint. Insomnia was one of the reasons why I began receiving acupuncture back in 2008, and I have been having great sleep ever since then.
The Next Step
If you are having
trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early
want alternatives to sleep aids and pharmaceuticals
not feeling fully rested upon waking, then...
...consider Chinese medicine. As a fully trained and licensed acupuncturist, I can help figure out the root of your sleep disorder and come up with personalized treatments. My clinic includes a Chinese herbal pharmacy in order to prepare custom formulations for your unique combination of symptoms and conditions.
If you still have questions on how acupuncture can help your unique situation, please give me a call at (954) 652-6618 or book online to set up a complimentary consultation either in person or over the phone.
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