Insomnia comes in many different forms and can include difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep, or an inability to ever reach very deep sleep. We all have the occasional tough night, but when the problem persists night after night for many months or even years, this has implications beyond just feeling tired and foggy-brained the next day. When we sleep, our body restores itself and this is the time for healing and mending, so when this process is interrupted, it can contribute to other health problems.

From a Chinese Medicine perspective, insomnia will often be related to the heart system and this will be the first place an acupuncturist will check to determine whether the imbalance is due to a deficiency or excess. The heart is said to house the mind, and when there is an imbalance in this organ, the mind cannot be anchored in the heart. As a result, the mind 'wanders', preventing deep sleep.

Another system that is often involved is the liver. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the liver is responsible for the 'smooth flow of Qi', and we can think of this concept as relating to our nervous system. When our 'nerves are frayed' by stress, our nervous system is in over-drive. Acupuncture is extremely effective at soothing the nervous system and thereby relieving stress-induced insomnia.

A licensed acupuncturist will look for the root of the insomnia and then treat it using acupuncture and herbs and will likely make lifestyle recommendations that will support a good night's sleep.


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