Many people suffer with poor sleep or insomnia. Insomnia can arise in different ways; trouble falling asleep, waking often in the night, restless sleep, waking very early in the morning and dream disturbed sleep. They all result in feeling unrested in the morning which not only starts the day on the wrong foot but over time can have long term health affects. Chronic sleep loss can contribute to health problems such as weight gain, high blood pressure, and a decrease in the immune system’s power, reports the Harvard Woman's Health Watch.
Sleep can be affected by our work schedules, kids, and stress. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) issues with sleep are correlated with the mind and the mind has a inter-relationship with the body and how it's functioning. In TCM some of the main causes of insomnia are worry, anger, overwork, poor diet, childbirth and heat in the body.
There are many imbalances within in the body that these can cause. Through a series of questions I determine what your individual pathology is and treat accordingly. My clinical experience has shown acupuncture to be an effective treatment for insomnia. which is supported by studies.
A preliminary report in 2004 shows that acupuncture helps to increase the amount of melatonin which helped to reduce insomnia and anxiety. Acupuncture helps to regulate the nervous system and signal the Parasympathetic Nervous System when it is time to rest. The Parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for rest, digestion, elimination and repair of the body, while the Sympathetic nervous system is the ‘fight or flight’ system. The Sympathetic Nervous System keeps up safe in times of danger and crisis, but if it is overly stimulated in our daily lives with stress and over scheduling. When we are under stress it can override the functions of the Parasympathetic Nervous System leading to a loss of function and illness.
In addition to acupuncture we look at other good sleep habits:
1. Going to bed at a reasonable consistant time
2. Trying guided meditation to help calm the mind and signal your body to rest
3. No screen time within an hour or two of going to bed
4. Magnesium is a very beneficial mineral for the body (that most of us are deficient in) and can aid in more restful sleep
5. A quiet and dark bedroom helps promote a better sleep
The average person requires 4-10 acupuncture treatments to get their sleep back on track. After that acupuncture is used as maintenance with suggested regularity of once every few months; more if sleep starts to suffer again. If sleep does start to become a problem again getting in for treatment as soon as possible is beneficial, and often takes only a few treatments to get it back on track.
If you have any questions on how acupuncture can be helpful for you please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)881-1806 to book a complementary meet and greet; I work out of the Vancouver Island Naturopathic Clinic and Integrated Health.