Acupuncture successfully treats a variety of problems including sleeplessness. Insomnia presents with a myriad of symptoms, and it’s caused by a variety of problems. Your might have trouble getting to sleep, or staying asleep, or waking up early and can’t get back to sleep, or any combination of these and similar problems. And any of these may be caused by a temporary situation in your life such as jet lag; or by daily habits such as too much caffeine, lack of exercise, poor diet, or stress; or by an underlying health issue that you may or may not be aware of. So sleeplessness can be complicated and acupuncture doesn’t claim to fix all such problems, but it can relieve many of them.
Acupuncture is one of several treatment modalities in Chinese medicine. Like medical doctors, acupuncturists have extensive training in a complex system of diagnosis and treatment. The system is more than 3000 thousand years old, so practitioners have a large body of knowledge to back up their claims.
Acupuncture came to the West in the early 1800s, and has since been accepted by traditional medicine as an effective treatment for many health problems.
Chinese medicine tells us that qi, or life energy, flows through energy pathways in the body called meridians. Blockages in this flow lead to health problem. Acupuncturist place thin needles at specific points in the meridians to release the blockages, so the energy can once again flow freely throughout the body. The number and placement of needles, and the length and number of treatments, will vary depending on your specific situation. Most people report becoming relaxed when they experience acupuncture, and that’s true even if you’re a person who doesn’t like needles. The needles are shallow and most people don’t report a problem with them.
As you might guess, acupuncture is particularly effective when sleeplessness is related to stress or anxiety. It’s also effective with hyperarousal issues, which is when you feel tired but also feel so wired that you can’t calm down. Other problems that acupuncture seems particularly adept at dealing with and that could be related to your sleeping problem are fatigue, pain, and allergies.
Acupuncturists have expertise in the relationship of lifestyle choices to health, and they are expert in herbal medicine. In the initial visit, the acupuncturist will ask for details about your health, and do things like take you pulse and look at your tongue. Because of this an acupuncturist may also be able to identify and treat you for an underlying health problem that might be related to your sleeplessness.
It might take some time to find an acupuncturist. Let your doctor know you’re interested in acupuncture and ask for a referral. You can also check the Internet for practitioners in your area. If you ask around, you might be surprised to find acquaintances who have been treated with acupuncture. Once you find a practitioner, ask questions so that you’re comfortable with what to expect before you begin. Then all you need do is lie back and relax. Who knows, you might even fall asleep.