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Traditional Chinese Medicine Solutions For Insomnia

Traditional Chinese Medicine Solutions For Insomnia

Daytime sleepiness, fatigue and decreased concentration are some of the typical symptoms of insomnia. Insomnia is also one of the most common reasons people seek help from the best acupuncture therapists in Auckland.

TCM has succeeded where other treatment options have failed because of its holistic approach.The combination of acupuncture and herbal remedies can bring relief to people suffering from insomnia. Furthermore, since TCM focuses on each unique individual, it offers custom made treatment solutions rather than advocating “one size fits all” treatment modalities.

Here, we discuss the three main causes of insomnia in order to customize the treatment accordingly. But broadly speaking, Chinese herbal formulas treat treat insomnia by:

  • calming the mind

  • settling the nervous system

  • building the resources that the body needs for deep rest and relaxation

  • calming the mind

  • settling the nervous system

  • building the resources that the body needs for deep rest and relaxation.

Root Causes Of Insomnia

Blood deficiency

According to Chinese medicine, the blood is vital to both physical and mental health. Blood that is rich in nutrients absorbed from digested food enhances and maintains mental functions including memory, brain and heart health. When the heart and brain are well nourished, the individual is able to sleep well. With insomnia due to blood deficiency, it may be hard to fall or stay asleep, and the cause is typically due to worry or rumination. Chinese medicine believes this deficiency is one of the major causes of insomnia.

The Chinese herbal formula for this type of insomnia is:

Gui Pi Tang -

  • reduce time necessary to fall asleep

  • help one stays asleep

  • improve sleep quality

  • block stress-induced elevations of plasma cortisol

  • improved hippocampal-dependent learning and memory

  • rescue stress-induced deficits in hippocampal neuronal plasticity and neurogenesis.

Yin deficiency

Another common cause of insomnia is the “yin deficiency.” Yin, according to TCM, is the “cooling system” of the body. When there is a deficiency in yin, there is overheating of the body and ‘the mind’, leading to insomnia and uncomfortable symptoms such as night sweats.

The kidneys regulate the natural cooling fluids in the human body systems, and factors such as aging or over taxing the body can weaken one’s kidney energy. It is the classic case of burnout, and is commonly seen in New Zealand. If those fluids run low, the heat can go unchecked and rise, agitating the heart and the mind. This is a recipe for bad sleep, manifesting primarily as difficulty staying asleep.

The Chinese herbal formula for this type of insomnia is:

Tang Wang Bu Xin Dan –

  • replenish the body’s cooling system and fluids

  • help people to sleep deeply and stay asleep longer. People who take this formula tend to feel more refreshed and energetic in the morning.

  • treat the nervous exhaustion that comes with anxiety and depression.

Liver Qi stagnation

The final pattern of insomnia that we will explore is insomnia due to too much stress. In this situation, there will be a constant exposure to stress. The liver is the key organ that regulates the flow of “Qi”, and when liver is affected, there is stagnation of “Qi.” Qi is the vital energy that flows throughout the body and maintains the balance of energies. Excessive stress impacts the smooth functioning of the liver and the heart, leading to disturbances in the nervous system. Patients who have excess stress experience anxiety, irritability and suffer from insomnia.

The Chinese herbal formula for this type of insomnia is:

Suan Zao Ren Tang -

  • give the nervous system more resources to deal with stress and relax into sleep

  • pacifying the liver and enhancing cerebral circulation.

  • clear the toxins in the body associated with anxiety and irritability.

Acupuncture and herbal remedies for insomnia

Pairing an herbal remedy with regular acupuncture treatments is critical for success. Clinical studies have shown that acupuncture calms the body and induces sleep by stimulating the release of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. Long term sleep quality is enhanced with acupuncture and herbal remedies without the negative side effects of sleeping pills.

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