According to the American Sleep Association (ASA), approximately 50-70 million Americans suffer from some type of sleep disorder. The ASA reports that insomnia is the most common specific sleep disorder, with short-term issues reported by about 30% of adults and chronic insomnia by 10%. Getting enough sleep is critical to overall health, and acupuncture is a great drug-free, effective, and safe option to treat a variety of physical issues that could be impacting sleep quality.
Specifically, insomnia is defined as the inability to fall or stay asleep. It is considered acute when it lasts for several days or chronic when it lasts up to several months. Some people suffer from what is called primary insomnia, which is defined as having no identifiable cause. Secondary insomnia is defined as related to a specific cause or condition.
If you suffer from insomnia or another sleep disorder, acupuncture can help relieve many of the underlying issues that could be causing the disruption to your sleep. Your acupuncturist will take a full health history to see what issues you might be dealing with that are contributing to the sleep issues.
There are five particular acupuncture points that can help. These aren’t the only points your acupuncturist might use, but they are the most common.
The first point, An Mian, translates to “sleep peacefully,” and is actually a set of points on either side of the neck, a little below the ear. They are referred to as “extra” points, which means they are not on any of the meridians. An Mian is primarily used to help achieve restful sleep.
The second point is Stomach 36 (ST36), also known as Zu San Li or “Leg Three Mile,” and is a widely used point for rejuvenation, longevity, and vitality. This point is used to bring a balance of qi back to the patient, which is important in regulating blood flow, which can in turn impact sleep.
The third point is Pericardium 6 (PC6), also known as “Inner Pass” or Nei Guan. It is used to treat irritability, insomnia, palpitations, and anxiety, in addition to other issues. You might be familiar with this point if you suffer from motion sickness, since it is often used to decrease vomiting. Utilizing this point is said to quiet the heart and calm the spirit, which could help you sleep.
The fourth point is Heart 7 (HT7), also known as Shen Men or “Spirit Gate,” and it is specific to sleeping disorders like insomnia. It is also used to address irritability, dementia, sleep apnea, and palpitations, among other issues.
The fifth most common point used to treat insomnia is Yin Tang, another extra point not located on a meridian. It is also known as the “third eye” because it sits right in between the eyebrows. This point is particularly effective for migraines and insomnia.
Acupuncture is a wonderful drug-free and effective option to treat insomnia and the underlying causes of various sleep disorders. Don’t endure another sleepless night and groggy day. Call me today and make an appointment so you can get the rest you need tonight.
Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health topics and it is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice. If you have any questions related to your condition, you should contact your doctor or healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.