Obviously the risks around not getting enough sleep are serious, and so getting the right health care treatment is essential. Luckily, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have now been treating sleep issues for a large number of years. Sleep concerns that are often treated with TCM include (note that the definition of ‘insomnia’ could connect with numerous the next symptoms):
In TCM, it’s your Spirit (capitalized here to differentiate from other definitions), also referred to as your Mind, or in Mandarin, your ‘Shen’, which your quality of sleep is determined by (note that this is a simplification: other sources may distinguish between the Spirit and the Mind as two separate entities). The organ system responsible for nourishing your Spirit is your Heart, and specifically the Yin portion (each of one’s 5 major organs in TCM have both a Yin and a Yang side to them). If your Heart Yin has been nourished properly your sleep will undoubtedly be okay, but if it is deficient or agitated, you’ll suffer from sleep concerns.
Deficiencies in your Heart organ system generally result from genetic predisposition, poor diet, childbirth, and the after-effects of external pathogens. Agitating factors usually involve emotional disturbances such as for instance stress, anger or depression, but may also involve natural TCM elemental disturbances, such as for instance Fire or Wind. Essentially, emotional issues as well as Fire and Wind are often linked to your Liver, and so Liver Yin deficiency also can affect your sleep.
Dream-disturbed sleep (i.e. dreams that are so intense or disturbing that your sleep is affected), while usually indicative of a deficiency, may sometimes be the reason for an excess as well. For instance, it’s said in ancient TCM texts that dreaming about flying while seeing strange objects made of gold or iron indicates a Lung deficiency (your Lungs govern your breathing and immune system). 塵蟎過敏 Dreaming about crying however, can indicate an excess in your Lung organ system (the emotion associated with your Lungs is sadness or grief). Incidentally, it can be believed that your sleeping position, i.e. if you want to sleep on your stomach, your back or one side, this could indicate a certain deficiency or excess pattern. Snoring affecting your sleep is frequently correlated to an excess pattern.
When pursuing acupuncture as remedy for sleep issues, it is important to seek assistance from someone who is a qualified TCM practitioner, as an effective diagnosis is important to getting adequate results. Proper diagnosis of one’s sleep issue will first determine whether your condition is among deficiency or excess, and furthermore what type thereof. For instance, difficulty in dropping off to sleep usually indicates one form of deficiency, whereas dropping off to sleep easily but waking up frequently during the night may indicate a different form of deficiency altogether. By asking numerous questions, taking your pulse and possibly even looking at your tongue, a TCM practitioner can diagnose you quite accurately, and therefore choose the appropriate span of treatment specific to your needs.