Insomnia and Chinese Medicine

From time to time, most people have nights where they cannot sleep, tossing and turning in frustration, wondering how they are going to get through the next day. For some people, however, this is a nightly occurrence, either not being able to get to sleep, or falling asleep but then waking in the early morning hours and not being able to go back to sleep. In addition, insomnia tends to worsen and become chronic as one ages.

The Western medical treatment of insomnia mostly focuses on the use of drugs, such as Valium, commonly called tranquilizers by the general public. These drugs often have unpleasant side effects. Although they can help one sleep, they can make one drowsy, lethargic, and confused the next day. They can be addictive and there is a danger of overdose. If one tries to withdraw from their habitual use, insomnia tends to return with a vengeance.

Happily, there is a safe, centuries old alternative to the use of tranquilizers for insomnia. That alternative is Chinese medicine.

What is Chinese Medicine?

Chinese medicine is the oldest continually practiced medicine in the world. Practitioners of Chinese medicine use such therapies as acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, Chinese herbal medicine, acupressure, and Chinese medicinal massage (tui na).

How does Chinese Medicine work?

Chinese medicine seeks to restore balance to the body. Therefore, the practitioner begins by doing a Chinese medical diagnosis to determine the patient’s individualized pattern of disharmony. The pattern diagnosis is made through four basic examinations:

  1. Looking at the face, eyes, posture, and the tongue and it’s coating.
  2. Listening to the patient’s voice, breathing, and manner of expression.
  3. Questioning about the course and history of the condition as well as about other bodily functions.
  4. Feeling the pulse on both wrists.

Based on the individualized pattern diagnosis, the practitioner will then craft a personalized treatment plan encompassing all aspects of the patient’s life. Regardless of whether your practitioner primarily uses acupuncture or Chinese medicine or some combination of both, their focus will be on eliminating the root imbalance which is causing your insomnia. Because Chinese medicine does not simply depend on sedatives and tranquilizers, Chinese medical treatment promotes sounds sleep without drowsiness, “hangover”, addiction, or withdrawal.