Insomnia is one of the most common disorders reported by patients. Chronic insomnia is defined as going without adequate restorative sleep for at least three nights a week for one month or longer. Sleep can be disturbed by a number of reasons, such as stress, anxiety, medications and physical conditions. Western medicine has very little to offer patients in the way of relief. Antidepressant medications can help, but may cause undesirable side effect. Acupuncture has an extremely calming effect on the nervous system, and over time, it can help to correct the imbalances causing insomnia without creating side effects in the process.
In the Eastern medicine, the body’s energy, or qi, circulates through 12 meridians, which are linked to internal organs and emotions. The heart meridian, for instance, relates to anxiety, the liver meridian to stress and anger, the spleen meridian to worry. Too much of any emotion can affect its correlating meridian, creating a disturbance in shen(神), the energy of our emotional body. Each form of insomnia requires its own treatment. These treatments are comprised of several combinations stimulating the meridians with different formulas of herbal medicines. Insomnia treatment through acupuncture and herbs is usually customized to meet the individual’s needs.