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Insomnia & Acupuncture

Do you have trouble getting a good night sleep?

At my clinic in Naples, Florida, Acupuncture & Natural Health Solutions, one of the most common complaints I hear from my patients is that they have difficulty sleeping. You hear it all the time. For good health, eat well, exercise and get plenty of rest. What do you do if you are one of the many that cannot sleep or do not feel rested after a night of restless sleep? Many people find themselves reaching for pharmaceuticals or over the counter medications to combat the insomnia they are experiencing. Unfortunately, the use of these medications can lead to unwanted side-effects, dependency on the medication or even addiction. The good news is that chronic insomnia can be treated effectively with acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Acupuncture is a side-effect free, non-dependent, natural cure for insomnia.

Insomnia is a condition where a person is unable to either fall asleep or stay asleep for more than a few hours. It can be a condition that presents itself only occasionally during stressful times or it can be a long-term condition where a person is unable to get adequate rest for more than a couple of days in a row. Women between 35 – 54 years old and people over the age of 65 have the highest incidence of insomnia.

Insomnia can be very frustrating, but it is more than just an annoyance. When insomnia becomes chronic, your body is unable to get the rest and rejuvenation it needs so you can feel and perform your best. Lack of quality sleep can lead to difficulty concentrating, low energy, mood fluctuations, irritability, and difficulty performing every day tasks. Too little sleep can also result in a lowered immune system which can leave you susceptible to many health concerns. Luckily, you donʼt have to just “put up with” chronic insomnia.

How can acupuncture help?

According to Traditional Chinese Medical theory, conditions such as insomnia are a sign of an imbalance of Qi (pronounced “chee”), the vital energy that animates the body and protects it from illness. The imbalance can be a result of stress, anxiety, over work, prolonged illness, irregular food intake, medications, depression and chronic pain.

There are four different Chinese medicine diagnosis for insomnia. Your acupuncturist will feel your pulse, look at your tongue, and ask you a variety of questions regarding your lifestyle and emotional and mental well-being to make the appropriate diagnosis. After the diagnosis is made, your acupuncturist will then work to restore the balance and
flow of Qi by inserting fine, sterile needles at specific points of the body. Lifestyle modifications, Chinese herbs, aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, and dietary changes might also be suggested to help you achieve quality sleep.

Your nervous system begins to calm down when you receive acupuncture. The needles are doing deep work by balancing your Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang and releasing the causes for your insomnia. You may even fall asleep on the treatment table. You should find that you sleep better after your very first session. Several days later, however, receive your acupuncture treatment for insomnia more frequently. It usually takes several acupuncture treatments per week, for several weeks to fully resolve chronic insomnia.

For tough cases of insomnia, Chinese herbs may be prescribed according to your Chinese diagnosis. For about 95% of people, the formula Suan Zao Ren Tang, also known as decoction of wild jujube seed, is effective. It is important not to self prescribe Chinese herbs without knowing what your correct diagnosis is because you could make the insomnia worse if the incorrect formula is used. Also, counterfeiting of Chinese herbal formulas is rampant in the United States, so it is extremely important that the herbs come from a reputable distributor.

If you are experiencing insomnia, donʼt face another sleepless night. Schedule an Acupuncture Naples Fl treatment to help conquer your insomnia. With this ancient form of health care, you can treat your symptoms, improve your overall health and well-being, and start looking forward to a great nightʼs sleep, every night.

Tips for healthy sleep:
  • Avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. All of these can add to sleep problems.
  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Plan to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Mental work is best completed during the day. Excessive thinking at night can over-stimulate your mind causing insomnia or dream disturbed sleep.
  • Go to bed before 11 pm.
  • Do not nap during the day to make up for lost sleep. If you really need a nap, try to keep it short, less than 45 minutes.
  • Exercise regularly in the morning or early afternoon. Donʼt over exercise or exercise within a few hours of bed.
  • Donʼt eat large meals before bed.
  • Avoid rich, fatty foods and spicy foods such as chilies and ginger.
  • Eat more dates, wolf berries (Gou Qi Zi) and lotus seed.
  • Relax. Take a warm bath, meditate, do breathing exercises or read to wind down before going to sleep.
  • Soak your feet in warm water at night to help balance yin and yang.
  • Turn down the lights and shut off electronics an hour before bed.


Recipe for Ginseng Date Rice to combat insomnia.

  • 10 grams dried ginseng
  • 20 pieces of dates
  1. soak for a few hours in the amount of water corresponding to the amount of rice you will be making.
  2. After a few hours, bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and cook according to the rice instructions.
    Enjoy.Toni Eatros, MS, Dipl.Ac., AP

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