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 thousands of years. Sleep concerns that are often treated with TCM include (note that the definition of ‘insomnia’ could relate genuinely to a number of these 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 dependent upon (note that this can be a simplification: other sources may distinguish between the Spirit and the Mind as two separate entities). The organ system responsible for nourishing your Spirit can be your Heart, and specifically the Yin portion (each of your 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 when it is deficient or agitated, you’ll suffer with 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 stress, anger or depression, but could also involve natural 塵蟎皮膚炎 TCM elemental disturbances, such as Fire or Wind. Essentially, emotional issues along with Fire and Wind tend to be linked to your Liver, and so Liver Yin deficiency may also affect your sleep.
Dream-disturbed sleep (i.e. dreams that are so intense or disturbing your sleep is affected), while usually indicative of a deficiency, may sometimes be the cause of an excess as well. For example, 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). Dreaming about crying however, often means an excess in your Lung organ system (the emotion associated together with your Lungs is sadness or grief). Incidentally, it can be believed your sleeping position, i.e. if you want to sleep in your stomach, your back or one side, this may indicate a specific deficiency or excess pattern. Snoring affecting your sleep is usually correlated to an excess pattern.
When pursuing acupuncture as a treatment for sleep issues, it is essential to get the help of someone who’s a qualified TCM practitioner, as a suitable diagnosis is vital to getting adequate results. Proper diagnosis of your sleep issue will first determine whether your condition is certainly one of deficiency or excess, and furthermore what type thereof. For example, difficulty in drifting off to sleep usually indicates one type of deficiency, whereas drifting off to sleep easily but waking up frequently in the evening may indicate an alternative type of deficiency altogether. By asking a number of questions, taking your pulse and possibly even considering your tongue, a TCM practitioner can diagnose you quite accurately, and therefore choose the correct span of treatment specific to your needs.