Acupuncture may be one of the oldest practices of traditional Chinese medicine, but it has been increasing in popularity in the western world. Many have utilized this holistic, effective treatment to reduce back pain, lessen tension, relieve headaches, improve mental clarity and much more. But are you aware that acupuncture can be beneficial in treating sleep deprivation?
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the process of inserting fine, sterile needles on the body’s surface in order to improve the body’s functions and promote the natural self-healing process. This 3000 year plus healing technique is safe and effective for treating a variety of conditions within the body.
The strategic placement of the needles on specific anatomic sites—commonly referred to as acupuncture points, or acupoints—clears obstructions in the muscle and nerve channels. This technique assists the flow of oxygen-enriched energy, while relaxing the body’s system. At face value, it seems inconceivable that poking the flesh with needles would bring about a relaxing, stress-reducing experience that promotes healthier sleep, but the application, in essence, is painless and is vital to channel the life energy that had been previously blocked. Also, acupuncture activates the parasympathetic system—the “rest-and-digest” part of the nervous system which plays a key role relaxing the body and inhibiting/slowing many high energy functions.
How does Acupuncture help me sleep?
Acupuncture has been utilized to improve sleep and has been proven to help with insomnia. A study, conducted in 2004, reveals that acupuncture increases nocturnal melatonin secretion and reduces sleep deprivation. Because acupuncture relieves chronic pain, this consequently would contribute to a better sleeping experience. Deeper breathing, reduced stress, relief from digestive issues, and lessened joint pain are valuable benefits produced by acupuncture that can alleviate discomfort and promote quality sleep.
Sleep shortage affects people in a variety of ways, including:
- Difficulty going to sleep
- Waking in the middle of the night and being unable to fall back asleep right away
- Waking very early in the morning and being unable to return to slumber
- Disruptive dreaming
- Unable to sleep in general.
- Sleep apnea—which is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep
It’s important to detail the specific sleep problem to the acupuncturist in order for them to target the correct imbalance. Not only does acupuncture pacify the symptom, it destroys the rooted disharmony that had developed the condition. So this ancient Chinese method would not only aid sleep deprivation, but also improve your overall mental and physical health.