Acupuncture is a popular TCM technique that involves inserting fine, sterile needles into the skin to stimulate specific areas of the body. This alternative therapy has grown in popularity and has become a favoured treatment that may relieve various health conditions such as asthma, allergies, stress, depression, and sleep disorders.
Most people have some trouble sleeping from time to time, but they can often quickly recover as they generally have a normal sleeping pattern. However, it is estimated that 1 out of 7 people in the world have insomnia, and this condition will affect their ability to function during the day.
In fact, insomnia can last for a few days, or it may go for several months or longer. Symptoms include:
- Waking up during the night and having difficulty falling back to sleep
- Having a hard time falling asleep regardless of the time
- Waking up early and exhausted
- Irregular sleep schedules
Benefits of acupuncture for sleep
Experts at the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health in Maryland believe that acupuncture may help people who have insomnia. Despite the doubts of some physicians, acupuncture is now often accepted as evidence-based medicine. This opinion is held by Gary Stanton, a neurologist and sleep medicine specialist at Emerson Hospital in Massachusetts.
Based on the study conducted by Standon, who is a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist, acupuncture can provide positive relief from insomnia. It can be used as a complementary therapy for a variety of problems. Although more research is needed, it is suggested in his study that acupuncture may help optimize sleep and alleviate symptoms of:
- Sleep apnoea
- Sleep disturbances
Acupuncture is an ideal alternative to various medications like benzodiazepines, a known prescription drug for insomnia. The FDA also warns the public about drugs like benzodiazepines because they can lead to abuse, misuse, and addiction. For this reason, many people are looking for a more natural and safer way of treating or at least alleviating the symptoms of insomnia.
What you need to know about acupuncture
Everyone responds differently to acupuncture, so some people will have immediate relief after just one treatment. However, some may need a few more sessions before they can experience improvement with their condition. Your acupuncturist will recommend several treatments, including some lifestyle changes and adjustments to your diet regimen. You will know when your treatments starts taking effect to optimize sleep when your sleep patterns improve. Read more here.
You also need to check the qualifications and experience of your practitioner. It would be wise to choose a licensed practitioner with experience in sleep disorders as they are likely to know the best treatment plan based on your current health and condition.