Insomnia is a condition characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep. Symptoms of insomnia include sleeping for short periods of time, feeling tired upon waking up, awaking early and difficulty falling asleep. The condition can be chronic (exhibiting symptoms three nights per week for more than a month) or acute (short-term symptoms). Commonly, insomnia is the symptom of a larger health issue (secondary insomnia); however, it can be its own condition (primary insomnia).
The Chinese Medicine treatment of insomnia generally involves arriving at the appropriate TCM diagnosis or pattern. This pattern within the individual is what treatment is based on not the general condition (see treating the cause and not the symptoms).
The following patterns may represent the underlying contributing factors for the development of insomnia:
The treatment of conditions with acupuncture can be a complicated endeavor that should only be undertaken by individuals with a deep understanding of the underlying Chinese Medicine theory (and/or whatever system being used for treatment). There are many approaches, but generally speaking few viable approaches are involved on a point to condition basis. Rather using proper diagnostic procedures the patients diagnostic pattern is ascertained and that is what is treated. The protocols listed here exemplify some of these clinical approaches.
The following Acupuncture Treatment Protocols May Be Used With Insomnia
Tong Ren Therapy is the energy healing/medical qi gong aspect of the Tam Healing System. The areas of focus for insomnia that we would use in Tong Ren techniques form the basis for our acupuncture treatments as well. Generally you would mix these primary points with points specific to the patients underlying TCM pattern and then our tuina (medical massage) would be largely focused on these points as well.
The following Tam Healing/Tong Ren Therapy Protocols May Be Used With Insomnia
The following herbal formulas are potentially useful in the process of treating insomnia. For a complete list from our store with more details see our insomnia formula section.
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Generally treatment would be based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting points by function alone, (see general points selection rules.)
The following (15) chinese herbs may be useful for insomnia. In most cases, however, treatment with Chinese Herbal Medicine is done with herbal formulas based on the TCM patterns listed above instead of selecting herbs by function alone. When available, relevant formulas will appear below and/or in the store listings above.
Used for anxiety/depression/manic issues with a tendency towards losing self-control (crying fits, excessive yawning, etc.). This set of symptoms is known as restless organ disorder in TCM. General symptoms are disorientation, crying spells, depression, fitful sleep, excessive yawning, anxiety, possible night sweats and other yin deficient signs. May be used for menopause or similar post-partum issues.
The Pulse will be thin and rapid and the Tongue will be red with a sparse tongue coating.
The formula is used to tonify both the spleen and heart which can be damaged from excessive overthinking, compulsions, etc. along with poor dietary habits and stressful lifestyle. General indications are anxiety, phobias, palpitations, insomnia, dream disturbed sleep, poor appetite, pallid complexion.
In women spleen and heart deficiencies may lead to prolonged periods with little flow or early periods, heavier with pale blood.
The Pulse will be thin and frail and the Tongue will be pale with a thin white coat.
Anxiety, insomnia, irritability, night sweats, low grade fever, restless sleep, poor memory, poor focus and concentration, nocturnal emissions, dry stools.
Pulse will be thin and rapid and the Tongue will be red with little coating.
Anxiety, depression, insomnia, palpitations, vertigo, dizziness, nausea and/or vomiting, insatiable hunger, chest oppression, seizures, bitter taste in mouth, slight thirst.
Pulse will be rapid and slippery or wiry depending on the level of phlegm and the Tongue will be greasy with a yellow coat.