Clinical Information For the Treatment Of Insomnia

What Is Insomnia?

whatisinsomnia?

Insomnia - Basics

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).

What Patterns Are Related To Insomnia?

whatpatternsarerelatedtoinsomnia?

Insomnia - Diagnostic Patterns

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:

Heart FireHeart Qi DeficiencyLiver FireLiver and Gallbladder Damp HeatSpleen Qi Deficiency

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Which Acupuncture Point Protocols May Be Applied For Insomnia?

whichacupuncturepointprotocolsmaybeappliedforinsomnia?

Insomnia - Acupuncture Protocols

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:

Which Tam Healing and Tongren Therapy Protocols Apply To Insomnia?

whichtamhealingandtongrentherapyprotocolsapplytoinsomnia?

Insomnia - Tam Healing and Tongren Therapy Protocols

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 and tong ren therapy protocols may be used with insomnia:

11 Points Are Empirically Important For Insomnia

15 TCM Herbs Are Potentially Used With Insomnia

The Following (18)Formulas TCM Herbal Formulas May Be Useful For Insomnia

An Shen Bu Xin Wan (Calm the Shen and Supplement the Heart Pills)

Clinical Usages

  • Insomnia and palpitations
  • Anxiety, possible difficulty with concentration
  • Irritibility and restlessness
  • Tinnitus

    Clinical Categorization

    Er Xian Wan (Two Immortal Decoction)

    Clinical Usages

    • Kidney Yin and Kidney Yang deficiencies with Empty Heat - hormonal issues such as menopause (possibly w/hypertension), amenorrhea, hot flashes along with associated symptoms of fatigue, depression, insomnia, nervousness and more.
    • Infertility with appropriate underlying factors, particularly when arising with amenorrhea or irregular menstruation.
    • Aplastic anemia.

      Clinical Categorization

      Gan Mai Da Zao Wan (Licorice, Wheat, and Jujube Formula)

      Clinical Usages

      • Anxiety/depression/manic issues with a tendency towards losing self-control (crying fits, excessive yawning, etc.) that result from the combination of heart yin deficiency and liver qi stagnation.
      • Insomnia, possibly with vivid dreaming and heart palpitations.
      • Post-partum depression and milder symptoms of menopause.

        Clinical Categorization

        Geng Nian An Wan (Peaceful Menopause)

        Clinical Usages

        • Menopause symtpoms including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, restlessness and anxiety as a result of yin deficiency.  
        • Can be used for other yin deficient symtpoms such as tinnitus, dry skin, and lightheadedness.

          Clinical Categorization

          Cautions

            • Use with caution during pregnancy.
            • Do not use if patient presents with true heat or exterior heat.

              Gui Pi Wan (Restore the Spleen Formula)

              Clinical Usages

              • 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.  
              • 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.

                Clinical Categorization

                Jia Wei Gui Pi Wan (Augmented Restore The Spleen Decoction)

                Clinical Usages

                • A combination of jia wei xiao yao wan and gui pi wan - similar effects but with more spleen qi and blood tonification.
                • A range of stress related issues - essentially mixes of stagnation with underlying deficiencies.
                • Potential uses with immune / idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and other bruising/bleeding issues with appropriate diagnostic factors.

                  Clinical Categorization

                  Jia Wei Xiao Yao Wan (Free and Easy Wanderer Pills)

                  Clinical Usages

                  • Derived from the base formula, xiao yao wan, an important formula for liver qi stagnation with herbs added to clear heat.
                  • Liver qi stagnation - menstrual issues, painful cycles, irregular cycles, breast distention, PMS, acne.
                  • A range of mild to moderate psychological issues arising from liver qi stagnation such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, insomnia, anger issues, etc.
                  • Physical symptoms from liver qi stagnation such as headaches, tightness in the chest, cold hands and feet, various eye issues.

                    Clinical Categorization

                    Pearl Powder (Pearl Powder)

                    Clinical Usages

                    • ADD, ADHD, restlessness, trouble with focus or concentration.

                      Clinical Categorization

                      Qi Xue Da Bu Wan (Nourish Qi & Blood Pills)

                      Clinical Usages

                      • Fatigue, lethargy, sensation of feeling heavy or cold.
                      • Low appetite, bloating, borborygmus, loose bowels.
                      • Impotence, infertility, low libedo.
                      • Insomnia, night sweats, vivid dreams, nightmares.

                        Clinical Categorization

                        Shen Jing Shuai Ruo Wan (Stress Reducing Pill)

                        Clinical Usages

                        • For common variants of the modern western lifestyle - in Chinese Medicine terms, calms the spirit, balance liver and kidney yin, for a range of psycho-emotional and physical issues from chronic stress and mental overwork.  Symptoms may include insomnia, dizziness, inability to focus, memory problems, fatigue, palpitations, and/or tinnitus. 

                          Clinical Categorization

                          Sheng Mai San Wan (Generate the Pulse Pills)

                          Clinical Usages

                          Coming Soon...

                            Clinical Categorization

                            Sheng Mai Yin Wan (Replenish Pulse Pills)

                            Clinical Usages

                            • Dry mouth, dry skin, dark or scanty urine from yin and fluid deficiency.
                            • Fatigue, shortness of breath, and spontaneous sweating.

                              Clinical Categorization

                              Cautions

                                • Use with caution for patients that present with heat signs.

                                  Suan Zao Ren Wan (Sour Jujube Decoction)

                                  Clinical Usages

                                  • Shen related issues when arising from liver blood deficiency - anxiety, insomnia.
                                  • Menopausal heat contributing to sleep and/or anxiety issues.
                                  • Palpitations, night sweats, and general dryness.

                                    Clinical Categorization

                                    Te Xiao Zao Ren An Mian Wan (Peaceful Sleep Tablets)

                                    Clinical Usages

                                    • Insomnia, vivid dreaming, nightmares.
                                    • Acute emotional instability.
                                    • May be used to treat convulsions or spasms that are caused by a combination of blood deficiency with wind.

                                      Clinical Categorization

                                      Tian Ma Gou Teng Wan (Gastrodia and Uncaria Formula)

                                      Clinical Usages

                                      • Headaches, vertigo, dizziness, tinnitis, floaters or blurry vision, insomnia as a result of liver yang rising. 
                                      • Siezures, spasms, convulsions or other types of involuntary muscle activity due to liver wind.

                                        Clinical Categorization

                                        Cautions

                                          • Use with caution with patients presenting with yin deficiency.

                                            Tian Wang Bu Xin Wan (Emperor of Heavens Special Pill to Tonify the Heart)

                                            Clinical Usages

                                            • Anxiety, insomnia, irritability, night sweats, hot flashes, flushing or sensation of heat in the palms due to deficiency heat.
                                            • Insomnia, poor memory, poor focus and concentration due to yin deficiency.

                                              Clinical Categorization

                                              Wen Dan Wan (Warm the Gallbladder Formula)

                                              Clinical Usages

                                              • Anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other shen disturbances caused by phlegm misting the mind.
                                              • Seizures, convulsions or other types of involuntary muscle contractions that are caused by phlegm and heat.
                                              • Nausea, vomitting, abdominal discomfort resulting from disharmony of the stomach and gallbladder/liver.
                                              • Vertigo, dizziness or light-headedness.

                                                Clinical Categorization

                                                Cautions

                                                  • Use with caution with patients that present with yin or blood deficiency.

                                                    Xue Fu Zhu Yu Wan (Blood Stasis Relief Pills)

                                                    Clinical Usages

                                                    • Qi and Blood stagnation - pain, cardiovascular issues, physical organ issues.
                                                    • Coronary artery disease, angina and other cardiovascular issues.
                                                    • Hepatitis and other liver function issues.
                                                    • Migraines, headaches, neuralgia from most causes.
                                                    • A range of menstrual issues including dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids - particularly with pain and/or bleeding.
                                                    • Certain diagnostic types of psychological illness, schizophrenia, bipolar, chronic depression, etc.

                                                      Clinical Categorization

                                                      Cautions

                                                      • Avoid during pregnancy.
                                                      • Avoid with heavy menstrual bleeding.
                                                      • Use only under direction if you are taking blood thinners.
                                                      • Generally not for long term use.

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