Insomnia is a disorder that makes it hard for a person to fall asleep and/or to stay asleep and benefit from a normal night’s rest. It could be that you initially sleep well but wake too early or that you are awake all night and then go into a deep sleep at the time you need to get up.
Lack of normal healthy sleep can affect every area of your physical and mental health. Exhaustion will affect the functioning of all your vital organs and the way you function socially and at work.
People need varying amounts of sleep and this can change from season to season and be affected by many internal and external causes.
Insomnia can be acute, where the person’s sleep problem is due to something tangible that has recently happened or it could chronic where there is not necessarily a known cause.
The Western Medical approach to insomnia is to acknowledge and deal with the many potential causes. For example – stress factors like family or work problems, health worries, fear and anxiety or the result of a shock or a current on-going problem. A disrupted work or travel schedule can cause sleep problems – like jet lag or shift work. A disturbance of the normal bodily rhythms by eating too late or too much and “bad sleep hygiene”, like reading in bed, watching television or taking naps throughout the day.
Anti-depressants that have a soporific effect are also prescribed and in some cases sleeping pills that knock out the person so that they can try and rest.
The Five-Element acupuncturist sees insomnia (like any symptom) as a sign of an imbalance in the person. All living beings are governed by the natural laws we observe in nature and the cause of the type of insomnia experienced by the presenting patient will have a cause in one of the five elements that produce our outer and inner reality. Practitioners of this ancient healing tradition have the skills to diagnose the unique cause of insomnia in each person and effect an acupuncture treatment that has the potential to correct the normal sleep rhythms but all suffering.