I love reading about alternative medical practices when it comes to my health. I have tried acupuncture and shiatsu massage for pain, and Ayurveda medicine for my blood pressure and heart issues. I find that the alternative solution, for treating medical issues, works great and without side effects.
Although western medical science has made many astounding discoveries, they often look down on the ancient wisdom of the east as well… archaic. I am sure the Chinese didn’t think so as the “Black Death” wiped out whole populations in Europe.
Insomnia, in Chinese Traditional Medicine or (TCM) looks at your sleep issues holistically. I did not know there was so many different types of insomnia. But in TCM there is a different reason for different sleep issues. You will not get a TCM practitioner who will just give you a script for Ambien and send you on your way, not it goes much deeper.
Common Patterns of Insomnia According to TCM:
- Heart-Liver Imbalances | Trouble Falling Asleep: In Chinese Medicine the heart plays a central role in emotional disorders and sleep pattern problems. The Heart is said to ‘house the mind’ during sleep. Typically in Chinese medicine, trouble falling asleep points to a Heart Qi Deficiency or Heart Shen disorder. Another disorder that is common with sleep patterns where there is trouble getting to sleep is Liver Qi Stagnation. When liver Qi becomes congested it tends to heat up. Heat always rises, and in this case the Liver Heat attacks the Heart and prevents a person from being able to fall asleep easily.
- Restless Leg Syndrome and Insomnia: Many people lose sleep because of the jerking motion that is caused with RLS. In TCM Restless Leg Syndrome is typically due to internal wind caused by liver Qi Stagnation.
- Waking between 1-3 AM: Many people fall in to a pattern of waking between the hours of 1 AM and 3 AM, almost like clockwork. This is typically an indication of liver Qi stagnation. A pattern of Liver Qi Stagnation will include several of the common indications seen with Liver Qi Stagnation.
- Waking from 3-5 AM: Typically, sleeplessness during the hours of 3 AM to 5 AM indicates an imbalance in the metal element and could relate to unresolved grief or a sense of loss.
True insomnia is more than tossing and turning. It’s more serious than an inability to fall asleep early. Never the less, in Chinese medicine, all of these conditions are seen as abnormal sleep patterns that should be addressed as the effects can be debilitating over time. An estimated 32 million people suffer from insomnia in the U.S., and sleep medications have been shown to have risks of detrimental side effects.
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