Acupuncture for Insomnia
There are many conditions acupuncture has been shown to have excellent outcomes for, insomnia being one of them.
Although modern medicine and medications may help to fight off the insomnia, they come with a lot of unwanted side effects such as changes in appetite, constipation, problems with attention span and memory, strange dreams, headache, heartburn, and the list goes on.
A few commonly used insomnia medications to be cognizant of are Ambient (zolpidem), Lunesta (eszopiclone), Rozerem (ramelteon), Sonata (zaleplon), Silenor (doxepine), including over the counter sleep aids and benzodiazepines.
Acupuncture can be a safe, and side effect free option to help get a good nights sleep because of the treatment’s ability to relax the body and mind. In a systematic review in 2009, researchers evaluated forty-six randomized control trials, totaling 3,811 patients with the objective of identifying the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating insomnia.
What this review found was very interesting; they found that acupuncture had a beneficial effect on increasing sleep hours compared with no treatment. In addition, they noted that acupuncture was superior to medications in terms of the amount of patients that reported their total sleep duration increasing greater than 3 hours.
Other important points from the research:
- Acupuncture combined with medications showed better results than using medications alone for insomnia
- Acupuncture combined with Herbs was significantlybetter than herbs alone on increasing sleep rates.
Several other steps can be taken to help with insomnia such as a dietary approach by reducing stimulants (caffeine, nicotine), supplementing with melatonin to help regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythms, and also herbs.
Of course, any herbs taken should be discussed with a doctor or licensed acupuncturist/TCM/OM Provider as some herbs may have side effects. Aromatherapy and meditation techniques may also be beneficial in inducing sleep.
For future CEU classes on Acupuncture for Insomnia, stay tuned on the ACE Acupuncture Continuing Education . Com website!
Research by The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, 2009
Acupuncture for Treatment of Insomnia: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
H. Cao, X. Pan, H. Li, J, Liu.