“Stress is sometimes unavoidable, but how we manage it is in our control. Some may experience heart palpitations or panic attacks, while others may be feeling down or overwhelmed with worry. If any of these feelings come on, pause, take a few deep breaths and use the following common acupressure points to help balance your emotions.”
- Maria Hogan
Acupuncture for Insomnia
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. It has several possible causes and can generate many possible symptoms. Insomnia can really disrupt our circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are any physical, behavioral, and mental changes that occur on a 24-hour cycle, predominantly activated by light changes. We have internal biological clocks that help regulate this system. When properly aligned, a circadian rhythm can promote consistent and restorative sleep. But, when this is thrown off, it can create significant sleep problems. The circadian rhythms are connected to a master clock in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. At a different part of the day, the master clock sends signals to regulate activity throughout the body. It is very sensitive to light, and that is why the circadian rhythm is very connected to day and night. During the day, the master clock sends signals that generate alertness. At night, the master clock initiates melatonin production, a hormone that promotes sleep. When this is disrupted, it can negatively affect one’s sleep.
15-33 percent of adults suffer from some degree of insomnia, and 1 in 3 people in the US experience issues getting a good night’s sleep. Here’s an interesting fact: the world record for going without sleep is 264 hours, accomplished by a 17-year-old teenager Randy Gardner for a science project in 1964. The record still stands in the Guinness Book of World Records because they no longer recognize this category due to the danger it causes to one’s health.
‘Tis the Season
The holiday season is stressful enough, but coupled with today’s current events, it really can elevate stress, one of the top causes of insomnia. It can wreak havoc on your life and decrease your quality of life. Other causes of not getting enough ZZZs are travel, irregular work schedules, poor sleep habits, mental health disorders, medications, hormonal changes, and many more.
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, and it can help with a number of things, such as pain relief, improving sleep, reducing nausea, etc. It can increase dopamine and serotonin levels to help your central nervous system slow down. Acupuncture can also increase melatonin secretion naturally, which helps with sleep. Chinese Medicine looks at the mind, body, and spirit as one interconnected system and strives to understand the root cause of the imbalance and fix it. Your body is a network that has an electrical highway of points and channels; acupuncture needles tap into this network and can affect immediate and lasting changes by redirecting and harmonizing the flow, getting your circadian rhythm back to its natural state.
Safe And Natural Relief
In my experience, insomnia is becoming a more common complaint, and most people don’t want to deal with the sometimes dangerous side effects of taking sleep medications. Acupuncture is a natural, drug-free alternative that keeps you calm, relaxed, and ready for a good night’s sleep.
About the Author
Maria Hogan is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Massage Therapist. She graduated with a Masters Degree in acupuncture from the New York College of Health Professions, where she currently is a Professor and Supervisor to students in the Massage Clinic.
Maria is passionate about sharing the healing benefits of Chinese Medicine.
Believing the body should be treated as a whole, she uses many modalities to treat various conditions.