Acupuncture & Sleep, Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Do you suffer from Insomnia? Do you wake during the night at various times? Same time every night/early morning?

Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or both? Do you wake with a damp head and/or pillow, sweaty chest, back head, face?

Are you tired of wearing and cleaning a CPAP device? Do you feel helpless to stop a snoring problem that is threatening your relationship?


If you have been having trouble with sleep, guess what?! One very common side effect of acupuncture treatment is the best night’s sleep a patient has had in “I can’t remember how long!” This is common. Of course, some diagnoses of insomnia in Chinese medicine will require a plan of repeat treatments to bring your body back to balance and restore your solid night’s sleep. If you have been missing sleep for a long time, chances are that you need to change a dietary behavior, perhaps, or as in most cases of chronic insomnia we will need to supplement your endocrine system. This is the system of your body that is involved with fluids, hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters(i.e. serotonin), and neurohormones. When these substances are in deficit, which is quite common for various reasons in individuals, the body has a hard time ‘staying or falling’ asleep. In very simple terms – let’s compare these organic machines that we live in to a machine that we all use everyday, the automobile. Now, think of your endocrine substances like the fluids in your car’s engine. If your car is low on oil or fluid in the radiator isn’t it going to run hot? When your car’s engine is running hot what happens when you turn off the ignition? Doesn’t your car’s engine want to keep running and sputter and cough a few times before it finally shuts down? This is very similar to what happens to the human body when you’re trying to fall asleep at the end of your day. You close your eyes but your mind refuses to shut down, or you toss and turn and can’t relax/don’t feel tired, or your legs feel restless and you have a hard time keeping still.

Chinese Medicine has been diagnosing and treating insomnia and restless sleep for thousands of years. But not by sedating your body and mind with drugs! Whenever your body is not functioning as it should it is always because of an imbalance. Even if you can’t sleep because you have back pain, for example, that is still discomfort and inability to fall asleep due to an imbalance. In the case of pain the imbalance is stagnation, or an area or system of the body that is experiencing stagnation. In this case acupuncture is able to remove the stagnation and pain no longer exists. When imbalance is that of deficient endocrine substances, Chinese Medicine has treatment protocols to restore these levels, and in doing so, restore sleep.

There are times when a person may not be able to go to sleep because they eat too soon before going to bed, or eat something that creates heat in the stomach or upsets the liver or gallbladder. Just like heat in your car’s engine, any heat in the stomach will not allow the body to relax and fall asleep. Examples of food or drink that can cause upset are chocolate, obviously caffeinated drinks which stimulate the body, spicy dinners, or foods that will stimulate the gallbladder to go into action secreting bile (like cheese or dairy).

It’s important to know, also, that the body has a very hard time doing work and shutting down for sleep at the same time. So, if your stomach has food matter in it still digesting, then your stomach is still at work, your intestines smooth muscle action is being stimulated, your liver is being asked to stay awake releasing fuel to organs at work, etc. Your body can digest and sleep but it doesn’t do both well at the same time! Are you able to wash the dishes while you sleep? Or eat while you sleep? Of course not. Maybe if you are a sleepwalker you can pull off this multitasking but you’re not going to feel like you got a great night’s sleep the next day!

Another common complaint today is sleep apnea. Many people with this disorder wear a CPAP breathing assist device today. Commonly, these people will have a spouse complaining that they snore loudly during sleep or sound like they cannot breathe. Either of these complaints will keep a partner sharing your bed from being able to get a good night’s rest. In Chinese Medicine we diagnose the root cause or mechanism of this disorder and are able to resolve it in most cases so that you can sleep well again without having to wear a cumbersome device on your face that requires cleaning. The soft palate at the upper back of your mouth, right behind the hard palate located behind your upper teeth, will droop and close off the air passage at the back of your throat when you fall asleep causing snoring sounds and/or apnea (the cessation of smooth breathing and thus poor sleep). Practitioners of Chinese Medicine, with the use of acupuncture and herbal medicines, have the ability to strengthen and lift this soft palate. Once this is accomplished the snoring and/or apnea no longer exists.

Contact Scott @ Touchstone Healing Acupuncture TODAY! We can help!

808-319-5879 — in the Scottsdale Airpark.



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