Insomnia, including difficulty falling asleep, frequently waking up during the night, or waking up earlier than desired, can result in getting up in the morning feeling unrested and experiencing drowsiness during the day. If it continues for some time it can affect quality of life since those affected have little energy to exercise, work, think, feel, or go about their day, and ultimately it can have a knock-on effect to mental and physical health.
Western Medicine View
Insomnia can be caused by many factors. Common factors include: physical conditions like illnesses (cough, arthritis, etc.); involuntary movements which causes discomfort or pain; psychological factors such as depression, stress or anxiety, and then anxiety directly about being unable to sleep; physiological factors such as noise or eating or exercising too close to bedtime; and pharmacological factors such as alcohol, recreational drugs or caffeine.
Chinese Medicine View
According to the World Health Organisation, insomnia can be successfully treated with traditional Chinese medical (TCM) acupuncture.
According to TCM, sleep problems can relate to a dysfunction in our ability to extract what we need from the food we eat and transport it to where we need it to go. This affects the quality of our Blood, and our Heart. If our organs are in disharmony, excessive fire and Qi stagnation will occur and disturb the mind, which leads to insomnia.
An irregular diet, anxiety, trauma and overwork will all cause problems with our bodily functions, which in turn lead to disturbed sleep. Inherited deficiency, sexual activity or a prolonged illness can also affect our body's ability to transport what we need, where we need it.
In Chinese medicine, we classify these problems into syndromes. In the case of insomnia, depending on the presenting symptoms, the syndrome could be for example, 'Heart fire' that disturbs the mind or 'Liver Qi stagnation'. By diagnosing the syndrome, the acupuncturist knows which acupuncture points to use to correct the imbalances. The treatment will often aim to regulate the movement of Qi and restore harmony within the key internal organs (including the Heart) as well as the balance between the cooling and the warming energies (the Yin and Yang) in the body in order to calm the mind and relieve insomnia.
At Bubbling Spring Acupuncture Clinic, practitioner Helen Trill regularly sees clients with sleep disorders. Often there are other symptoms too. Helen takes a full medical history and will discuss your symptoms, lifestyle, and diet with you in order to diagnose and treat you, and also to identify any homecare advice that may be given. Helen sometimes also uses Shiatsu during these treatments. For those who are needle phobic, a full shiatsu treatment is an excellent alternative.
Client Testimonials Regarding Sleep
'I visited Helen after suffering with long covid. This effected my daily routine aches and pains - most of all disturbed and limited sleep. Helen listened to my needs and started off with a 45 minute session - after that weekly. I will keep going to continue the work so far - but my sleep is now great and my aches and pains much diminished.' MC - Google review
'I visited Helen at Bubbling Springs after 5 weeks of acute insomnia . She is so calm and attentive, and actually listens to you. I felt the benefit of each treatment , and on the third treatment, using acupuncture, a heat lamp, and her intuition, I had a release of energy following which I felt so much lighter! I slept for a solid 6 hours that night and have continued to re establish my sleep pattern. Helen is a gifted practitioner, and I can’t recommend her highly enough. Am so very grateful!' L.S - Google review
'Booked in with Helen in desperation as having over a week with very little sleep from sciatica and shingles. Helen began with 45 minute weekly massage and acupuncture which eased the intense pain. After some 6 sessions which became stretched to fortnightly and then 3 weeks I have never felt better and enjoy a good night's sleep. Affordably priced and well worth the spend. I'd have no hesitation in recommending Bubbling Spring Acupuncture Clinic.' PH - Google review
'I have been visiting Helen for about a year now for chronic insomnia. I have a session every 4 weeks to maintain a decent nights sleep, I’ve tried everything and acupuncture is the only thing that has helped. Helen is exceptionally knowledgable and will often suggest slight changes to treatment depending on any other minor ailments that I have at the time. The clinic is immaculate and a very relaxing environment. I would highly recommend Babbling Springs and the treatments that Helen provides.' LM - Google review