Acupuncture is also effective treatment for insomnia. Many of my patients who come for other problems such as migraine, back pain, or depression notice that their sleeping has improved, too, even though they may not have considered insomnia to be a problem. Patients will comment that they?ve been sleeping really well since they started acupuncture.
In TCM, a primary concept is the idea of "root and branch." Symptoms like insomnia are considered to be the branches of a disease. The root of a disease is a dysfunction or imbalance of the fundamental substances (Chi, blood, Yin, Yang, Jing, Shen), or of the major organ systems (Lungs, Heart, Spleen, Liver, Kidneys). When a person suffers from insomnia, the two organs most often out of balance are the Heart and the Liver. Each of these two organs houses a specific aspect of the spirit. If these organs are out of balance, they will not be able to house the spirit properly, and the spirit will wander. (TCM, although a very complex medical system, had its origins in Taoism, and before that in shamanism. Therefore, there is a spiritual consciousness built into TCMtheory.) A wandering spirit, or Shen disturbance, can manifest in a number of ways, including mood disorders and heart palpitations, but insomnia is one of the commonest symptoms.