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Treating Insomnia with Herbs and Acupuncture

Treating Insomnia With Acupuncture and Herbs

Have You Heard of The Yin/Yang Balance?

Many are familiar with the TaiJi symbol which indicates the balance of not only physical properties but emotional properties as well. Yin is represented as, but not limited to, substances including mother’s milk, blood, sweat, saliva, and ejaculate. These aforementioned substances are key to the body’s ability to be anchored. Too much loss of Yin will cause an overabundance of Yang. If one was just Yang, they would cease to exist. Yin must balance Yang, and Yang must balance Yin. If not, then disharmony ensues.

Night time is Yin time. It makes sense that if one does not have enough Blood (Yin) in the body during the most Yin time of the circadian cycle, midnight, then insomnia will be present. There are two key details surrounding Yin in the body and the body’s ability to rest during Yin time. First, the body’s ability to create Yin. Second, the body’s ability to maintain yin.

Yin creation takes place during the time of 7am to 11am. At this time the Spleen and Stomach are doing their best work according to the Traditional Chinese Medicine clock. During this time these organs are able to transform, transport, and assimilate food into yin. The optimal foods to take during these hours are grains, and yellow foods like squash, and egg yolk.

Grains have a sweet nature that resonates with the spleen and stomach. Yellow color foods also lend strength to the spleen and stomach. Throughout history, porridge was taken during this morning meal. Many cultures take rice porridge due to its neutral nature and ease of digestion. It has been given to babies as their first food, along with warmed egg yolk. These do best in helping to form yin within the body.

What If This Doesn’t Help?

Acupuncture and herbs are effective to help the body find harmony and form the appropriate Yin to help with sleep.

Midsummer a six-year-old boy was simply not falling asleep for approximately three weeks. Mom struggles with thyroid issues and must have her rest in order to function at home. Not only was this young boy not falling asleep, but he would roam the house, rummage through the kitchen, cry out, as well as play with toys. Dad travels for work, has varying hours, and is not able to assist in the night many times during the week. Mom was exhausted and desperate. She requested an herbal formula to help.

After taking an herbal formula that fit his symptoms for three days, three times per day, her son was sleeping through the night. The stress of the summer months on this patient caused him to lose too much Yin through sweat. The hot and dry summer months in the Las Vegas Valley were too draining on this young boy. The herbal formula built and restored his loss of Yin while he was adjusting to the heat.  

A 40-year-old teacher was struggling to fall asleep. She is a mother of two boys who are active in sports and are high achieving in school. The patient would be able to fall asleep and then battle with waking after being asleep for only a couple of hours. Her mind would not rest due to having little peace from constant thoughts of the next day’s activities and her role in supporting her sons.

She struggled with the question,

“Will I be able to have enough energy to get through all of my responsibilities?”

“Will my sons be safe and healthy?”

She found herself roaming the house in the night, checking on her children, worried about the upcoming day. Through an interview, stress was discovered due to losing a beloved family member unexpectedly. After a month of acupuncture treatments, the patient was able to shut her running mind off and feel the relief of a full night’s sleep. Essentially, in this case, the patient had an overacting of the stress organ on her Stomach Yin function. When stress in the body causes the stomach to not be able to transform, absorb, and assimilate properly, sleep suffers.

If you or your loved one suffers from a lack of sleep, call today for a free phone consultation to assess what will work best for you.

Renae Haldeman, OMD


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