Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) considers most cases to be caused by a deficiency of some sort, usually liver qi deficiency or liver deficiency.
Below is a brief summary of the TCM approach to insomnia as well as a common example of a root cause.
“In modern TCM literature, there is agreement of five common differentiations, two being excess patterns, and three being deficiency patterns.2 Excess patterns tend to be more recent in onset, while deficiency (usually of qi and blood, but also yin) accounts for most of the chronic and prolonged cases. There also exists mixed deficiency and excess types, which are primarily deficiency with excess arising later. Excess can be due to emotional factors or overwork. Deficiency may be due to weak constitution, prolonged illness, worry and anxiety, which can aggravate or cause deficiencies of qi, blood or yin.
Stagnation of Liver Qi Transforming into Liver Fire. In this excess pattern, prolonged emotions such as anger, suppressed depression, shock or worry lead to stagnation of liver qi. As this transforms in to liver fire, it flares up to disturb the mind. This is the cause of the “difficult to fall asleep” pattern, and is different from deficiency fire (described below), which tends to cause “light sleep.” There is an inability to fall asleep until later, and may be followed by vivid or manic dreams.”
At Atlanta Acupuncture, we consult with you to determine the underlying reasons for your insomnia. We will ask you many questions including when you go to bed, how long you sleep for on average, when you wake up, and many more questions that help us determine what is causing the insomnia. We will also measure your pulse to determine any deficiencies and teach you effective relaxation techniques that can help make sleep easier to achieve. Please contact us to schedule an appointment with a licensed acupuncturist.