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Acupuncture for Insomnia

We can all experience sleeplessness at some time. However when this condition continues as insomnia it can be debilitating – leading to tiredness, inability to concentrate, mood changes, affected relationships, etc.

Rather than attempting to sedate it by using sleeping pills, at New Leaf Acupuncture, Dublin, we seek to find the cause of the insomnia and treat it from the root. By determining what the actual problem is, we can distinguish how the body has become imbalanced. Then appropriate treatment can then be administered.

The Treatment of Insomnia by Acupuncture

The treatment of insomnia may often involve looking into various areas of a person’s life; diet, exercise, work and home stresses, and constitutional factors that can all have an effect on sleep patterns. Lifestyle changes can often have a dramatic effect.

Research into Insomnia & Acupuncture Treatment

Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for insomnia and anxiety (Hui 2010).

Research shows that acupuncture may benefit people with insomnia by:

  • Increasing nocturnal endogenous melatonin secretion (Spence et al 2004).
  • Stimulating opioid production and µ-opioid receptor activity (Cheng et al 2009).
  • Increasing nitric oxide synthase activity and nitric oxide content, promoting normal function of brain tissues, which could help regulate sleep (Gao et al 2007).
  • Increasing cerebral blood flow (Yan 2010)
  • Reducing sympathetic nervous system activity, increasing relaxation (Lee 2009a)
  • Regulating levels of neurotransmitters (or their modulators) such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA and neuropeptide Y; hence altering the brains’s mood chemistry increasing relaxation and reduce tension (Lee 2009b; Samuels 2008; Zhou 2008)

 

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