Posts Tagged "chinese medicine"

Getting to Sleep Naturally, Help from Chinese Medicine

Posted on Jan 31, 2011 in Health and Wellness, Uncategorized

Getting to Sleep Naturally, Help from Chinese Medicine Alaina Speraw, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac., B.A. 480-710-8458 Nearly two out of three Americans are experiencing sleep deprivation, not surprising that so many turn to high octane caffeine beverages to get through their day! Traditional Chinese medical view on sleep Nightime is considered the Yin Time, when your body takes care of itself, does routine repair and maintenance.  Proper sleep is essential to allow this restorative work to take place.  Especially critical to the function of organs such as the Liver, which performs most of its’ detoxification work at night. Insomnia is one of the most common conditions we see and is often part of larger imbalances.  Excess worry, anxiety and depression all negatively impact sleep by disturbing the Spirit and over-stimulating the Mind.  In Chinese medical terms they create imbalances in the Liver, Heart and Spleen networks.  When the mind is excessively active it is difficult to fall asleep.  So it is important to calm the Mind prior to retiring.  Simple steps such as creating a bedtime ritual like not watching television in the evening, drinking a cup of herbal tea, gentle exercises like stretching, meditation and aromatherapy can all be helpful in promoting sleep. Four traditional time tested ways to reach deep, restorative sleep Acupressure – Ancient healing art based on the Acupuncture meridian system in which you use gentle fingertip pressure on key points on the body to stimulate natural healing. Here are two acupressure points you can press to induce restorative sleep: *Inner Gate – or Pericardium 6 – located 3 finger widths above your wrist crease between the tendons on the inside of your left forearm.  Apply moderate pressure with right thumb, holding for 3-5 minutes while breathing deeply.  Repeat on the opposite arm. *Bubbling Spring – or Kidney 1 is on the bottom of your foot at the center of the indentation below the ball of the your foot.  Press down with your thumb and hold of 30 seconds, relax for five and continue for five minutes. A traditional sedative -Jujube Seed – In Chinese medicine the heart houses the spirit.  When the heart is weak the spirit becomes restless and cannot properly rest at night, which you experience as insomnia or interrupted sleep.  Jujube or Chinese date calms the spirit, strengthens the heart and supports restful sleep.  Research has shown it is rich in saponins that promote sleep, relaxation and reduce irritability and anxiety.  A typical dose is 500 mg daily and can be found in health food stores, Chinese herb stores, online or from your Acupuncturist or Chinese Herbalist, it is often combined with other Chinese herbs. Empty Your Mind before Sleep Rumination, the emotion of the Spleen network concentrates energy in the brain, if one constantly ponders problems a frequent outcome is insomnia.  In this case the energy stays in the brain at night instead of following its normal course of descending to the lower part of the body, which allows one to sleep peacefully.  Journaling at the end of the day or making a list can relieve the mind of excessive mental worries.  Another effective time proven method is Meditation which can help clear the mind of the thinking by releasing thoughts and emotions to attain deeper states of relaxations. Four Exercises that help Insomnia The famous physician Ge Hong, who lived during the Han dynasty during the 3rd century promoted this set of exercises to prevent and treat insomnia.  Chinese studies indicate these exercises effectively improved the sleep quality of chronic insomniacs who practiced them nightly for 2-4 weeks. Lie...

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