- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Treatments for Insomnia
This is my third hub on the subject of insomnia and the use of alternative methods of treatment to tackle the problem. As you will see from the title this hub is going to about using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to treat the problem and whilst I have a reasonable knowledge of both herbal and home remedies I have to admit that before carrying out the research for this hub I knew very little about TCM other than that it has something to do with yin and yang.
I have discovered that TCM has a totally different approach to Western medicine. This means that a Western doctor would normally treat insomnia by diagnosing an underlying emotional problem such as stress, anxiety or depression and would then prescribe anti-depressants and sleeping tablets whilst in TCM the insomnia would be thought of as a branch of a disease and they would be looking to establish where the root of the disease was. The root of a disease is an imbalance in one of the major organ systems of the Heart, Lung, liver Kidneys and Spleen or one of the major substances of Yin, Yang, Chi, Jing and Shen.
A TCM treatment for Insomnia
Insomnia is usually diagnosed as being caused by a wandering spirit arising from an imbalance of the heart and liver. Both these organs are believed to host a specific aspect of the spirit and when the organs are out of balance these aspects are not properly contained.
TCM looks to establish a type of insomnia and the commonest types are dream-disturbed sleep, problems getting to sleep, problems staying asleep, waking at a set time each night. TCM will also then look to define this down still further so for example a dream disturbed by frequent nightmares are usually associated with a disorder of the Gall Bladder meridian whilst dreams in which actions are repeated or relived are generally considered to arise from a Heart/Spleen Dream disturbed sleep. Difficulty falling asleep is usually associated with a problem with the liver or the liver and gallbladder and not being able to stay asleep is usually linked to a heart/spleen deficiency. The waking at a set time is considered to be relevant as TCM believes that Chi circulates through the meridians over a 24 hour period. For example energy peaks in the Liver meridian at 3:00am so if you were waking at this time every night the problem would be diagnosed as a liver problem.
In TCM diagnosis is also made by looking for characteristic symptoms of a particular condition. A Liver Fire pattern causes people to display heat signs such as a red face, dark yellow urine and dry stools and they would anger easily. A Heart/Spleen imbalance causes people to be forgetful, to find it difficult to concentrate and have a tendency to feel tired and worry about things.
In looking to restore the body’s balance TCM will use both herbal treatments and acupuncture. Suan Zao Ren is one of the most popular herbal medicines and it comes from the kernel of a small sweet and sour red date which grows in the mountains in north China. This herb helps regulate Liver Chi and to reduce stress and improves Heart Shen and Liver Blood.
TCM is a massive subject area and I have only just scratched the surface in this hub. I have a feeling that it may well be a subject which I return to explore in more depth later as it is a fascinating subject.
Other Hubs on Insomnia
- Treating Insomnia with Aromatherapy
The use of Aromatherapy can be traced through all of the major civilizations and even the Bible refers to the use of plants and their oils to treat illness. However the term Aromatherapie was first...
- A Diet to Help Insomnia
Many people dont know what they are eating or drinking or what they arent drinking or eating may be causing their insomnia. This is an article in a series about insomnia and considers treatment of insomnia by various alternative therapies
- Understanding Sleep
One of a series of articles around the subject of insomnia. This article gives an explanation of the sleep including the sleep cycle and stages of REM and non-REM sleep and what happens while we sleep or when we don't.
- Home Remedies for Insomnia
One of a series of articles around the subject of insomnia. This article gives some practical and simple measures to help you get to sleep.
- Herbal Treatments for Insomnia
One of a group of articles within a series of articles on insomnia considering the treatment of insomnia by a variety of alternative therapies. There are numerous over the counter herbal treatments for insomnia which are extremely effective but this
- Insomnia - A Sleeping Disorder
One of a series of articles around the subject of insomnia. This article gives an introduction to the subject of insomnia explaining about primary and s secondary insomnia and transient, short-term and chronic insomnia containing an example of a slee