And it’s not new at all: Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years — long before it hit health spas. In traditional Chinese medicine, your qi is the energy stream that flows through your body through energy pathways called meridians. Acupuncture points are stations, or entry points, that fall along your meridians. The idea is that if the energy is out of balance, it can lead to certain problems or diseases. So these are the pressure points that acupuncturists work with – with one possible application being acupuncture for sleep.
How? Well, for one thing, the environment is relaxing, whether you are attending a private session or visiting a community acupuncture studio. The temperature is generally warm, the lights are dim and the music is relaxing. Hello, dream country!
But the treatment itself is also part of what offers these sleep-inducing effects. “We choose specific acupuncture points that allow your body to heal and self-regulate,” says Noah Rubinstein, DACM, a Chinese physician and clinical director at the Yinova Center in New York. Once the body is in a balanced state, deep relaxation — yes, sometimes to the point of falling asleep — is almost inevitable.
What to expect from an acupuncture for a sleep session
Before lying on the mat, the practitioner assesses whether the problem is falling asleep or sleeping (or both) and may ask you about other factors, such as diet, medication, pain and stress, and the role that each may play. . playing in your life. From there, the doctor will create a personalized treatment plan that emphasizes balance so that clients have enough energy when they are awake, but can call it when it is time for bed, says Rubenstein.
During the session, a licensed acupuncturist will stick needles in the pressure points associated with anything that bothers you. Each of these points is associated with specific forces and effects that can be activated through stimulation, such as stress relief or jaw tension. And if the syringes make you dizzy, be sure that the acupuncture does not hurt – the needles work similar to a massage by relaxing the tight muscles and producing collagen.
“Acupuncture helps to extinguish all the alarm bells for a while, which reminds your mind and body,” Oh, This it’s what you feel like not being in an emergency. ” —Eva Zeller, LAc
The results may vary, but the idea is that targeted acupuncture points combined with a soothing environment can help you fall asleep. In fact, Zeller says she has noticed that many people experience intense dreams in the midst of acupuncture. He even believes that it is possible to experience deep REM sleep in a relatively short session, which he says makes sense given that the practice is known to help lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. “Acupuncture helps to extinguish all the alarm bells for a while, which reminds your mind and body,” Oh, This “It’s like not being in an emergency,” he says. The result; A visit to your dreams.
What you need to know about using acupuncture points for sleep
Even if an acupuncture session is not accessible to you or the cards for any other reason, you can still get a similar result using sleeping pressure points: manually targeting the acupuncture points using your fingers instead of acupuncture needles. . The idea is essentially the same. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people.
“Sleep imbalances come from stress and a lack of ability to calm down or calm oneself down,” Stefanie Dilibero, MAc, LAc, acupuncturist and founder of Gotham Wellness in New York, told Well + Good. “People’s bodies and nervous systems are affected by stress with different physical manifestations. Acupuncture points can be used as a way to target the specific ways in which your body needs balance and when you are balanced in a certain way, you will sleep better “.
For example, Pericardium 6 is a good acupuncture point for nausea, but it also relieves stress and promotes a deeper snooze. To get it, use a thumb to locate the point of the tendon rope on your forearm, a few inches from the wrist. Then press your thumb to the point and breathe.
Or if stress is spinning, from doomscrolling or otherwise, keeping you awake at night, Heart 7 is what you want to deal with. Draw a line from the center of the pink fingertip to the base of the wrist, where your palm and forearm meet. Then press and hold this area with two fingers as you take five slow, deep breaths. Repeat on your other wrist when you have finished breathing.
After all, energy meridians are just one channel for dealing with sleep problems, and everyone’s body is different. But if you spend anxious nights or are looking for an easier way to relax before bed, acupuncture can help diagnose the problem.
Are you curious about the ear seeds that are next to acupuncture and their benefits? What does the Wellness scoop have:
Originally published on February 6, 2018. Updated March 18, 2021 with additional references by Aly Semigran.
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