Insomnia

Health Issues/Symptoms Connections

"Insomnia" Issue / Symptom Connections

Below you will find various relationships to, and potential clinical treatment approaches for insomnia.

It is critical to appreciate that in Chinese Medicine, treatment for "insomnia" is rarely focused on the symptoms exclusively. Alternatively, a practitioner is looking at the factors that led to the development of "insomnia" - i.e. the "cause(s)".

For non-practitioners, we recommend reading treating the "cause" and not the "symptoms" for more on the overall approach and the importance of the TCM diagnostic system in formulating treatment approaches.

Within TCM, "insomnia" is potentially related to one or more of the following diagnostic patterns: heart fire, heart qi deficiency, liver and gallbladder damp heat, liver fire, and/or spleen qi deficiency.

The above patterns are common examples. In clinical situations, however, there are any number of other possibilities. Many times there will be a layered combination of patterns in an interwoven blend with their symptoms - some being the cause of an issue and the result of another issue. While initially complex, this is illustrative of the the web of relationships that Chinese Medicine is designed to approach.

Related Acupuncture Protocols

When developing an acupuncture protocol a practitioner is very often focusing on the causal diagnoses in Chinese Medicine terms, not on the condition itself. To illustrate and guide developing an acupuncture treatment for someone experiencing insomnia, this issue is referenced in the following acupuncture protocol section:

Some acupuncture points are considered "empirically" related to a specific condition or diagnostic pattern. While this would rarely, if ever, dictate the entire composition of a treatment, the following points should be considered, possibly even more so within the context of acupressure:

  • View EX Huatuojiaji at C2 (Sides of Spine at C2)

        .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes of C2

        C2 innervates the forehead and the frontal lobe.  The relationship with the Broca's speech area left side of C2 may be used for speech disorders such as stuttering or post-stroke asphasia. Due to the relationship with the frontal lobe use…
  • View EX Huatuojiaji at T7 (Sides of Spine at T7)

        .5 cun lateral to the lower border of the spinous processes of T7

        T7 (Left) innervates the spleen and is an important point for any blood related issues - both in terms of circulation but also in terms of disease.  Due to the role in body fluids and blood a range of issues that are more prominent at nigh…
  • View HT 4 (Spirit Pathway)

        1.5 cun above the wrist crease on the radial side of the flexor carpi ulnaris tendon, on the HT 3 - HT 7 line.

        Sudden loss of voice. Restless Zang Disorder (fluctuating emotions, mania, depression, anxiety, insomnia), various emotional disturbances. Chest pain that perhaps worsens with emotional distress. Local point for pain in the elbow and/or…
  • View HT 7 (Spirit Gate)

        At the wrist crease, on the radial side of the flexor carpi ulnaris tendon, between the ulna and the pisiform bones.

        Tonify deficiencies of the HT Qi, Blood, Yin and Yang. Emotional issues, especially those with related sleep or thinking manifestations - insomnia, muddled thinking. Heart and Phlegm fire leading to insomnia, anxiety, mania. Physical re…
  • View KD 1 (Gushing Spring)

        On sole, in depression with foot in plantar flexion, at the junction of the anterior 1/3 and posterior 2/3 of line conn…

        Descends excess from above, useful for LV Yang Rising or LV Fire - headaches, tinnitus, hypertension, epilepsy. Cooling KD empty heat - chronic sore throat, dry mouth, low back pain. Tonify KD/HT Yin - insomnia, palpitations, anxiety, po…
  • View KD 3 (Great Ravine)

        In depression midway between the tip of the medial malleolus and the attachment of the achilles tendon.

        Tonify KD Qi, Yin or Yang Deficiencies from any etiology. Asthma from KD Deficiency - difficulty inhaling. Tonifies Yin of KD (chronic sore throat, empty heat), LV (dizziness, tinnitus, headache) a/or HT (anxiety, insomnia, excessive dre…
  • View SP 4 (Yellow Emperor)

        In a depression distal and inferior to the base of the 1st metatarsal bone at the junction of the red and white skin.

        Excess pathologies of the ST and Intestines - severe abdominal a/or epigastric pain, dysentery, food poisoning. Gynecological and Abdominal issues due to stagnation of Qi and Blood - masses, fibroids, cysts, irregular menstruation. With …
  • View SP 6 (Three Yin Intersection)

        3 cun directly above the tip of the medial malleoulus on the posterior border of the tibia.

        Tonify Yin and Blood, all Spleen disorders. Digestive disorders, sinking/prolapse. Gynecological issues, male sexual issues, difficult labor (expel fetus). Menstrual issues (irregular, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea). Bleeding disorders, ute…
  • View ST 27 (Great Gigantic)

        2 cun lateral to the AML level with CV 5.

        Beneficial for multiple genito-urinary issues in men - impotence (erectile dysfunction), seminal emission, premature ejaculation, difficult urination, etc. Irregular menstruation. Abdominal pain, bloating, hernia. Fear/fright with palpi…
  • View ST 45 (Severe Mouth)

        .1 cun posterior to the corner of the nail on the lateral side of the 2nd toe.

        Release heat a/or move stagnation from the channel and organ - headaches, toothaches, facial pain, sore throat, TMJ, bell's palsy, facial deviation from stroke. Agitation a/or insomnia w/heat signs, excessive dreaming, loss of consciousne…
  • View UB 15 (Heart Shu)

        1.5 cun lateral to GV 11, level with T5.

        Main point for all heart related issues from a TCM perspective, blood and circulatory related issues of an excess or deficient nature. Nourishes the spirit and calms the shen - main point for all heart related emotional issues: palpitatio…

The Tom Tam/Tong Ren Therapy system can be applied via energy healing/medical qi gong methods as well as an acupuncture component. The acupuncture aspect is generally utilized in combination with more standard TCM diagnostic approaches.

For the specific points/areas that would generally be utilized in someone experiencing "insomnia", please read "Tam Healing and Tong Ren Therapy for Insomnia ".

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