Natural remedies for insomnia are a holistic approach for getting a great night’s rest.
Insomnia is a growing problem among people who struggle to fall asleep or who toss and turn throughout the night.
4 Types of Insomnia
Insomnia describes both the common symptoms of poor sleep quality or quantity. But has more recently been expanded to refer to a syndrome which has four basic types:
•Sleep onset insomnia (difficulty falling asleep)
•Seep maintenance insomnia (frequent or long awakenings)
•Sleep offset insomnia (waking too early in the morning)
•Nonrestorative sleep (persistent drowsiness despite adequate sleep duration)
Types of insomnia or sleep disturbance are referred to as transient if symptoms last for no longer than one month and chronic if they persist longer than one month.
Balance in the Body
Regulating the balance between Qi and Xue as well as the equilibrium of Yin and Yang is a frequent way to approach sleep disorders. Unhealthy diet or stress, anxiety and otheremotions are believed to stagnate qi and damage the heart while affecting the spleen,gall bladder, liver and kidney energy to result in sleep disturbance and insomnia. A weak spleen and gall bladder are thought to prevent a patient from feeling refreshed upon waking. According to Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible the smooth flow of qi/energy and blood.
It’s energy is at it’s peak during the night, so weak or stagnated or excessive liver energy might result in a struggle to fall asleep.
Acupuncture is a Natural Remedy for Insomnia
Studies from the University of Pittsburgh seem to conclude that acupuncture may helpwith insomnia. Several weeks of acupuncture treatment can help to increase melatonin secretion in the evening which helps improve the total amount of time asleep.
Acupuncture can also help to relieve low backaches associated with sleep disturbance. Acupuncture can also aid nausea, dizziness and headaches which may result in better sleep and the feeling refreshment.
Learn more about Acupuncture for Sleep Disorders HERE.
Herbal Medicine is A Natural Remedy for Insomnia
Multiple herbal formulas are reported to assist sleeping pattern. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners will select an appropriate herb blend based on a patient’s symptoms, constitution and medical history.
Chinese herbalists have a Master’s Degree in TCM herbalism.
Be sure to work with a competently trained herbalist and avoid medicating yourself without guidance of a qualified herbalist.
Some common herbs your herbalist might use include:
•Zao Ren (sour date seed)
•Bai Zi Ren (Arborvitae seed)
•Fu Shen (Poria Paradicis)
•Wu Wei Zi (Schizandra fruit)
•Wulinshen (herbal compound)
These herbs can be ingested as capsules, pills, tinctures, water extracts or teas. In The Classic Art of Tea, LuYu writes, “Tea tempers the spirit, harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens the thought and prevents drowsiness.”
Nutritional Remedies for Insomnia
An old Chinese proverb advises, “he that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician.” The Eastern viewpoint is that a balanced diet includes spicy, sour, bitter, sweet and salty foods and herbs that are chosen for their antibiotic properties. Different foods can contain any mixture of the five tastes plus the taste of bland.
The great principles which can be applied from this diet are primarily the ideas of holistic healing with whole foods. Whole foods can be used for repairing and revitalizing the organs and systems. Rather than a “miracle diet,” a holistic approach attempts to listen tothe body.
Contributor bio: Jessica Socheski is a freelance writer who loves finding ways to improve health naturally and is passionate about private medical care. You can connect with her through Google+.
I recently asked a highly respected and experienced acupuncturist from China which diseases she treated the most using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) when she was practicing in China. “Depression and pain,” she replied.
Acupuncture is becoming well known in the United States as an effective treatment of body pain, but exploring TCM deeper reveals wider applications, including for the treatment of depression.
“After feeling discouraged from the western medicine I was using to treat a chronic health problem, I sought out Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac. I thought that an alternative approach to my care may be more beneficial. Fortunately, I was right. I have been seeing Juliette for a little over a year now and she has been more effective than any other health practitioner I have come across. She is extremely attentive, careful, thorough and works very hard to ensure that her patients get the best treatments possible. Aside from the acupuncture and herbs, Juliette’s encouragement and insights have been key components to my personal healing process. Seeking out Juliette has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself”. -Anonymous.
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The many types of depression are defined as mood disorders by the American Psychiatric Association. The Mayo Clinic lists the following mental and physical signs and symptoms indicative of depression1:
Feelings of anxiety
Loss of interest or pleasure in life
Neglect of personal responsibility or personal care
Changes in eating habits
Changes in sleeping patterns
Fatigue and loss of energy
Extreme mood changes
Feeling helpless, hopeless, or worthless
Physical symptoms (e.g., headaches, chronic pain)
Increased alcohol or drug use
Thoughts of death or suicide
Do you feel any of the symptoms listed above?
If so, Chinese medicine may be right for you.
Call 646-504-2251 to schedule an appointment in our office, or via Skype.
If you are having thoughts of death or suicide please call your medical doctor or a suicide hotline for immediate help; Click here if you in the U.S.A. Click here if you are International.
In the United States, the rate of people seeking medical treatment for depression markedly increased between the late 1980s and early 1990s and continued to increase through the 1990s.2 There are many side effects of antidepressant medication and many mimic the signs and symptoms of depression itself. Some of the various side effects of antidepressants are as follows3:
Inability to achieve an erection
Loss of libido
Depression is a very complicated disease that affects mental health and the various physical systems of the body resulting in decreased quality of life. Health is the balance among all of the emotional and physical occurrences in the body. If these fall out of balance, disease will occur. For example, one may become depressed because of a battle with insomnia or one may become an insomniac resulting from a struggle with depression.
TCM approaches health and disease with the understanding that the mind and body function as one operable unit not to be treated as two separate, unrelated parts. The National Institute of Health states that in TCM, qi (pronounced “chee”) is believed to regulate a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance, and to be influenced by the opposing forces of yin and yang. This description highlights TCM’s view of the mind-body connection of health.4
According to TCM theory, depression is a disease that occurs from stagnant or depressed qi in the body creating emotional and physical imbalance. Acupuncture and herbs can regulate stagnant qi resolving the depressive state in the body and help achieve health. Clinical trials analyzing acupuncture as treatment for depression, patients who experienced acupuncture improved slightly more than patients treated with an antidepressant drug alone.5
Acupuncture and herbs are effective, safe treatments for depression and can be used alone or in conjunction with antidepressants. Call today, and Juliette Aiyana will work with you to help you attain overall health and a better quality of life!
Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs
32 Union Square East, Suite 615N New York, NY 10003
Dave quit his job to escape the stress. No amount of money is worth selling your soul for work nor is it worth not being allowed to manifest your soul’s work.
No. It was not because he was smoking crack as the media rumor mill tried to convince us. Did they think the only reason someone would walk away from a multi-million dollar job is because they were on crack? Or did they think that the only reason a black man would do that was because he was on crack? The media does a great job of manufacturing public thought especially when it is racist or sexist thought. And that is one of the reasons Dave quit- as you will read below.
Dave Chappelle joined the few who realize that putting up with certain pressures from work are not worth it. Stress is not worth the money, physical illness or emotional distress it can induce. It is not worth doing things which you consider unethical or uncreative.
Stressed? Try Acupucture, It Works! Call 646-504-2251 for an appointment.
I watched Dave on Oprah and Inside the Actor’s Studio. He talked about the pressure his company placed on him to do certain things with the show that he completely disagreed with. He specifically mentioned a skit shown on the “Lost Episodes” which he believed only confirmed racial stereotypes rather than, in his usual style, mirroring them to us so we can stop using them. I saw the skit and I completely agree with him in spite of the audiences vote. Dave took the bold stance against popularity and financial gain. Dave stands for creative awareness and freedom, cultural awareness and freedom, and self-awareness and freedom.
Many of my patients are ill because of work related stress. They suffer fatigue, anxiety, headaches, frequent colds, insomnia, skin conditions , infertility, weight gain or loss and digestive problems such as IBS, and the list goes on. We
all live in a society in which we must work to survive. So the very thought of quitting our jobs to find something more spiritually fulfilling can be scary. We worry about our bills, family responsibilities and financial freedom. But the truth is that we cannot have any of those things without our health in body and mind .
As I work with patients who are suffering from physical and emotional pain and illness we discuss lifestyle choices. Many of them decide to make the bold decision to change their lifestyle so that they can free themselves of this suffering. They make personal revelations about how daily choices effect their relationships with friends, family, co-workers, partners- or how choices block them from developing deep relationships because they are working 60 (or more) hours per week .
Lifestyle change is a branch treatment within Chinese medicine. For some people, lifestyle change does not need to be as drastic as leaving a job. Maybe you can cut work to part-time or take breaks during the work day, stop eating lunch at the desk and go outside to eat, exercise, or use earned vacation time no matter how many pressing client jobs are on the plate. Your employers give you vacation time for a reason. If they get upset because you use the time you are entitled to, that is their problem, don’t make it yours. The government made labor laws for a reason. These laws protect our rights to breaks during the work day .
Are there ways you can reduce your stress, cultivate a sense that you are working toward the greater good for your self, your family or society? Take some time to think about this for yourself. Maybe even journal your thoughts and reflect on them. How much do you lose because of your job? And how much of that is worth the money? Do you know now why Dave Chappelle quit his job?
Stressed? Try Acupuncture, It Works!
Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs 32 Union Square East, Suite 615N New York, NY 10003 (646) 504.2251
It is easy to make herbal eye pillows and they make great gifts. They help you to relax, soothe stress or relieve headache. Some people like to wear them to aid sleep.
My favorite online shop for high quality, organic herbal ingredients is Mountain Rose Herbs.
Stitch two 8-inch by 5-inch rectangles of a soft fabric such as satin, flannel or unbleached organic cotton fabric together, leaving one end open. Chose your favorite color or fabric design. Create an eco-friendly pillow by recycling an old tee-shirt, or pillow case for the fabric.
In a small bowl, blend 1 cup of flaxseeds with 1 cup each of dried English lavender, chamomile and peppermint.
Add the herbal mix to the fabric bag and sew closed.
Lie down; place the pillow gently over eyes for 15-20 minutes. Breathe and relax.
Discontinue use of the pillow if it becomes wet or damp, but don’t throw it away. Tear open the pillow and compost the herbs inside. Hang dry the fabric then re-use it for dusting or cleaning.
Acupuncture can usually relieve insomnia within just 4-6 visits!
Many people do not get adequate sleep, and whether it’s due to insomnia or other factors, attention must be paid to getting enough rest.
Sleep is completely essential to overall health and quality of life, and those deprived of adequate amounts are very likely to experience a range of symptoms, including weight gain, depression or anxiety, diabetes, andhigh blood pressure. Ready for a great night’s rest?
The following articles support different highlights on the importance of adequate sleep. Recent studies suggest that doctors should include inquiries about patients’ quality and quantity of sleep in a general check-up as a new vital sign.
Chinese Medicine agrees that sleep is vitally important, and has recognized through the ages that the body’s systems are interconnected. Difficulty sleeping or lack of substantial sleep is almost always linked to other symptoms that indicate the body is out of balance. Faster intervention is always best, since symptoms of illness can become more numerous and severe if the problem is ignored.
“Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist was so warm and friendly from our initial meeting. She took the time to explain what acupuncture was, asked very detailed questions in order to treat me appropriately. She creates a soothing and comfortable environment when working with you. She receives nothing but high recommendations from me!” – Simone
One study concluded the following: “Insomnia and trouble sleeping are most often associated with high blood pressure, heart failure, anxiety and depression,according to a national survey of 31,044 adults. It had been thought that insomnia was quite prevalent on its own, but only 4 percent of the people [with] insomnia had it without any of those conditions”.
Lack of sleep, in multiple studies, has been linked to weight gain. There are several explanations for weight gain within Chinese Medicine for this phenomenon such as qi deficiency or qi stagnation.
Acupuncture for weight loss and acupuncture for insomnia can very successful. Western research suggests that sleep deprivation alters hormones involved with appetite and metabolism. More research shows that acupuncture can balance those very hormones.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that 1.6 million Americans get treated for insomnia using Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the majority find the treatments effective.
Many people who experience symptoms of insomnia are eager a find natural solution because prescription drugs may offer temporary solutions, but can be addictive and often cause unwanted side effects. The bigger problem with treatment via chemical pharmaceuticals is that they do not treat the underlying cause of the insomnia and associated symptoms.
Treatment with Acupuncture and Chinese herbs is natural, safe and effective because it addresses both the underlying imbalance causing insomnia as well as other symptoms of disharmony in the body.
Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and Chinese Medicine For Infertility
It can be extremely useful in all stages of gynecological and obstetric care.
For thousands of years, women have been treated for help conceiving, through all stages of pregnancy, and during and after childbirth. At Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs, Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist has been helping women become pregnant for over a decade. Below are more details on specific aspects of care with Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine has been shown to increase blood circulation to the ovaries and uterus and hence increase the capacity for fertility and conception. Chinese medicine can be used to increase the chances of conceiving naturally or alongside medical interventions.
Women who experience irregular cycles, painful periods, PMS, or complications such as cysts or fibroids may be less fertile due to energetic imbalances causing those symptoms. Acupuncture along with Chinese herbs and Chinese Medicine can help balance and regulate the menstrual cycle, thus improving fertility levels.
Some patients that have been diagnosed with infertility are advised to undergo fertility treatment such as IUI (intra uterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilization). It is quite useful to have the support of acupuncture and herbs through the ups and downs of assisted reproductive technology as well.
Studies have shown that IVF combined with acupuncture is 40%-60% more successful than IVF alonei. Results from another study showed a pregnancy was twice as likely to occur if acupuncture was used on the day of the embryo transferii.
Additionally, many couples have difficulty achieving pregnancy due in large part to the stress in their lifestyle. Stress can be a major factor involved in health problems and acupuncture treatment can significantly reduce the stress response in the body. Relaxing the body and mind allows the body to carry out a natural process like conception more smoothly, and often pregnancy is achieved in a healthy couple more quickly once tension and imbalances are removed.
“Years ago, I saw Juliette when I wanted to be come pregnant. A fertility specialist told me I needed IVF, but after 3 months of acupuncture, I was pregnant. Since then, she has helped me though morning sickness, colds, and allergies. Each time, I’ve found her comprehensive and effective. She takes time with her patients and you always feel as if you are being well cared for”. -N.C. READ MORE HERE
Try Acupuncture. It Works!
Call (646) 504.2251 to schedule an appointment .
Pregnancy – 1st Trimester
Acupuncture can provide relief for some of the most common complaints in early pregnancy, such as nausea, vomiting, exhaustion and headaches. Treatment can also help support appetite and energy, and avoid medications for ailments like allergies, colds, and pain syndromes. In addition, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and Chinese Medicine can reduce the chances of miscarriage, which is at highest risk during the first trimester.
Pregnancy – 2nd Trimester
Though most women are feeling relatively healthy during the 2nd trimester, continued treatment will support fetal growth and healthy development through balancing and strengthening the mother’s energy systems.
Pregnancy – 3rd Trimester
Acupuncture helps ease many of the discomforts of the 3rd trimester, such as back pain, sciatica, swelling, and insomnia. Treatment can also gently prepare the body for labor by ensuring smooth circulation of blood and energy to all tissues and organs involved. Patients who get acupuncture treatments throughout the pregnancy, especially the third trimester, report faster and less complicated deliveriesiii.
“I have been coming to Juliette on an off for 4 years. Each and every experience amazes me. Not only is her treatment incredibly effective but I’m also calmed the moment I walk through her door. Juliette has helped me flip a breach baby late in pregnancy, cope with kidney stones when no other treatment was possible, and helped me achieve a successful VBAC. I can’t recommend her work enough! She is truly an amazing healer”. -Jacqueline
Pregnancy – End Stage
Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture and an adjunctive technique, moxabustion are quite effective in turning breech babies, especially between weeks 32-37. In a 1998 Italian study, 130 women with breech presentation had daily moxabustion treatments during the 35th week of gestation. The study showed a 75% success rate in turning the breech babies head down. In a Japanese study conducted in 2000, 357 women had daily moxabustion, with a very impressive 92.5% correction rate. For specific research check these studies.
Induction and/or Labor
Treatment with acupuncture has been shown to be helpful in preparing the body for labor as well as shortening the duration and minimizing the intensity of pain levels. It can also assist with relaxation of mind and body in this potentially stressful time.
Acupuncture is also a safe method used to induce labors that are overdue and start contractions without the use of drugs. Some patients receive acupuncture for pain relief during labor if the doctor, midwife, hospital or birthing center allow it. Acupressure at certain acupoints on the body during labor has also been shown to provide relief.
“HOORAY + thank you !!! My water broke…we took our time getting to the hospital, and she was born [11 hour labor total]. 3 pushes and she was out! It was an amazing birth.. better than I could have hoped for…. I owe it all to you (and the gods above to be sure). It was literally night and day from [our older child’s birth] which was so stressful, in the dead of a cold, snowy, February night. This was filled with light and warmth and the beauty of spring… I was and am in a state of total bliss! I really cannot thank you enough, from the [acupuncture support through] IVF treatments, through the sciatica and helping me gently coax her into this world [we avoided a medical labor induction with acupuncture], I am forever in your debt. My family is complete and I am filled with gratitude. My little lady is such a piece of heaven.. i’m so in love!” -S.M. Age 38
Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and Chinese Medicine have been used for centuries to help mothers recover from delivery. Childbirth is an experience that drains energy, and Chinese herbs especially can provide a much-needed boost to combat the blood loss and fatigue most people experience. A quick recovery by the parent means the best care for the new baby!
Further, treatment can help if there are imbalances causing lactation problems or other nursing disorders. It is also possible to speed recovery from cesarean section and reduce the appearance of scars with acupuncture.
Acupuncture can also be used to treat emotional imbalances such as anxiety, post-partum depression or other mood disorders.
Many mothers who had acupuncture at times during or throughout their pregnancy report especially beautiful babies! This speaks not only to appearance (aren’t all babies beautiful?) but also to temperament- the baby’s disposition is often peaceful and happy!
Juliette Aiyana, L.Ac., Herbalist, Author, Creator of HealthyStuffU.com Aiyana Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs 32 Union Square East, Suite 615N New York, NY 10003 (646) 504.2251
– – – – – – – iLiang, Lifang, OMD, PhD, Lac. Acupuncture & IVF – Increase IVF Success By 40-60%. September 2003, Boulder CO. iiAcupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome in infertile women: a prospective, randomized trial, April 2006; Westergaard LG, Mao Q, Krogslund M, Sandrini S, Lenz S, Grinsted J; Fertility and Sterility; May 2006 (Vol. 85, Issue 5, Pages 1341-1346) iiiAcupuncture: Review and analysis of reports on controlled clinical trials, World Health Organization, Geneva, 2002. www.who.int/medicines