As always when dealing with a health issue we recommend that you look for the cause of the problem to find a satisfactory solution. If we limit ourselves to only taking medicines, with time, we are likely to aggravate the problem. This often happens when we depend on just taking medication in the case of insomnia.
If we stop to think about it we will probably see that in many cases of insomnia it is a question of a state of preoccupation, sadness or frustration from which we don’t see a way out… an altered emotional state!
In Chinese medicine, insomnia is an imbalance affecting the Heart energy. This organ houses the Shen (in western terms, the mind or spirit).If the heart is agitated or unsettled the Shen cannot rest peacefully and the person cannot rest or sleep (insomnia).
Dr. Ted J. Kapchuck writes (A Web that has no Weaver, Ed. – The March Hare) that a man who suffers from insomnia goes to visit a western doctor. He will find nothing abnormal and probably prescribe a sleeping pill. After a while the same man visits an oriental doctor who will examine him and confirm a diagnosis. The treatment will consist of using several acupuncture points and a prescription for a medicinal herb (Euphoria Longana). Following various sessions the problem is resolved and at no stage has the patient received any sedative to allow him to sleep.
The points in Chinese Medicine for insomnia correspond to energetic channels that connect with organs like the heart, the stomach, the liver and kidneys among others. The effect of using those points would be, in Western terms, to strengthen the Nervous System on the one part and the functions of digestion and assimilation of nutrients on the other.
Shiatsu, whose principles are based on those of Chinese Medicine, is an excellent remedy for insomnia for its calming and balancing effects and it can help us get to the root of the problem, which is necessary if we want to resolve it.
As a self help remedy, from Peter Deadman´s book (A Manual of Acupuncture. 1988, Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications) a recipe that is used in nearly all of China for insomnia: – every night before going to bed to sleep, massage point no. 1 on the Kidney energy channel on both feet (see the photo at beginning of this article) and soak your feet for a while in hot water to reduce excess yang in your body: Sweet dreams!