Acupuncture may not be the therapy that immediately springs to mind if you are looking for a cure for insomnia. But it can be very effective.

One of the reasons for this is that it is a holistic therapy . . . it treats the whole person, not just the symptoms which he or she is experiencing. Acupuncture theory is based upon the idea of Qi - energy or life force - which is said to run through the body in a series of channels or meridians. If the flow of Qi is interrupted or becomes imbalanced, illness can result. The skill of the acupuncturist is being able to treat the meridians, by inserting needles, in such a way as to restore the flow of Qi to normal.

Another important concept in acupuncture theory is the idea of yin and yang. Everything has a yin aspect and a yang aspect, in much the same way that everything has a right side and a left side. But, unlike right and left, yin and yang can become imbalanced.

Yang is associated with activity and with heat, while yin is calm and cool. In order to be able to sleep, the body’s yang energy has to move inwards while the yin energy emerges. It is for this reason, say acupuncturists, that things which stimulate the body’s yang (such as stress, exercise, spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine) can interfere with sleep. Conversely, things which will stimulate yin (such as soft lighting, gentle music, meditation and chamomile herbal preparations) can assist sleep.

The goal of acupuncture treatment in people suffering from insomnia is to calm the body and the mind. Each pair of meridians (one on the left side of the body and one on the right) is associated with one of the organs of the body. Three meridians whose disruption may spark off insomnia are the Heart Meridian, the Spleen Meridian and the Liver Meridian as they are affected by anxiety (Heart), worry (Spleen) and stress (Liver). Qi runs through the meridians in a set order over a twenty four hour period and the time at which the person tends to wake up may give a clue as to which meridian needs treatment. For example, the Liver Meridian experiences its maximum flow of Qi between 1.00am and 3.00am, so waking between those times on a regular basis will suggest to the acupuncturist that this flow is out of balance.

In addition, there is even an acupuncture points which is specific for the treatment of insomnia. It is called An Mian - which means “Peaceful Sleep”.

Author's Bio: 

To learn more about how you can treat insomnia successfully using orthodox, complementary or self-help methods, go to The Better Sleep Site.
Dr. Ruth Lever Kidson is a qualified physician, medical hypnotherapist and best-selling author who has trained in a number of complementary therapies.