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Insomnia is a common medical sleeping disorder that affects millions people worldwide. It is defined as the inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep as long as desired.

Based on a 2007 report from the United States Department of Health Services, it revealed that more than one-third of adults have insomnia, of which 41% are women.

People suffering from insomnia usually feel, over-fatigued, have poor concentration and experience poor coordination during the day. The lack of sleep can strip a person of energy which can affect mood, health and productivity. This commonly leads to irritability, anxiety, and depression. Gastro-intestinal problems and headaches can also present themselves. Insomnia is a common medical complaint.

Western medicine believes insomnia is stress-related and can be triggered by numerous of issues, such as; depression, anxiety, medications, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, eating too much during the evening, erratic work schedule, or by a more serious underlying health problem.

In Western medicine, it is also believed that most cases of chronic insomnia are secondary to another medical or psychiatric condition and can be addressed by effective treatment of that underlying condition.

Treatments usually imposed by western medical practitioners normally involve making changes in sleeping schedule, light therapy, relaxation and behavioural therapy or medication.

Traditional Chinese medicine has a different approach towards insomnia.

When a person suffers from insomnia, the two organs most often out of balance are the Heart and the Liver. Each of these two organs houses a specific aspect of the spirit. If these organs are out of balance, they will not be able to house the spirit properly, and the spirit will wander.

In Chinese medicine, insomnia is first differentiated whether the condition is caused by an excess or by a deficiency. Once the differentiation of patterns is determined, then a specific treatment can then be concocted.

Although, each treatment will have the same goal of calming the mind of the patient, which is definitely the main cause of the condition, a major part of the treatment regimen will focus on the specific pattern of the insomnia. These patterns can include; the type of insomnia that is characterized by restless sleep with nightmares, dizziness, irritability, and headaches. Or, insomnia that involves poor appetite, palpitations, poor memory, and anxiety, excessive dreaming, dry eyes and sleep walking/talking.

Acupuncture, has been proven effective in calming the mind and revitalizing the body's hormones to natural levels. It will also help restore the body's energy to its natural flow thus helping the body heal itself as it returns to its natural rhythm, and in the process, correct other underlying problems to prevent insomnia from re-occurring.

At ACATCM, we are committed to providing results-driven premier quality care to our patients. To discuss your health and wellness needs, contact our College Clinic at: 403-286-8788.

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