Acupuncture for Insomnia: Regulating and Inducing Sleep


Achieving maximum wellness sometimes boils down to three things: proper nutrition, regular physical activity, and effective rest. There are times, however, when factors get in the way of our achieving these things. In particular, insomnia and the inability to get effective rest at the end of a long day are chief concerns for many. However, acupuncture for insomnia can help you finally get some much-needed shut-eye.


There are many causes of poor sleep or insomnia in today’s society. This includes but is not limited to constant and high levels of stress, chronic pain, or another ailment wherein sleeplessness is simply a byproduct. Meanwhile, we should never discount the hazards of not getting enough restful sleep. Among other things, it could lead to heightened aggression, anxiety, increased weight, weakened immune function, higher risk of blood pressure, and difficulty concentrating. In turn, this could lead to reduced decision-making capabilities, poorer job performance, and even life-threatening situations.


A growing number of people are not embracing acupuncture for insomnia as a non-pharmaceutical solution to sleep problems. Other than that, it can also be an alternative option to improve overall well-being. There’s actually little conscious choice involved in the matter. Because practitioners intend for traditional Chinese medicine to work holistically, it doesn’t work on a piecemeal basis.


acupuncture for insomnia
Photo by Vladislav Muslakov/


Medications vs acupuncture for insomnia

As with many things involving Western medical practices, sleep medications only work to address the symptom of sleeplessness itself. They do nothing to address the underlying causes. This means that if the medications stop, the symptoms return, often with a vengeance. The only other choice with this option is to continually take the medications for as long as they’re needed. However, this more often than not might mean taking sleep medications for life. Doing so presents other, even more dangerous risks, including addiction and damage to internal organs.


There is a growing body of research on the use of acupuncture for various issues. These studies have found exceedingly few dangers to the millennia-old healing modality—certainly not the dangers presented in the alternative above. Instead, people would often find themselves going in for a series of treatments for a specific condition. Afterward, they come out of them feeling better than anticipated, simply because the other issues they’ve long ignored have also benefited from the experience.



How acupuncture can help regulate sleep

Photo via PxHere


Different people experience insomnia or other sleep issues in a way that’s specific to them. In broad terms, this may include the following:


  • General difficulty falling asleep
  • Multiple sleep disturbances during the night
  • Inability to fall back into sleep after a disturbance
  • Unrestful and/or nightmare-plagued sleep


To address these diverse sleep problems, the acupuncturist would do a consultation and give a diagnosis, after which she or he would tailor acupuncture techniques along with other traditional Chinese healing modalities, all to suit the specific needs of the patient.


We should take into account that it would likely take more than a single session for lasting effects to be felt. This is because practitioners consider acupuncture for insomnia, or for any other issue, to be a corrective procedure. It might take several sessions before the body could recognize its rehabilitation into its proper, healthy and well-functioning state.


Specifically, acupuncture can help regulate and improve sleep by directly targeting the possible root of the issue, not just the symptom. The owner and main acupuncture practitioner in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic is Ms. Tram Pham, L.Ac. Having studied under the late Master Dr. Richard Tan, she employs the acupuncture system known as the Balance Method, blended with other traditional Chinese medicine practices, to accomplish desired outcomes.


Learn more about how acupuncture can help maintain your overall health and wellness.



How acupuncture works

The acupuncturist would zero in on distal points in the body’s energy pathways that, while not immediately obvious, have links to the possible problem areas. Stimulating these points could simultaneously trigger the body’s response to threat and facilitate the start of healing for the real, underlying issue. Acupuncture can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, for instance. Meanwhile, it can induce the release of serotonin, which the body converts into melatonin to achieve sleep. The more of this neurotransmitter the body has, the better the quality of sleep at night.


That’s not all serotonin is good for. It could also help regulate mood, which means that acupuncture’s effects could also be felt during daylight by promoting the body’s relaxation and the mind’s calmness. By targeting a possible root cause of insomnia like chronic pain, acupuncture could also stabilize the flow of energy within the body; by getting it to achieve proper balance, it could start functioning as it should, releasing natural painkillers and eventually starting the process of self-healing. This is a cycle deeply rooted in the Chinese concept of yin and yang.



About acupuncture in Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

Licensed acupuncturists insert long, thin needles into the energy points in the skin to achieve results for this condition and for others. If that sounds alarming, worry not. Acupuncture for insomnia at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic involve premium Japanese needles that are thinner and sharper. This means that there’s typically minimal pain even with regular acupuncture needles. However, for sensitive patients, especially children, these one-off use needles offer reduced sensation. Their use comes at no extra cost.


The clinic also operates an Herbal Pharmacy with a range of medicinal powders, teas, herbs, and pills that may be prescribed in conjunction with the main acupuncture treatment, as well as the clinic’s other therapeutic services offered, including tui na, fire cupping, and moxibustion. Even if you live outside Santa Barbara, you can benefit from the clinic’s services by setting a consultation through video or phone call. We could also mail your prescribed herbal remedies wherever you live in the country.