Insomnia that is not due to an organic cause is defined as a condition of unsatisfactory quantity and/or quality of sleep . It includes difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or early wakening .

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Reviews are consistent in showing that most trials have found acupuncture to be significantly more effective than sleeping tablets. Considering the addictive nature of sleeping tablets, acupuncture could be considered as a safer alternative.

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms. This promotes physical and emotional well-being. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for insomnia and anxiety.

Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically be of benefit in people with insomnia by:

  • increasing nocturnal endogenous melatonin secretion .
  • stimulating b-endorphin production and µ-opioid receptor activity .
  • increasing nitric oxide synthase activity and nitric oxide content, which could help to regulate sleep .
  • increasing cerebral blood flow
  • reducing sympathetic nervous system activity, hence increasing relaxation
  • regulating levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA and neuropeptide Y. This alters the brains’s mood chemistry to help to increase relaxation and reduce tension


Acupuncture works on different pathways

The pathways which acupuncture uses are myriad, and in any 1 person or medical condition the pathways will be different, so we urge people to try treatment at least 6 times for their condition before evaluating.  The outcomes for different conditions and different people makes it impossible to predict how any one person will respond.

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