insomnia

Did you know that sound sleep is the best medicine? People who sleep peacefully experience boosted energy and lifted mood the next day, but those who suffer from insomnia are a totally different story, they may feel exhausted and lack motivation the next day. The common theme for insomnia is overthinking, the more you think about it, the harder you can fall asleep. Maybe you are angry about something, or maybe you eat too much at supper and your stomach is constantly sending the messages to the headquarter – your brain for directions, your central nervous system is working hard to send commands to the rest of organs including your liver, your stomach, and your intestine to digest the food while you are in bed, how can you sleep? Here is another scenario, maybe you watched a horror movie in the evening and you feel the ghosts in the movie are hunting you while you are trying to sleep, your adrenaline is surging for a fight-to-fight situation and your central nervous system is fully alert, then how can you sleep? Based on different types of insomnia, here are some important acupoints you can use to overcome insomnia and improve your sleep quality from the ancient wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Shenmen AcupointInsomnia Related to Overthinking

The heart is where your soul rests, it is associated with fire based on the Five Element Theory in TCM. Overthinking can trigger excessive fire in your heart meridian, which disturbs the mind and makes you feel restless at night.

Shen Menacupoint is also called “Spirit Gate” (HT-7). It isat the ulnar end of the distal wrist crease when the palm faces upward, at the radial side of the flexor carpi ulnaris tendon. This acupoint is in the heart meridian channel. It helps quiet the heart and spirit and promotes restful sleep. You can massage this spot on both hands for a few minutes at night before you go to bed to have a peaceful mind for a sound sleep.

Lao Gong acupoint (PC-8) is also called the “Palace of Toil”. It is in the pericardium meridian and it is located in the center of your palm, when you bend your fingers and make a fist, the spot where your middle finger touches isLao Gong acupoint. It can help reduce the fire in the heart meridian and balance the energy between the heart and mind to help achieve restful sleep.How to massage this acupoint? Form a firm fist and use the tip of your middle finger to press the point for a few seconds and then release, repeat this motion for a few minutes on both palms to clear the fire in your heart meridian.

Neiguan Acupoint

Insomnia Related to Emotional Stress

When you experience negative emotions such as anger, your heart becomes restless because your heart is very sensitive to emotions. The negative emotions of anger and depression can cause inflammation in the liver meridian if it is not resolved in a short period. These negative emotions can cause irritation and disturb the mind, which can lead to insomnia.

Nei Guan acupoint is also known as “Pericardium 6” (P-6). It is in the Pericardium meridian channel and it is located three finger breadths below the wrist on the inner forearm between the two tendons. It is a powerful point used for many different conditions, including Insomnia; nausea, and vomiting. You canuse downward pressure with your thumb between the two tendons; massage the area with firm pressure for a few minutes on both arms to calm your heart and rest your mind.
Tai Chong

Tai Chong acupoint is also called “Great Surge” (LV-3), itis an important source acupoint in the liver meridian channel.It is located on the dorsal side of both feet and between the big toe and the second toe. Slide your finger along the space between the first and second toe to the tip of the joint. This point is locatedin the depression before your finger touches the bone (metatarsal joint). Massaging this acupoint on both feet for a few minutes can not only enhance your sleep quality but also boosts energy in your liver meridian, it also helps relieve dry eyes and eye fatigue. This acupoint is especially effective for those who often wake up between 1am to 3am during midnight, which indicates the energy is diminishing in the liver meridian.

Insomnia Related to Digestive Issues

The ancient Chinese Medicine practitioner concluded, “If your stomach is not in harmony, you will feel restless.” The stomach is below your heart, if the food is stagnant in your stomach, your stomach becomes full and uncomfortable, which can block the energy flow and disturb the mind, and in turn, affects your sleep. This is why it is important to take care of your stomach issues, such as acid reflux and heartburn, it is also a good idea to eat less at your dinner time and eat your supper early, so your stomach is under rest when you go to bed.

Zu San Li acupoint is also known as “Three Miles of the Foot” (ST-36), it is a main acupoint of the stomach meridian channel. It is located in the shin bone, three cun (4 fingers widths) below the lower border of the patella and one finger width lateral from the anterior border of the prominent tibia bone in a muscle groove between the anterior tibialis and extensor digitorum longus muscles. This acupoint can effectively enhance your digestion and relieve digestive issues including acid reflux, bloating, and indigestion. How to massage this acupoint on both legs? With both of your hands in place, press your thumbs hard into the point and count for a few seconds, then release. Repeating this massage routine for a few minutes on both legs regularly can help boost your digestive system and improve your sleep quality.

If you have stomach issues, you can check these natural remedies to put your stomach back on track fast.

Yuji Acupoint

Insomnia Related to Coughs

Coughing at night can be very annoying, it can certainly affect your sleep quality. There is a magical spot in your palm that can ease your cough quickly to soothe your lungs.

Yu Ji acupoint is also called the “Fish Border” (LU-10). It is in the lung meridian channel and it is the main acupressure point for clearing the heat in the lungs. It is at the palm side of the thumb, the radial aspect of the 1st metacarpal at the midpoint of the bone at the junction of the white and red skin. This acupoint can treat cough or a cold, it also enhances your lung function. Message this point for a few minutes on both hands regularly can ease chronic bronchitis, dry cough, and calm your lungs for a restful sleep.

There are many ways to stop an annoying cough, here are some natural remedies to calm your cough easily and quickly.

Yongquan Acupoint

Insomnia Related to Menopause Symptoms

Yong Quan acupoint (KD -1) is one of the most useful points located in the kidney Meridian. It is the lowest and most yin part of the body that is in constant contact with the yin energy of Mother Earth. Where is it located? It ison the sole, in depression with a foot in plantar flexion, at the junction of the anterior 1/3 and posterior 2/3 of the line connecting the base of the 2nd and 3rd toes with the heel.

When a person lacks stamina or strength, Yongquan acupoint can help him/her draw the vital force from Mother earth to regain strength.

One of the most important relationships in the body is between the kidneys and heart meridians. The Yin energy in the kidney meridian nourishes and calms the fire energy in the heart meridian, while the heat in the heart meridian warms the water nature of the kidney meridian. Harmony between these two meridians can help achieve a peaceful mind and spirit. Therefore imbalance between the kidney and heart meridians can cause a wide range of emotional stress including anxiety, agitation, and restlessness.

Since the kidney meridian governs our longevity. As the source point in the kidney meridian, Yongquan acupoint can help calm the mind and spirit, it also helps relieve menopause symptoms, including hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety, and headaches. Yongquan acupoint also relieves aging-related issues such as memory loss, ear ringing, and nocturia.

Here are some amazing health benefits of massaging Yongquan acupoint regularly, especially in the evening between 7 pm to 9 pm when the energy in your body is peaking in the kidney meridian.

  • Detoxify the body.
  • Improve sleep quality and treat insomnia.
  • Boost your energy and reduce fatigue.
  • Relieve headache and dizziness.
  • Reduce high blood pressure.
  • Relieve sore throat, dry cough, and strained voice.

How to strengthen your kidney meridian with your ears? 

Anmian Acupoint

Anmian Acupoint – A Magical Spot for A Restful Sleep

Location of the Anmian acupoint: Press your little finger against the earlobe, and put your five fingers together, the Anmian acupoint is where your middle finger presses. It is in the hairline on the edge of the occipital bone. 



Health benefitsof Anmian acupoint include:

  1. Relieves insomnia and improves sleep quality.
  2. Reduces high blood pressure.
  3. Relieves headaches and dizziness.

How to massage this acupoint on both sides? Use the middle fingers to massage both sides for a few minutes before you go to bed to aid sleep.

You can choose the acupoints based on your health condition, the key is to massage them regularly to put insomnia at the bay. All you need is your hands to improve your health and productivity. Remember that good night sleep is the best medicine.

Besides your hands, a few healing foods can double the result to ensure that you have a sound sleep every night.

tart cherries

Tart Cherries

Tart cherries are known to have long-term healing effects used by our ancestors as a great remedy for neurodegenerative diseases, cancers, metabolic syndrome, muscle pain, gout, and arthritis. Tart cherries are also known to be rich in antioxidant-melatonin, also called “sleep hormone”. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland, which is a small gland located in the center of the brain, it helps regulate your sleep and wake cycles. Insomnia is a common problem we are facing today; it not only affects our energy level but also impacts our health and quality of life significantly. Due to excess stress, unbalanced hormones, a busy schedule, and unhealthy lifestyles, it is not a surprise that our sleep quality is compromised. The production of natural melatonin drops with age. Therefore, it is important to obtain exogenous melatonin to help maintain a healthy balance. Based on the research, 60 ml of tart berry juice offers about 85 mcg of melatonin, such small amounts of melatonin from tart berries significantly increased participants’ total sleep time and sleep efficiency. If you are suffering from insomnia, you could consider trying tart berry juice at night before you go to bed instead of sleeping pills

Dates

Dates help calm down liver spasms. In TCM, dates nourish the spleen meridian and it is good for the digestive system. Dates also aid sleep, they are rich in iron and prevent anemia. Dates are indeed a superfood.

Banana

Banana is rich in serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter to help calm your mind, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve your sleep quality. A banana can be a great evening snack; it is also a healing food for your gut health.

Camomile Tea

Camomile Tea

Camomile tea aids digestive issues such as stomach pain and irritable bowel syndromes. It also calms the nerves and relaxes the mind. It is a great remedy to reduce depression and anxiety and treat insomnia.

I also made a video on YouTube about these acupoints and how they can benefit your health, you can use it as a visual aid to help you memorize and locate these acupoints as I mentioned above, so you can apply them more efficiently to improve your sleep quality.

I hope you enjoy the information. If you would like to learn more about the amazing healing power of acupoints from the ancient wisdom of TCM, you could check my book “88 Most Important First-Aid Acupoints for Self-care from TCM”. This book includes 88 most important acupoints (acupressure points) from the ancient wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine for self-care. It is designed in a beautiful and colorful card fashion, which is very visual and user-friendly to the readers. According to TCM, all illnesses are energetic blockages in the body, acupoints can be viewed as the energetic gates that can amplify the energy flow in certain areas in the body. By stimulating specific acupoints; one can remove those energetic blockages and enhance the energy flow in these areas, thus illnesses will be resolved.

This book covers the most common health challenges, such as cold, fever, cough, sore throat, headache, indigestion, diarrhea/constipation, bloating, insomnia, night sweat, computer syndromes, shoulder pain, and back pain, etc. It can also be used to effectively manage chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, chronic pains, diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and weight management; and it can also be used for anti-aging purposes and enhancing longevity.

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About the author: Lucy Liu
Lucy Liu

As a Holistic Health Practitioner, Registered Dietitian, TCM Practitioner, Energy Healer, Master Hypnotist, Master NLP Practitioner, Advanced Theta Healing Practitioner, Author and Speaker, Lucy Liu, the founder of optimalhealthsolutions.ca, has gained a good reputation in holistic health after many years of serving patients and clients as a holistic health practitioner. Lucy has developed a unique and comprehensive approach, which combines Western Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Energy Medicine, and Alternative Medicine together, to help others achieve optimal health by creating harmony between the body, mind, and spirit, and maintain long-term success for healthy lifestyle changes.
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