Acupuncture has been a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries, providing treatments for everything from head colds to insomnia. Some people are starting to look to it as one of the many alternative sleeping aids in the face of side effects of more conventional sleeping pills. After all, even medical science can have trouble arguing with several centuries’ worth of concrete results.
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Sleeping aids are among the most common medications a person can find, ostensibly because of the sheer number of people who can’t get to sleep. However, these new medications are starting to show side effects that people are not willing to deal with, such as drowsiness at inopportune times. These effects, along with the newfound interest in herbal and natural cures for modern ills, has prompted people to seek out alternative ways to fix their sleeping problems. Herbal remedies are more typical, but acupuncture has sometimes been used as one of those alternative sleeping aids people go crazy about.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese art that has been used to serve as treatment for everything, from the common cold to stomach aches. This method is based on the Chinese principle of chi and meridians. Chi is the force of life, a sort of energy that flows in and through all living things, comparable to the concept of the Force, from the “Star Wars” films. In certain areas of the body are meridians, which serve as focal points for a person’s chi. According to acupuncture practitioners, tapping into or altering these meridians can help improve or block the flow of chi, depending how it is done. Illnesses, according to this school of thought, are caused by imbalances in the flow of chi and other natural elements found in the body.
So, how does this tie into being listed among other alternative sleeping aids? Well, according to practitioners, an imbalance of both chi and the natural elements of the body can lead to all sorts of ailments, including insomnia and other sleep-related disorders. Acupuncture practitioners say that insomnia and lack of sleep can be caused by any number of subtle or drastic changes to the flow of the chi, which is exactly the sort of problem acupuncture is designed to remedy. Chronic pain, another frequent cause for a lack of sleep, is also something that can be treated through acupuncture. Despite all the skepticism it encounters in the West, Far Eastern cultures have been using acupuncture for centuries, and it can be difficult to argue with centuries’ worth of concrete results.
Most people are reluctant to try out something like acupuncture, primarily because they find the idea of sticking needles into their bodies to be disconcerting. However, the reality is that acupuncture produces little to no pain when performed by a skilled, qualified practitioner. Pain, discomfort, and other side effects stem from being treated by unqualified practitioners and quacks, who are starting to become more prevalent as the market share for these sorts of alternative sleeping aids expands. Acupuncture can also be used to treat other problems, such as stress and anxiety, at the same time that sleep problems are treated. This eliminates the need for someone to take multiple drugs to tackle multiple conditions, seeing as how acupuncture (properly administered) can be used to treat all those conditions in one go.
It should be noted, however, that acupuncture is not designed to fix everything in just one session. Like any good treatment, it needs to be applied repeatedly for the effects to last. However, provided that the treatment is taken regularly for a certain period, then the blockage of the chi should eventually clear and any sleep problems that a person has would be solved. At least, until something blocks the chi all over again.