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Acupuncture For Insomnia

Insomnia is defined as a condition of unsatisfactory quantity and/or quality of sleep lasting for a considerable period of time (WHO 2007). It includes difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or early final wakening (WHO 2007; American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Although drugs given to induce sleep (hypnotics) can provide some relief from the symptoms of insomnia, they do not treat the underlying cause. Hypnotics also have many potential harmful side effects such as adverse effects on health, and the risk of dependence. Patients can often find it difficult to sleep naturally, without pills or medicine in the future.


There are many well recognised patterns which explain why the mind refuses to close down at night, even though someone is physically exhausted. An acupuncturist will want to know not simply about sleeping patterns, but everything else to do with daily functioning. It is likely that there will be other signs and symptoms which will allow them to identify what is out of balance and needs to be harmonised.


However, there are now consistent and substantial studies showing acupuncture to be an effective way to treat insomnia (Luo 2010, Reza 2010, Yeung 2009, Lee 2009a, Huang 2009, and others). A series of thin needles are used to apply pressure very carefully to specific points along the surface of the skin.


Research published in the Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion (Ye et al) finds acupuncture 90% effective in improving total sleep duration and sleep quality, lowering relapse rates and producing no adverse effects. Through the stimulation of certain acupuncture points, acupuncture affects areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain responsible for insomnia (Hui 2010). The research concluded that acupuncture significantly improves sleep time and sleep quality while improving the overall mental and physical health of patients. Similarly, a study by Wang et al. found that acupuncture benefits sleep and reduces insomnia. The study compared acupuncture with sham acupuncture and estazolam, a benzodiazepine medication. True (verum) acupuncture produced significantly superior patient outcomes for insomnia patients including improvements in sleep quality and total sleep time.


Importantly, taking acupuncture for insomnia has proven most effective when combined with herbal medicine, incorporated into the patient’s diet. For example, the herb Suan Zao Ren helps to enrich the blood that flows to the heart and liver while regulating and relaxing the liver meridian. This is one of the preferred herbal approaches to treating insomnia when there is a liver or heart problem, but it’s important to remember that in Traditional Chinese Medicine, a diagnosis is reached after carefully assessing the specific state of the individual patient. There is no ‘one treatment for all’ approach to insomnia, each patient receives an individualised treatment tailored to their needs. Therefore, herbal formulas can often include a variety of herbs, depending on the patient. There are a variety of Chinese herbal formulas that have been shown to help those with insomnia to sleep more deeply and to achieve restful sleep for longer periods of time.


Each patient is unique, and each person who can’t sleep does so in a way that is specific to them. The best advice will always be that given after a face-to face assessment. If you suffer from insomnia or sleep deprivation, give us a call on 0207 586 7348 or email to see how we can help. More infomration relate to acupuncture for insomnia, please visit Insomnia webpage.



World Health Organization 2007. International Statistical Classification of Disease 10th revision (ICD-10) [online]. Available:

Ye GC & Yan H. (2014). Therapeutic Observation of Acupuncture for Depressive Insomnia. Shanghai Journal of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 55(6).

Observation on the mechanism of acupuncture treatment for generalized anxiety disorder using Lieque (LU7), Zhaohai (KI6) as the main acupoints. Lin, Chuhua; Zhao, Xiaoyan; Liu, Xing; Fu, Wenbin. Bioinformatics and Biomedicine (BIBM), 2013 IEEE International Conference on. 18-21, 12-2-13.

Lin-Peng Wang, Guo, Jing, Cun-Zhi Liu, Jie Zhang, Gui-Ling Wang, Jing-Hong Yi, Jin-Lian Cheng, and R. Musil. "Efficacy of acupuncture for primary insomnia: a randomized controlled clinical trial." Deutsche Zeitschrift für Akupunktur 57, no. 4 (2014): 31-32.



Pregnancy Joy After Acupuncture

Conception is the very first step towards having a baby, but for some becoming pregnant is not straightforward.

GinSen’s experts have in-depth experience of dealing with fertility problems, gained over thirty years of clinical practice. Our excellent reputation is based on the successful results we have achieved for our many satisfied clients.

Emma And Philip's life was perfect except for Emma (38) failing to fall pregnant. After five years of trying despite followling all the isial western routes including failed IVF treatment. Emma was beginning to think she would never have a baby. It was a chance remark by a friend that led Emma to the GinSen Clinic. 

"My consultation was reassuring. Using a combination of Chinese herbal medicine to detox my system and acupuncture to balance my hormones and reduce stress levels, my immune system was boosted and nerves stimulated around the ovaries and uterus to increase blood flow" says Emma. 

In just one montyh Emma and Philip's dreams of having a baby finally came true. Emma was pregnant also felt in much better physical condition. They are now the proud parents of gorgeous Gwenneth.

Emma and Philip tell me, when they decide to try for another baby GinSen Clinic will be their first stop. 

GinSen Clinics have had many pregnancy successes averaging one a month. The age of the clients have ranged from 30-46 presenting with various reasons for being unable from unexplained infertility to low sperm count to age.

Let Us To Help. Among celebrities who have used acupuncture with conception are Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Helena Bonham Carter. Your body is continually revealing signs about the state of your health? It's common to ignore these signs or symptoms until something more complicated arises. TCM teaches you how to read the language of your body and communicates to you how to be proactive about your health.