Acupuncture for Insomnia: A Much Safer and More Effective Way to a Peaceful Sleep

insomniaInsomnia is not only a condition of the elderly. At some point in our young lives, we may experience sleepless nights or even difficulty falling asleep. There may also be times when we wake up in the middle of the night only to find ourselves unable to get right back to slumberland. There may also have been instances when we woke up very early in the morning. While some of us would instantly pop a sleeping pill to help with our insomniac tendencies, this is not really a safe way to go. A much safer and more effective way to a peaceful sleep is by getting acupuncture for insomnia.

Don’t believe us? How many of you have already tried getting a really deep, soothing, and relaxing massage at your favourite health and wellness spa clinic? Or how many of you have tried getting a loved one massage your head or even stroke your hair? During these instances, we are pretty sure you felt somehow relaxed and could almost certainly swear that you’re already falling asleep. Now, try getting an acupuncture session from any of the highly trained and duly certified practitioners from Freedom Chinese Medicine and you’ll instantly be in la-la land in no time at all.

What Causes Insomnia?

Before we go into understanding how acupuncture can help you with your insomnia, let us first understand what causes it in the first place. There are many reasons why we have difficulty sleeping. It can be because of too much stress that keeps our minds too preoccupied even when it’s already time to call it a day. We’re not saying that everyone who is under stress will experience insomnia, but, the fact of the matter is that, stress has always been implicated in a variety of health conditions that it’s virtually impossible not to consider it as a cause of insomnia. Nevertheless, the following are some of the more common causes of our difficulty sleeping.

  • Stress
  • Irregular schedules at work
  • Certain medications
  • Life changes
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic pain
  • The use of stimulants such as caffeine and certain over the counter drugs
  • Mental health conditions such generalized anxiety disorders or even depression
  • Certain health problems like asthma, hyperthyroidism, arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease

If we are going to look closely at these causes, the major problem is in the disruption of the natural circadian rhythm of our bodies. It’s like our body’s natural alarm clock that tells the different organs when it’s time to wake up and when it’s time to rest. If the process of telling our body the time for physiologic processes to either commence or rest is flawed, interrupted, or changed, then we’re faced with the inability to get sufficient sleep. It is also possible that the timing mechanism in our brain has been rewired that it is now malfunctioning such as what happens when we use stimulants or even illicit substances. The point is that our brain is no longer able to process all the different information that it requires to tell the rest of the body that it’s time to sleep.

How Can Acupuncture Help?

Since the major issue is in our circadian rhythm, a variety of approaches can actually be used to attempt to reset our biological clock. These can include naturopathic supplementation, light therapy, dietary modification, breathing exercises, and acupuncture. Now, you may be wondering how acupuncture can possibly help us.

Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine believe that insomnia is caused by the disruption in the flow of chi or qi, the life force of our body. All over the body are meridians that correspond to different organ systems which are also connected to our emotions. For instance, the meridian of the heart is known to equate to anxiety while the meridian that covers the liver is typically associated with stress and anger. The energy of the emotional aspect of our being is known as shen. When this energy is blocked, because of stress and anxiety or any other emotional problem, balance is not achieved resulting in insomnia.

When we are under stress, as what can happen if we have a lot of unfulfilled commitments at work or even unexpected changes in our lives, our emotional balance goes awry and our emotional energy, shen, becomes hyperactive. This makes us unable to sleep whenever we want to. It also keeps us from attaining REM sleep further aggravating the stress that we feel because our body was not able to get rid of this excess psychic energy. We are also easily aroused or waken up because of the hypersensitivity of our shen.

This is where acupuncture can help. By removing the blockage to the flow of our shen, we are able to fall asleep a lot easier and faster. We can also achieve REM sleep a lot more efficiently. We will also not wake up that early or too easily.

We know you’re a bit sceptical about the use of acupuncture for insomnia. A 2004 study published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences showed that anxious patients were able to sleep better when treated with insomnia. In 2001, the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care published a study about the improvements in the quality of sleep of HIV/AIDS patients after undergoing 5 weeks of highly individualised acupuncture. There are many more studies that show just how effective acupuncture is in improving the sleep patterns of patients. Now, if these sick individuals were able to derive such benefits, what more for healthier individuals like us?

Acupuncture is a safe and effective way to sleep better and sounder. Visit your nearest licensed acupuncturist now or try Freedom Chinese Medicine’s renowned acupuncture treatments and experience more restful sleeps.

Dark Miracle Food: Isn’t Chocolate Bad for the Health?

chocolateLife is a box full of chocolates, so goes the popular movie line. It is rare to meet someone who is averse to eating chocolates. At the very least, every single person must have had the experience of tasting this delectable sweet; otherwise, he surely missed a lot in his life.

However, chocolates have been getting the bad rap for many years because of its association to weight gain and obesity. In some cases, chocolates are being blamed for the alarmingly increasing number of diabetics. The rich fat content of chocolates, gram per gram, is almost synonymous to the average weight gain of diabetic and obese individuals. So-called fitness gurus likewise, labeled the chocolate as an absolute no-no for serious weight loss regimens.

However, scientific experts also recognize that certain chocolates are actually beneficial because they contain certain substances that offer a variety of protective functions on the body’s vital organs such as the heart. This leads to the debate – is chocolate good or bad for you?

What is in Chocolates?

Chocolates are derived from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao, better known as the cacao tree or cocoa tree. The main ingredient is the cocoa that is packed with flavonols – a special type of flavonoid – that have been established to have a protective function on the cardiovascular system by decreasing the coagulability of blood to prevent unnecessary clot formation. Flavonols are also known to be effective in lowering systemic blood pressure as well as improving the flow of blood to the heart muscle and the brain.

It is these flavonols found in cocoa beans that make chocolates a healthy alternative to cardiovascular medications. Upon learning that chocolates are good for your health, it is time to find a quality store that offers quality chocolate products which are made for wellness. These are what you can find when you visit our site at

What makes Chocolates Bad?

Since cocoa beans need to be processed into the different varieties of chocolates, the number of processes the beans has to undergo critically decreases the amount of flavonols. Add to this the other ingredients used to sweeten and tame the bitter taste of the cocoa beans and the result is lesser amounts of flavonols and more of the calorie-rich sugars, milk, and other fats.

One thing to remember, the more highly-processed a chocolate is, the greater is the variance of the flavonols from the original, the less likely is it to have any health benefits. Also, the darker and more bitter the chocolate bar, the greater is the chance that it is less processed; hence, it contains sufficiently greater amounts of flavonols. To keep it simple, dark and bitter chocolate is better for your health than brown, cream, or white-colored sweet chocolates.  

What are the Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate?

The main health benefit of the flavonols in dark chocolates is in cardio-protection. It is generally regarded as useful in lowering the risk of developing atherosclerosis or the narrowing of a major blood vessel because of the deposition of fatty plaques on the inner surface of the blood vessel wall. This helps improve blood flow to all vital organs of the body, including the muscles of the heart itself. Flavonols are known to reinforce the structural strength of blood vessels as well as maintain a more stable hemodynamic flow. It prevents the unnecessary aggregation of platelets to prevent blood clots and ensure a steadier flow of blood.

  • Dark chocolate has antioxidants that can mitigate the damaging effects of free radicals that accumulate inside the human body. Used with other anti-oxidants, flavonols can provide ample protection at the cellular level to delay the effects of aging.
  • Dark chocolates have also been shown to influence inflammation by blocking the production and action of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase. These two enzymes are important in the promotion of inflammation. Flavonols thus have an anti-inflammatory benefit.
  • Dark chocolates have also been shown to protect the different brain tissues from cerebral hypoxia as well as assist in the regeneration of peripheral nerve cells (these are nervous tissue outside the brain and spinal cord). It is also useful in promoting optimum blood flow to the different regions of the brain, significantly improving cognitive functioning.

Get Your Dose of Healthy Chocolates

Choosing the right chocolate is an important step in leading a healthier chocolate-themed lifestyle. You will be glad to know that there are now health stores dedicated solely to providing you with only the best and healthiest chocolates to cater to both your cravings and your desire for a healthier you.