You settle into a warm, comfortable bed, close your eyes and nothing happens,
you just can’t fall asleep. Hours go by and still you’re awake. The next day you
feel tired, grouchy, and are unable to focus. Does this sound familiar?
Sleepless nights happen to almost everyone at some time, but ongoing insomnia
can indicate a deeper issue and could lead to further health concerns.
Unfortunately, a common approach to treating insomnia includes prescription
sleeping medications, which can cause side effects or even dependence. That’s
one of the many reasons to consider an all-natural approach to treating your sleep
problems. Acupuncture can be a very effective way to improve your sleep quality
without side effects.
One bad night…or an ongoing issue? Occasional insomnia is a very common problem, affecting about one in four Americans. It can happen to anyone, but is more common in older adults. Its symptoms include:
Difficulty falling asleep
Waking up during the night
Waking up too early
Daytime fatigue and irritability
Frustration and moodiness
According to the theories of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), insomnia can stem from a number of causes such as stress, anxiety, medications, depression, and chronic pain. To determine the underlying causes of your insomnia, I would take into account many factors, including your lifestyle and emotional and mental well-being.
With this ancient form of healthcare, you can treat your symptoms, improve your overall health and well-being, and start looking forward to a great night’s sleep, every night.
Tips for Healthy Sleep
1.Stick to a regular schedule.
2.Plan to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
3.Stay active. Exercise regularly, but not within a few hours of bedtime.
4.Don’t eat large meals before bed.
5.Try not to nap. If you really need to nap, try to keep it short, less than 45 minutes.
6.Limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. All of these can add to sleep problems.
7.Relax. Try taking a warm bath, meditating, or reading to wind down before going to sleep
It can happen to anyone. One minute you’re outside enjoying the summer sunshine, the next,
ouch! A sprain or strain, insect bite, sunburn, or other minor injury can put you on the sidelines
if you don’t know how to handle them. Follow these tips to care for common summer ailments
naturally. Remember, if your symptoms are severe or don’t respond to self-care, contact me,
acupuncture may be able to help.
Sprains or Strains:
Remember R.I.C.E. for the first 24 to 48 hours:
Rest: Stay off the injured limb.
Ice: Apply an ice pack, 20 minutes at a time, up to 8 times a day.
Compression: Wrap area with a bandage to reduce swelling.
Elevation: Rest the injured ankle, knee, elbow, or wrist on a pillow above the level of the heart. Use arnica cream to reduce bruising and pain.
Take your vitamins: Vitamins C, E, and zinc help to reduce inflammation.
Consider acupuncture: If you have ongoing pain from a muscle injury or trauma, consider acupuncture treatment to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and speed healing.
Insect bites & other itchy skin problems:
Mosquito and wasp bites: Run water over the affected area. Apply apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or witch hazel to the area. For the next few days, try applying lavender or cinnamon oil to the bite.
Bee stings: Pulling the stinger straight out will release more venom. Instead, scrape the stinger out with your fingernail, the edge of a credit card, or other straight edged object.
Poison ivy: Minimize the rash by washing the area thoroughly with soap and cold water as quickly as possible. Try the homeopathic remedy Rhus toxicodendron to relieve the itching.
Sunburn: Apply a towel soaked in cool water to the affected area for 20 minutes as soon as you notice the burn. Spread aloe vera gel, preferably fresh from the plant, directly on the burned area to relieve pain, speed healing, and prevent scarring. Try a baking soda paste or plain yogurt compress to soothe the skin.
Cool-Out Summer Salad
6 medium tomatoes
2 small cucumbers
4 radishes, sliced
2 scallions, minced
1 large dill or sour pickle, minced
1 bell pepper, minced
1/2 cup green olives, sliced
1/2 cup red onion, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 - 2 tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
Allow salad to marinate for 1 hour.
Cut tomatoes in half, squeeze, discard seeds, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
Toss all ingredients together. Serve cool or at room temperature.
From the Enchanted Broccoli Forest (revised) By Mollie Katzen
Overcoming Insomnia: How to achieve peaceful quality sleep. Acupuncture.com. Accessed Feb. 1, 2008. http://www.acupuncture.com/conditions/insomniac.htm
Insomnia. MayoClinic.com. March 16, 2007. http://mayoclinic.com/health/insomnia/DS00187
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Acupuncture. Alpha Books, 2000.
Questions and Answers about Sprains and Strains. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. May 2004.
Rapaport Karlson, Amy. “Natural first-aid kit: get fast relief from 14 common ailments with these effective remedies.” Natural Health. April 2003. FindArticles.com. 11 May. 2008.
© Copyright Acupuncture Media Works/AcuDownloads, All Rights Reserved. The information contained within the Acu News newsletter is only used to educate and inform. This newsletter is not a substitute for the advice of a licensed and registered health care provider. Seek prompt attention for emergencies. Consult a health care provider for specific health concerns, and before starting a diet, cleanse or exercise routine.
Acupuncture Alexandria LLC - Sarah Shupe Hung L.Ac., FABORM