|Some common causes are:|
1. Overwork, especially "knowledge" and "thinking" work, is a predominant form of laboring in today's high-tech high-paced society. All type of work and especially "knowledge" and "thinking" work consumes blood. Blood is necessary to house the Shen (Spirit) in Chinese medicine. In the simplest terms blood consists of its yin and yang components, the substance or fluid being yin and containing nourishment and the yang component being Qi (Chee) or energy and the bloods capacity to move through the body see Chinese Medicine. Blood is truly a nourishing fluid in your body and is closely associated with Western medicine describes when pointing out the importance of blood in body function i.e. cells, immune system, hormones, etc..
Shen in Chinese medicine is best translated as spirit. It is an elusive concept - it includes the Western ideas about mind, consciousness, and Shen is associated with the force of human personality, the ability to think, discriminate, and choose appropriately. In a healthy person, Shen is the capacity of the mind to form ideas and is the desire of the personality to live life. When Shen loses its harmony, an individual's eyes may lack luster and their thinking may be muddled. A person so affected may be slow, forgetful or perhaps suffer insomnia.
The connection with Shen and sleeping is that your Shen, which is awake when you are and interacts with the world, needs to rest in something cool and protecting while you're asleep. That's where blood comes in . If the blood is damaged by overwork or is otherwise compromised... you won't sleep well. At our Clinic, in addition to acupuncture and herbal therapies to harmonize the Shen, we coach you on setting up your sleep environment and being sensitive to pre-sleep and sleep environment temperature adjustments. We encourage you to develop committed plans to stop any work at least one hour before sleep and avoid working out future to-do-lists and overactive mental activity prior to your resting time.
2. Poor eating habits and eating too late. If you're not eating plenty of whole foods and less refined processed foods to provide the nutrition you need to have robust Qi and Blood you will not be able to do much of anything including sleep. Eating too late is analogous to having a construction project going on next to your bedroom. Your Shen is trying to rest after a long day of work and a late night meal has the stomach grinding away. In Chinese medicine the heart needs to nourish the stomach and spleen and a late meal is a wake up call to the heart to help it out... making it impossible to settle down. At our Clinic, in addition to acupuncture and herbal therapies to harmonize the Shen, Stomach and Spleen, we coach you on not eating too late and if you must eat late, make it a simple balanced nourishing meal See Nutrition and eat until you are about 75 % full.
3. Thinking too much or constant worry. This is leading cause of insomnia and can be detrimental whether you do it during the day, right before bed time, or when you are trying to fall asleep. Besides burning up your blood (see 1. above) you're also agitating your heart and stagnating its movement, Qi. This impaired movement can result in heat produced from the stagnated Qi thus often result in difficulty sleeping. In addition to acupuncture and herbal therapies, many times this is going to require a lifestyle change. In acute and chronic cases our clinic offers coaching sessions and practices in deep, conscious breathing to quite the mind and make you whole again. See our page on Air
4. Neglecting Body - Mind - Spirit Cultivation. Whatever you do to soothe your body, if you don't do it as a standard practice your Spirit will fail to connect with your self. Solutions include finding a practice that gives you a feeling of well-being and connectedness. Possibilities include meditation, salt bath soaks, deep breathing see Water and Air. Also practice prayer, Qi gong and Yoga.
5. Excessive use of caffeine and alcohol. These are heat creating and dehydrating substances. The liver, heart and lungs are susceptible to heat-borne ingredients and compromise blood and circulation
|Village Center for Wellness - 5406 Village Road, Long Beach, CA 90808 - (562) 420-1585|
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