Acupuncture for Insomnia
In China, acupuncture is commonly used to treat insomnia with great efficacy.It can also be used along side pharmaceutical drugs. Insomnia may have a number of causes, including stress, depression or anxiety, irregular work schedules, medications, bad diet, major life changes, chronic pain, hyperthyroidism or arthritis. Acupuncture and herbs for insomnia have high success rates treating not only the symptoms but its root cause.
How acupuncture can help
There is substantial research to show that acupuncture is significantly better than no treatment and also at least as good, if not better than, standard medical care for back pain (Yuan 2008, Furlan 2008; see the Fact Sheet on Acupuncture and Back Pain). There is less specific research on acupuncture for sciatica, but there is evidence to suggest that it may provide some pain relief (Wang 2009, Chen 2009, Inoue 2008, Wang 2004). (see overleaf)
Acupuncture can help relieve back pain and sciatica by:
- stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord (Pomeranz 1987, Zhao 2008).
- reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003).
- improving muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local microcirculation (Komori 2009), which aids dispersal of swelling.
- causing a transient change in sciatic nerve blood flow, including circulation to the cauda equine and nerve root. This response is eliminated or attenuated by administration of atropine, indicating that it occurs mainly via cholinergic nerves (Inoue 2008).
- influencing the neurotrophic factor signalling system, which is important in neuropathic pain (Dong 2006).
- increasing levels of serotonin and noradrenaline, which can help reduce pain and speed nerve repair (Wang 2005).
- improving the conductive parameters of the sciatic nerve (Zhang 2005).
- promoting regeneration of the sciatic nerve (La 2005)