Traditional Chinese medicine is based around a very intriguing central idea: when the body is harmony, it will function properly because that is what it is supposed to do. They believed that in order to be healthy and happy, all aspects of life must hold a balance with each other; people must live in a fashion that makes finding harmony and happiness possible.
There is an abundance of factors that affect the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual being; they all must be balanced perfectly to promote a healthy lifestyle and good sleeping habits. Their tradition states that health problems are caused by imbalance and lack of harmony in your lifestyle. As a traditional Chinese practice, Acupuncture follows the same formula; the purpose of treatment is to find and fix the underlying symptoms. Because both Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea are treated for their underlying causes, Acupuncture is a great way to combat the problem.
What is Acupuncture?
There are over 2,000 different pressure points all over the body. In Chinese medicine, it is believed that the different pressure points create different pathways through the body. Various pressure points create twelve main pathways, and eight secondary pathways throughout the body. The channels that are connected by pressure points are known as meridians, and they create a circuit of energy that lies underneath the skin of the body, but above the organs. The energetic force that flows through the medians of the body is called Qi.
The Qi can flow freely throughout the body, traveling through the circuits. When one of the meridians experiences a blockage, partially or completely, the Qi’s path is disrupted. If the meridian becomes completely blocked, the Qi will cease to flow. After an extended period of built up pressure behind the blockage, and the eventual breaking of the karmic blockage will result in a wave of positive energy and emotions. All of the various channels of energy are determining the balance between the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual harmony in your life.
Acupuncture is the process of sticking needles into the various pressure points of the body to manipulate the balance of energy. Acupressure helped identify the various pressure points of the body that affect sleeping habits and problems. Acupressure is used to induce sleep by pressing these pressure points lightly. Acupuncture and Acupressure are both considered to increase blood and oxygen circulation in the body, reduce anxiety, relieve muscle tension, and manipulate breathing patterns to induce states of relaxation.
How Does Acupuncture Help Sleep Apnea?
Practitioners of Chinese medicine believe that a pattern of phlegm-dampness is the cause of Sleep Apnea. When the body faces airway obstruction during the night and snoring commences, it is because the excess phlegm. Several different pressure points on the body have been identified as phlegm-contributors. In addition to acupuncture, herbal remedies are used in order to resolve the phlegm and help it drain out. Sleep Apnea patients often experience constant obstruction of the nasal cavity. When this tissue is constantly obstructed, it becomes deprived of oxygen and the nutrients inside the tissue stop functioning. Acupuncture does not only allow phlegm to be disposed of, it dilates the blood vessels in the nasal cavity. Once the vessels are dilated, the starved oxygen and nutrients become free again and are able to repair the damaged nasal tissue; the oxygen and nutrients also assist the process of phlegm removal. Most of the pressure points associated with Sleep Apnea are found on the neck.
How Long Will it Take to See the Results of Acupuncture for Sleep Apnea?
Acupuncture is not a miracle cure for the sleeping disorder, and patients should not expect to see signs of improvement immediately. Also, don’t be alarmed if the immediate effects wear off after a period of time. After undergoing acupuncture sessions regularly over time, the meridians in the body begin to find a balance and correct any problems associated with the imbalance, even Sleep Apnea. Many people who have undergone acupuncture for sleeping disorders report an overall improvement in their health and well-being.
What Lifestyle Changes are Required with Acupuncture?
After you begin acupuncture treatments, you will have to make some adjustments to your lifestyle. It is suggested that acupuncture patients stop drinking caffeine, adjust their daily routine, and reconsider their diet options. In order for acupuncture to correctly identify and manipulate the meridians in the body, suggestions made by medical professionals about lifestyle adjustments should be taken seriously.
Who Doesn’t Benefit From Sleep Apnea Acupuncture?
Acupuncture would not be an appropriate treatment method for people who experience apneas due to structural problems. Narrow airways, abnormalities, and a lose tongue will not be fixed with acupuncture. In addition, some cases of snoring and Sleep Apnea are caused by strongly driven hormones. Acupuncture will not affect the performance or functioning of vital hormones in the body.
What is Auriculotherapy and How Does it Help Treat Sleep Apnea?
There is a specific branch of acupuncture called Auroculotherapy Acupoint Pressure; it has shown to improve the symptoms of Sleep Apnea. In this particular category of acupuncture, treatment involves focusing on the ear. It is treated as a microsystem, and the rest of the body is seen as an outer addition to the ear, known as the auricle. Needles are inserted into the outer areas of the ear in an effort to stimulate the critical points of the ear. Other points on the ear can be specifically treated with pressure that is applied manually; this process is called Auricular Acupressure. Auricular Acupressure is also known commonly as Reflexology.
Meridians located around the ear must be unblocked in order to properly treat the underlying causes of sleeping disorders like Sleep Apnea. When the needle is inserted into different pressure points around the ear, the meridians become unblocked. Some auriculotherapists choose not to focus on the energy flowing in the meridians. Instead, this specific category chooses to focus on the ear, and how it is a localized system of reflex that directly connects to the nervous system. Auricular Acupressure can treat the causes of Central Sleep Apnea by communicating with the central nervous system directly through the pressure points in the ear.