Acupuncture is a great way to treat insomnia without the harsh side effects caused by pharmaceutical drugs. There are many different reasons why one may suffer from insomnia. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) each individual has their own pattern which describes how the body is out of balance. From here we are able to treat the imbalance using fine hair like needles at specific points along the different meridians that run through the body.
Two very effective acupuncture points used to treat insomnia are Heart 7 and Pericardium 6. Both of these points are closely related in many ways. From the anatomical location and the Qi sensation one feels when needed to their close relationship between the “Shen” aka spirit and the calming effect is has, make these points a great duo for promoting sleep.
The TCM name for Heart 7 is Shenmen and means Spirit Gate. The TCM name for Pericardium 6 is Neiguan and means Inner Gate. Sometimes both of these gates need to open and to not only release anything bad from the inside out but also opened up for positive influences from the outside in.
Heart 7 can be located on the anterior side of the transverse crease of the wrist. There is a little depression on the radial side of the ulnar tendon where the point can be found. However, at times I actually prefer to needle this point from the ulnar side under the ulnar tendon, where we can achieve the same result and can often be more comfortable for the patient.
Pericardium 6 can be located on the anterior side of the wrist, about 2 finger widths from the transverse crease of the wrist. The point can be found between the two tendons (palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis) that run up your arm. This point just like Heart 7, when activated can provide strong radiating sensation up the channels.
Of course, there are more than two acupuncture points used during a treatment, along with other TCM modalities. We believe in taking a full mind-body-soul approach to healing. If you or a loved is struggling with sleep then inquiring about Heart 7 and Pericardium 6 is a great place to start!