Always do your due diligence and find out what is driving your patient’s insomnia. Is it primary (difficulty falling asleep), middle (liver type – waking in the middle of the night and unable to go back to sleep)? What time of night does it happen? Does your patient fall asleep, but sleep lightly and have nightmares?
Primary insomnia can come from Heart and Kidney failing to communicate or from excess heart fire. Chronic and middle insomnia is treated by soothing Liver and nourishing blood in herbal treatment.
The Kidney meridian opens orifices and ears, but Suwen says Heart can also open orifices on the ears. By bleeding the ears at the ear apex (Er Xia) you create communication between Heart and Kidney. This treatment is an acupuncture version of an herbal treatment.
Shaoyang channels also go through the ears. Bleeding here creates communicates with this channel as well. Bleeding the Er Xia works even for chronic insomnia, though may take longer to show the effect if the patient has had the problem a long time. If possible, do several treatments weekly for faster and better effect.
|Dr. Robert Chu’s Protocol for Insomnia|
Needle Ling gu and Da Bai on the right for women, left for men.
|Ling Gu & Da Bai|
|Huo Ying & Huo Zhu|
|Dr. Young’s Insomnia Points|
|Option 1: Prick Er Xia and Zong Shu to bleed||Li 4|
|Er Xia (ear apex)|
|Zong Shu 1010.07|
|Option 2:||Xia San Huang + Zhengjing|
|Option 3:||Da Bai & Jiu Li|
|Option 4: Insomnia + irritability/vexation + chest oppression||Jiang Gu + Lv 2 + Gb 31|
Though some texts recommend Ling Gu & Da Bai on the right for women, left for men, you can swap them if you need to.
Regarding Dr. Chu’s protocol, Yintang and Du 20 will help calm the spirit. Ling Gu and Da Bai along with Huo Ying and Huo Zhu is a form of Four Gates to help move stuck Qi and therefore blood. Xia San Huang, which is on the Spleen Channel, will help with pensiveness and overthinking associated with insomnia. It also helps tonify the blood – poor Heart blood can be a root cause for insomnia with difficulty getting to sleep, monkey mind, light sleeping, excessive dreaming.
- Insomnia due to excess: 50/50 blend of Suan Zao Ren Tang and Xiao Yao San or Evergreen’s Calm ES
- Insomnia due to blood deficiency: Ba Zhen Tang or Evergreen’s Schisandra ZZZ
- Insomnia due to Liver Qi stagnation: Calm ZZZ before bedtime, Xiao Yao San during the day