Premenstrual Syndrome – Not Necessary

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is common but not a necessary part of having a period. PMS in Western terms is due primarily to a hormone imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. In Chinese Medicine the Liver plays a significant role, though the other organ systems are part of the picture too. It can be treated with diet, herbal formulas, acupuncture, homeopathy, stress reduction, and exercise.

Different Types of Insomnia – Part 3

Insomnia can be caused by stagnation of various substances, such as qi, blood, food, or phlegm. Each type of stagnation creates a different pattern of insomnia, and it is crucial to differentiate these patterns before trying any treatment. Qi stagnation in the Heart can be correlated with reduced circulation in the chest, and often results from shock or trauma. Blood stagnation, a more localized obstruction, can present as coronary artery disease. If there is stagnation of food in the digestive system the parasympathetic nervous system can be under-activated. Insomnia that presents with other mental health issues is considered to be phlegm, or mucus, that is obscuring the Heart and effecting consciousness. The phlegm often comes from the digestive system, and there is a link between digestive function and mental health issues.

Different Types of Insomnia – Part 2

Insomnia is often due to a state of deficiency. There can be qi deficiency, where the person wakes frequently without agitation or restlessness, and is able to fall back asleep easily. This corresponds with issues around electrolyte regulation by the kidneys and adrenals. The next is yin deficiency, with frequent waking along with restlessness, corresponding with sex hormone imbalance and more frank adrenal fatigue. Yang deficiency, where the person must sleep in an upright position, presents biomedically as heart failure. Blood deficiency is where the person wakes after 3-5 hours of sleep but is able to fall back asleep after 30-60 minutes. This corresponds to problems with liver glycogen storage.

Different Types of Insomnia – Part 1

Many, many people have trouble sleeping. Some amount of difficulty sleeping has become so widespread people are starting to think it’s normal, especially as we get older. It might be normal, but it’s not healthy. Getting good quality sleep is one of the most important ways to stay healthy and vital. Sleep from a Chinese Medicine perspective offers a more nuanced understanding of the causes of insomnia. All matters of consciousness involve the Heart, therefore insomnia is first and foremost a Heart issue. If the Heart qi is agitated at first there will be difficulty falling asleep due to excessive thoughts, which corresponds in the Western perspective to an overactive sympathetic nervous system. With more severe Heart qi agitation there can be no sleep at all, such as in manic states. This is related to a state of excess dopamine in the brain.

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