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Aug 11

Pointing the Way: Insomnia

About 1 in 10 people have at least a moderate level of insomnia. Most people just live with it but over time, their body doesn’t get the recovery that it would normally get during sleep and their memory, concentration and health worsen. I believe that getting a good night’s sleep is one of the keys to good health, so here is something you can do to improve your sleep.

The World Health Organisation acknowledges that insomnia can be treated successfully with acupuncture. A commonly used point to treat insomnia is “Anmian”, which translates into “Peaceful Sleep”. In Chinese Medicine, when you are unable to sleep, it is considered that your “spirit is not housed properly” and this acupuncture point can help to settle it again by “calming the spirit”. You can use pressure on this point to create this effect.

To find this point, immediately behind the ear near the earlobe, there is a small rounded bit of bone which points downwards called the “mastoid process”. Place your finger on the protruding part of the bone, let it slip backwards and it will slip into a depression. From here, slide the finger diagonally up and back about one centimetre towards the base of your skull. This point is Anmian.

HN-54 Anmian

Place your finger or thumb on Anmian and apply circular pressure slightly upward under the skull, circling 100 times. You should have a deep aching feeling and a feeling of relaxation.

In Chinese Medicine, there are a number of causes of disturbance of the spirit resulting in insomnia, which are treated with acupuncture, herbs, and diet and lifestyle advice, but pressing this point can provide you with some relief.