Insomnia is the inability to sleep. It is separated into difficulty getting to sleep and waking earlier than wanted. Many people have both. It is often a symptom of another problem like depression, which has a similar energetic diagnosis. Insomnia is acute or chronic, most the sufferers have chronic insomnia, going back many years even into childhood. There are a number of causal possibilities, however in Chinese Medicine insomnia usually involves the Qi of the heart, not the organ itself, more on an emotional level. If the heart Qi is abundant we are happy and contented. Life problems can upset and weaken the Qi of the heart. The treatment is to restore the Qi of the heart by creating fresh energy and directing it to the heart system. The appointments are usually carried out on a monthly basis, then every 3 months if a normal sleeping pattern has been established.
Other causes of insomnia.
Excess Gall Bladder Qi
This seemingly strange diagnosis is actually caused by heart Qi deficiency. It has to do with the flow of Qi through the internal organs and meridian system in a 24 hour period, what is known as Circadian rhythm. Between 11pm and 1am the Qi is most active in the Gall bladder system, this is the time of day when the Qi in the system of the heart is at its lowest (heart time is 11am to 1pm), if the heart is too weak there is a consequential excess in the gall bladder meridian that blocks sleep. This insomnia passes as the small hours draw in and the Qi moves into the next organ which is the liver at 1am.
Liver Qi Stagnation.
Liver Qi is most active at 1 to 3 am. The liver is busy processing emotions while we sleep and this comes out in our dreams, this is a natural process. Increased activity can wake us up, usually excess emotions are the cause but its can also be caused by excess food intake, medication or an over sedentary lifestyle.
Kidney Qi stagnation.
Another common energetic diagnosis of insomnia is stagnation of the Qi of the kidneys (which effects the heart Qi) this is discussed in more detail on the pages dealing with depression and anxiety and stress).