Acupuncture, Moxibustion, and Combination Therapies for Insomnia
Insomnia, a common sleep disorder, affects general well-being, hastens the onset of other diseases, and impairs work performance. Hypnotic medications are efficacious in the short term but have obvious side effects. Acupuncture, often used to treat insomnia in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), is considered to be beneficial in restoring the normal sleep-wake cycle by regulating and restoring the natural flow of qi (energy power). The three main TCM theories for treating insomnia by
... omnia by acupuncture are the tranquilization disturbance, zangfu disturbance (disequilibrium of internal organs), and imbalance of yin and yang theories. Moxibustion, another treatment for insomnia, is usually combined with acupuncture. Acupuncture and moxibustion with tuina (exercise massage), acupuncture with Chinese herbal injection, electroacupuncture, and acupuncture with medication or psychotherapy are other interventions. Some acupuncture-based methods such as needle-rolling acupuncture, auricular acupoint plaster therapy, phlebotomy, and acupoint catgutembedding therapy are used as well. Although most clinical trials have shown that acupuncture and its combination therapies are significantly effective in insomnia, the beneficial effects may have been overvalued, because of small sample size, nonstrict inclusion and exclusion criteria, flawed methodology, short follow-up, or nonstandardized evaluation. Therefore, clinical studies of high methodological quality are needed to verify the efficacy of acupuncture, moxibustion, and other combination therapies in insomnia.