Improved Sleep Hygiene Could Lead to Better Sleep

Most of us could stand to get a good night’s sleep (or two), but with busy schedules and a ton of obligations to fulfill on a daily basis, it pretty likely that we don’t. A number of Americans also suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders, and are working during unconventional hours, which means they aren’t able to rest according to their body’s natural circadian rhythm. Acupuncturists and other Eastern medicine specialists assert that good sleep hygiene could be the key to getting more restful sleep, which could reduce conditions like anxiety, depression, mood swings and even weight gain.

One of the best ways to practice good sleep hygiene is to shut off all electronics about an hour before going to bed. Some specialists even suggest not introducing phones or tablets back into your room until the next morning when you wake up.

It’s also important to have a relaxation ritual before going to bed. This prepares the body and mind for sleep and can help you stay asleep longer. Drinking a cup of chamomile or lavender tea soothes the nervous system and makes it easier for your body to fall asleep. You may also want to take a hot bath or shower before bed to relax tired muscles and rid your body of the day’s impurities. If you have a hard time staying asleep all night, taking a melatonin supplement a couple of hours before you want to get to sleep could help. The supplement resets your body’s internal clock, which is why it also comes in handy for people who travel to different time zones often.

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Acupuncture In the Emergency Room Just Might Work

Acupuncture has been a traditional Eastern method of pain relief for untold centuries, but it has found widespread acceptance as a legitimate treatment in western countries in recent decades. Now acupuncture may find a viable medical role in a place no one ever expected – hospital emergency rooms.

Most people arrive in emergency rooms with physical trauma from accidents or a sudden onset of an illness. Patching people up and handling pain is the realm of surgical procedures and powerful pain-killing drugs that work fast, such as morphine or hydrocodone. But a new study in Australia has shown that acupuncture might be a viable alternative.

In the study, 500 emergency room patients were randomly selected to receive either standard pain medication, acupuncture combined with standard medicine or acupuncture alone. Only three types of conditions were treated: migraine headaches, back pain and ankle sprains.

The patients were then monitored for pain levels hour-by-hour and over a 24- to 48-hour duration. The results showed that acupuncture was as good at relieving pain as administering powerful opioids for back pain and ankle sprains, but had little or no effect on migraine headaches.

Researchers are encouraged by the results for a number of reasons. For one thing, opium-derived drugs, especially morphine, are highly addictive. They also wear off quickly. That means the patient needs more once pain returns. With acupuncture, pain relief is more stable, and even if pain does return, there is no need to take a drug with negative, addictive side-effects.

Even so, acupuncture for emergency room treatments poses some problems – such as the need to have a qualified acupuncturist on hand in the ER to administer the treatment. Few mainstream doctors in western clinical settings have acupuncture training. Staffing emergency rooms with a certified acupuncturist would be expensive and poses a considerable logistical challenge.

Even so, in a world where many nations are dealing with an opioid addiction crisis, turning to drug-free alternatives that are effective holds promising potential.

The Holistic Approach Of Accupuncture Is Being Used To Treat The Opioid Epidemic

One of the most current topics of discussion nationwide is the opioid epidemic. The leaders in national health, families and advocates for recovery have discussed government funding, possible improvements and prescriber guidelines. There is good news for those whose loved ones are afflicted and those experiencing this addiction. Alternative therapies are under consideration in treatment centers and medical facilities including holistic medicine such as acupuncture, art therapy and yoga.

Acupuncture is proving to be beneficial in the opioid crisis due to the ability to reduce and even eliminate the need for opioids. Researchers believe acupuncture is effective due to the ability to stimulate the endogenous opioids of the human body. Acupuncture use the chemistry of the body and exceeds the benefits received from synthetic drugs with risky side effects. Additional benefits of acupuncture include a reduction in stress, the relief of pain and an increase of chemicals found in the bodies central nervous system including dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, endorphin, epinephrine and enkephalin. For more information on the benefits of holistic medicine please visit

There are more than 250 treatment centers and hospitals in the United States and the United Kingdom who use acupuncture in their detoxification process. The World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health have both accepted acupuncture as an alternative therapy. A study conducted in April of 2016 looked at the results of acupuncture used for drug therapy. They analyzed studies conducted between 2000 and 2014 regarding using acupuncture to treat addictions for alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, morphine and opiates. Many of the results from these studies were positive and acupuncture was effective when treating addiction. Despite the fact acupuncture has not yet shown a scientific value in the treatment of addiction it is becoming a viable treatment in the reduction of prescribed opiates. This alone will reduce the number of individuals who become addicted.