The term snoring is commonly known to describe the sound made when airways are narrowed or obstructed during sleep, causing vibrations that make noise. While the term is fairly easy to understand, and most people know someone who snores. In fact, at least 90 million Americans are estimated to snore at one time or another, and almost half of those snore habitually or chronically.
Even though it’s a very common and simple problem, diagnosing and treating snoring can be more difficult because sometimes it is difficult to determine the cause of snoring. People who snore regularly could be facing adverse effects to their health and should see a medical professional about this problem. This is especially true if a person is experiencing other signs of sleep breathing problems, such as morning headaches, daytime fatigue, or high blood pressure.
When a person visits a doctor for snoring, the doctor may recommend a sleep study which will help to determine the cause of snoring as well as ruling out more serious sleep breathing disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). When snoring is benign and unrelated to a serious health condition, many people prefer to pursue alternative treatments for snoring performed by naturopaths, homeopaths, or acupuncturists.
Acupuncture and Snoring
Acupuncture is a system of complementary medicine based on eastern practices. During treatment, a serious of fine needles are inserted in strategic points in the skin that are believed to impact various parts of the body and mind. The purposes are therapeutic and meant to bring relief to specific health concerns while addressing holistic concerns of the entire body.
Meant to speed up the natural healing processes present in the body through stimulation, acupuncture works for snoring by addressing the sinus issues. Many people who snore do so because their sinus cavities are either inflamed or filled with mucus due to cold, allergies, chronic sinus infection, structural facial problems or other concerns. When acupuncture is applied to the acupoints associated with the sinuses, the purpose is to speed the healing there in order to open up the breathing passages. When this happens, mouth breathing is less common and snoring tends to subside.
People who struggle with snoring also tend to have interrupted sleep cycles which can affect their overall general health in a variety of ways. Daytime sleepiness and fatigue, morning headaches, insomnia, weight gain, and so much more. Applying acupuncture practices not only has the ability to reduce snoring, but it has also been shown to improve the sleeping patterns of subjects, promoting healthy REM sleep and increasing the quality of restfulness.
Using Acupuncture Points for Snoring
One study published in Sleep Science Magazine showed that acupuncture can not only be an effective treatment for snoring, but also reduces problems related to sleep apnea and other sleep breathing conditions. In order to get the best possible results from acupuncture points for snoring, it is helpful to begin with a trained acupuncture therapist who can directly apply needles to the needed areas to provide sinus and snoring relief.
Acupuncture for snoring is a commitment that may take around ten weeks to see results with snoring and/or sleep apnea. Results for snoring include a reduction in mucus in the nasal cavity, reduced effects of sinusitis, recovery from sinus related illnesses, and eventually the minimization of snoring.
When you attend an acupuncture for snoring session, you may expect that needles will be inserted into the skin in various places on the body, particularly on the back of the neck. Here are some of the acupoints which are used for snoring:
- C5 Huatuo: These points on either side of the spine sit at the back of the cervical collar of the neck and are related to the larynx and pharynx. It may be used to help stimulate the areas of the throat that require toning and muscle strengthening, to open up breathing passages, promoting healthy sleep breathing, and reduce snoring.
- P6 (Pericardium): Found on the inside of the wrist approximately two fingers up from the hand, this spot is associated with chest congestion, insomnia and asthma. In addition, it is useful for stress and indigestion which can be related to sleep troubles.
- B10: Found at the back of the neck on either side of the spine, ½ inch below the skull base. This location is related to relaxation, insomnia, nasal congestion, and sore throat, all of which may be contributing to snoring.
- GV16: This spot is found in between the B10 points and just further up in the hollow at the base of the head. This point may be used to reduce swelling in the throat and neck as well as relieving insomnia and other sleeping disorders.
- GV20: Located on either side of the GV16, this point is often used to battle cold and flu symptoms, which may include nasal congestion that leads to snoring.
- GV24.5: Found right in the center of the eyebrows and also considered to be the “third eye”, this point is used in acupuncture to deal with sinus problems, nasal pressure, headache, and insomnia, all of which may be related to snoring.
In between visits to the acupuncture therapist, many people may find it useful to apply pressure to certain points on their own at home. Your alternative medicine practitioner may be able to help with this.
Precautions for Acupuncture and Snoring
Some people with sensitive skin should be very careful with the acupuncturist they choose. Risks to be discussed with your practitioner may include potential infection, soreness or bruising in the punctured area, or even damage to the organs if the needles are forced down too deep through the skin.
Some people are not necessarily good candidates for being treated by acupuncture or acupressure methods. While anyone receiving any medical treatment should speak with their doctor, these people should be particularly aware of possible problems related to acupuncture:
- Pregnant Women. Stimulation of acupoints could interfere with the baby and potentially cause premature delivery.
- People with Bleeding Problems. Anyone with a bleeding disorder or who takes a blood-thinning medication for heart problems should avoid acupuncture.
- People with Pacemaker. If your acupuncturist uses electric pulses along with their treatment, this could directly impact the function of a pacemaker and have serious health consequences.
Acupuncture points for snoring can be a natural and effective way to get yourself back into a healthy sleep breathing routine. Not only will it help with snoring, but acupuncture is often used for relaxation, reduction of anxiety, and promotion of overall health of the body and mind.
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