Snoring is a serious problem that can lead to health problems, as well as relationship issues if you happen to share a bed with a snorer.
Treatment options range from oral devices to invasive surgeries. There are also alternative therapies that have been linked to a reduction in snoring, such as the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine artform dating back 3,000 years that has numerous health benefits. Acupuncturists locate specific points along what they term “meridians” around the body which correspond to certain areas and functions in the body. The acupuncturist then inserts sterile needles into these specific points to activate the system that needs stimulation.
Up to 100 needles can be used in a single session, depending on the patient’s health problems, and the systems that need activation. The needles remain in the patient for approximately 30 minutes, and occasionally heat or electrical stimulation is added to the therapy to intensify the process.
Acupuncture and Snoring
According to Chinese medicine, snoring is a result of a weak Qi, or vital life force, which is the flow of yin and yang energies. It is believed that if the Qi becomes blocked this can cause a number of ailments depending on where the blockage occurs, and the Qi must be redirected to create balance.
Snoring is caused by a blockage in the airway which causes the loud vibrating sound. However, the effectiveness of the therapy depends on the specific reasons why you snore. If your snoring is due to a hormonal issue or anatomical abnormality, acupuncture may be ineffective for snoring.
However, to reduce mild to moderate snoring due to soft tissue obstruction or excess mucus, specific acupressure points can be stimulated to readdress the energy imbalance and restore harmony to the body by strengthening the Qi. The two points that acupuncture seeks to address are in the throat and sinuses.
Some cases of snoring are due to inflammation of the nasal passages resulting from chronic allergies. The inflamed nasal tissue obstructs the nasal passages, and they can’t function properly. Sinusitis can also be responsible for snoring by narrowing the channels that drain mucus from the sinuses causing the system to become infected and obstruct the airflow.
Acupuncture can relieve the edema in the tissue, drain blocked mucus, as well as encourage better blood circulation to transport oxygen and nutrients to the tissues so they can repair themselves.
There are some acupoints responsible for alleviating pressure in the sinuses. The first is located along the eyebrow where the bridge of the nose meets the eye. Another can be found on each side of the opening to your nostrils, and another is located adjacent to those points at the base of your cheekbones.
If you are experiencing pressure in your sinuses, but you can’t make it in to see an acupuncturist, you can gently massage these easily located points yourself for some temporary relief.
Excess weight can create fatty tissue around the throat which can obstruct the airflow. Your throat can also become congested with phlegm and mucus which contributes to your snoring.
To reduce snoring from the throat an acupuncturist will activate one of the most common and powerful acupoints in the body. It is known as the Governing Vessel 24.5 and is located at the center point between the eyes at the top of the nose.
This acupoint not only targets snoring, but also some of the health issues associated with snoring such as sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression.
Acupuncture for the Immune System
Additional acupuncture points specifically targeting the immune system are also thought to assist with snore reduction. According to Chinese medicine, the system responsible for the immune system is predominantly the spleen/pancreas meridian.
An overactive immune system produces excess phlegm and mucus which can be one of the causes of snoring. Stimulating multiple points along the spleen meridian can boost the immune system and effectively reduce the production of mucus in the body.
Chinese medicine takes a holistic approach to treatment, assessing each individual’s energy and wellbeing before prescribing a course of treatment. So, while acupuncture plays a pivotal role in the practice, it will often be performed as a one of a number of alternative therapies to stop snoring.
As with any snoring treatment, it is important to find one that suits your health needs. If you’ve tried other snoring solutions without success, why not give acupuncture a try to restore balance to your body and finally sleep peacefully.
Chief editor here at Snore Nation and a proud father of two cool boys. I am a reformed snorer, a reformed smoker, a reformed overeater, a reformed city dweller and a reformed workaholic stress monster on the mission to share my insider tips to restore that quality sleep for you and your partner!