Sleep apnea happens when we stop breathing involuntarily during sleep. “Apnea” literally means “without breath.” There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. In all three, people with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, many times during the night, and often for a minute or longer. The sleeper is usually unaware of these breath stoppages because they don’t fully wake up.
Types of Sleep Apnea
Whether you have ‘obstructive sleep apnea’ because of a blockage of the airway, (the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses and closes during sleep,) or ‘central sleep apnea’, (whereby the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe), studies have shown acupuncture is very effective in treating sleep apnea. Acupuncture treats the root cause of each type.
Sleep apnea is very common in America, as common as type 2 diabetes. It affects more than 18 million, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sleep is imperative to health. My patients with sleep apnea have extremely fragmented sleep of poor quality and reduced oxygen levels in their bodies. I recommend that they take their sleep apnea seriously. Left untreated, sleep apnea can decrease quality of life and has serious life-shortening consequences.
Sleep Apnea Protocol
The sleep apnea protocol I have developed, provides an alternative to expensive and cumbersome nCPAP machines. My advanced training has led me to choose acupuncture points revered for their specialized characteristics. These are specific points that increase the whole body energy of my patients, points that are indicated for the treatment of sleepiness, drowsiness, or somnolence, points precisely for the throat, points proven to treat rhinitis, and points dedicated to move stuck energy in the whole body. I choose acupuncture points based on the unique presentation of your whole being.
Santa Barbara Exacerbates Sleep Apnea
This is significant in Santa Barbara. Sleep apnea affects all, especially with aging, weigh gain, heart risks, medications, sleeping pills, caffeine, alcohol, and even the smokers of medical marijuana. Santa Barbara retirees from other states, are new to the local pollen here, and thus have allergy symptoms, stuffed noses, thus snoring, and mouth breathing; all of which exacerbate sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Scientific Proof:
Brazilian researchers reported “We have found preliminary evidence that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of OSAS. They observed that acupuncture treatment led to significant strengthening of the tongue, which presumably reduces the likelihood of it blocking the airway. Acupuncture also reduced inflammation in the tongue.
Chinese researchers find acupuncture a proven treatment option for sleep apnea patients burdened by the cost of nCPAP or for those that find wearing the nCPAP mask too cumbersome. It is clear that it is on par with the nCPAP treatment and is a proven therapy compared with the control groups.
Sleep Apnea Reference:
Lv Zheng-tao, Jian W, Huang J, Zhang J, and Chen A. The Clinical Effect of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2016.
Sleep Apnea Related
I also treat Snoring, Narcolepsy, Restless Legs Syndrome, and Insomnia.
Call Patricia Pilot L.Ac (805) 636-6522