Finding the right acupuncture and acupressure points can help you stop snoring and get good sleep. Acupuncture is a natural remedy for snoring because it unblocks Qi, clears nasal passages, and removes irritants that cause snoring. Here’s what acupuncture is, what acupuncturists do, and how this natural remedy for snoring works.
Research has shown that acupressure therapy helps people fall asleep fast and stay sleeping all night. Finding the right acupressure points also increases sleep efficiency and slow wave sleep, which helps us get a good night’s sleep. However, acupuncture is different than acupressure – my husband tried acupuncture for a different health issue a few years ago. He didn’t snore during the time he was going to the acupuncturist – but I suspect that was because he simply didn’t snore back then! Now that we know how effective acupuncture for snoring is, it might be time to revisit the acupuncturist…
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been practiced for centuries. It’s based on the theory that energy called Qi flows through and around your body along pathways called meridians. Acupuncturists believe that illness – or health issues such as snoring – occur when something blocks or unbalances your Qi. Acupuncture for snoring simply unblocks or influences Qi, and helps it flow back into balance. Acupuncture also improves and regulates the immune system, which improves overall health.
Acupuncturists put very thin needles into your skin at certain points on your body. This is done to influence the energy flow. Sometimes heat, pressure, or mild electrical current is used along with needles. Before an acupuncture session for snoring, your provider will give you an exam and ask questions about your sleep habits, snoring tendencies, and your overall health.
Then, the acupuncturist will look for acupuncture points on your body to access the blocked Qi that is blocked or not flowing right. Each of the points relates to certain health problems or body functions. The acupuncturist will quickly tap several very thin needles into your skin. Some needles may be placed deeper into acupuncture points than others, depending on what the acupuncturist believes is needed to restore the flow of Qi and help you stop snoring.
Does acupuncture hurt?
No. My husband was a little nervous about going to an acupuncturist, but he said the sessions were extremely relaxing. His sessions were an hour long, and he went six times. I’ll ask him to comment below, and share his experience with acupuncture.
Whether or not acupuncture will help you stop snoring depends on why you snore. Hormones are a cause of snoring, and acupuncture won’t help with that. If you snore because of a structural problem related to your tongue slipping to the back of your throat when you sleep, then acupuncture won’t be as effective. Acupuncture for snoring works best when the snores are caused by blockages in the body that may due to things like allergies or nasal congestion.
Acupressure points for snoring
If you’re not certain about acupuncture for snoring, check out the Acupressure Mat and Pillow Set. Acupressure points can help relieve the same Qi blockages, and might be a simpler solution for snoring than going to an acupuncturist.
For more tips on how to stop snoring – without acupuncture or acupressure points – read 11 Ways to Snore No More. You might also consider an anti-snoring mouthpiece, which can help with structural problems related to snoring.
How Acupuncture Helps People Stop Snoring
I interviewed a couple of acupuncturists to learn how they help people who snore. If you have questions about acupuncture points, cost, or anything related to this natural remedy, I encourage you to call an acupuncturist in your area. Get a free consultation – most acupuncturists offer an initial visit for free.
Stimulating acupuncture points can treat sinusitis and allergic reactions
“I’ve treated clients with sinusitis caused by allergic reactions with good results,” says acupuncturist and herbalist Nancy Winlove-Smith. ” If the source of the snoring is an obstructed nasal passage due to chronic sinusitis, acupuncture can effectively help snoring. Many people have chronic nasal congestion due to allergies; acupuncture could relieve and even reverse the condition. When the nasal cavity is constantly obstructed by edema (the by-product of inflammation), the tissue is starved of oxygen and nutrients and becomes dysfunctional. Acupuncture dilates blood vessels, allowing oxygen and nutrients in to help support and repair the tissue. Acupuncture also allows edema to enter into the lymphatic system to be removed. Voila: reduced congestion!”
Acupuncture stops snoring by opening blocked nasal passages
“Acupuncture can help open nasal passages for patients who have chronic allergies, and help re-establish balance within the systems of energy in the body,” says licensed acupuncturist Beth Kohn of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, MI. “To help people stop snoring, I recommend a daily sinus wash using warm water, epsom salt and perhaps a diluted grapefruit seed extract solution. I may use traditional Chinese herbal remedies to help balance the underlying patterns related to the chronic inflammation. I also review their diets to see if decreasing certain mucus producing foods (eg, dairy products and others) helps improve their health.”
Acupuncture removes environmental irritants that cause snoring
“Sinuses can swell as a result of environmental irritants,” says Kohn. “Some people also have odd shaped sinuses which don’t allow for proper drainage, thus causing recurrent infections. Also if their diet is rich in mucus producing foods, they may also have issues with chronic sinus problems. For more serious issues related to sinues (eg, polyps, etc) they should see their doctor or a specialist, such as an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT).”
Finding the right acupuncture points can decrease nasal mucus
“Anything that blocks the air flow can cause the vibration that is snoring,” says licensed acupuncturist Ruth Krill, founder of Arlington Acupuncture and Wellness in Arlington, MA. “Sinusitis, for instance, is the inflammation of the sinuses that blocks the narrow channels connecting the sinuses to the nose. The mucus cannot drain properly and can easily become infected. The inflammation is usually the result of the common cold. People with low immunity get frequent colds that can cause recurrent sinusitis. Acupuncture works for snoring by improving the circulation in the nasal cavities, allowing the body to heal itself quicker.”
Acupuncture unblocks and restores Qi balance
“Qi Deficiency is having a weakened immune system that over-responds to everything,” says licensed acupuncturist Becca Seitz, of To The Point Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic in Portland, OR. “The swelling associated with sinusitis or allergies is created by two mecanisms: either a blockage of the normal flow of Qi due to Qi Deficiency or Wind Invasion (think of it as a traffic jam on the freeway), or heat in the nose, drying the nasal tissues.”
If you haven’t tried acupuncture for snoring, what holds you back? For me, it might be the cost. I’m not sure if our health care insurances covers acupuncture…but if it did, I’d try it!
Source: Acupressure therapy for insomnia in adolescents: a polysomnographic study in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment.The purpose of the study was to assess the efficacy of acupressure therapy in a sample of adolescents with insomnia using a standard polysomnographic evaluation.