1.) Breaking BAD…habits.
It’s not just about going to sleep at a consistent time. For some people of a specific energy type, if they go to sleep after 11 or midnight (depending on whether we are in daylight savings time or not), their minds get super activated and charged up with new ideas. There is a time of day where each type of person is at their best. For these people, the period of 11:00 to 3:00 in the morning is their most creative time. In Chinese Medicine, we say that even though you might feel creative, this type of creativity is best applied to your dreams. Chinese Medicine practitioners believe you should be asleep at that time because that creative energy is working out what you need to do in your dreams. When you wake up, you are often very inspired by your dreams. Think of the phrase “let me sleep on it” that people use to make a decision. That references the ability to make decisions at this time in our sleep. If you’re the Wood Elemental Energy type, you may struggle falling asleep once your creative energy is activated after midnight. I recommend you start going to bed at 10 and be asleep before 11 if possible. And definitely no electronics because they stimulate that creative force kicking in.
2.) Get to the POINT.
A common point that helps a large majority of my sleepless clients fall asleep is the center of your palm. The Chinese point name is Pericardium 8 (the point where your middle finger lands when you make a fist). I recommend my clients hold the point and send it energy while lying in bed. Many have reported that this point calms their mind and allows them to fall back to sleep in the middle of the night. The point “settles the spirit” as we say in Chinese Medicine. The Chinese believe that a person’s spirit might be startled in the middle of the night. I like to use the image of birds calmly sitting and singing in a tree. If someone comes along and shakes the tree, the birds will flutter about and won’t settle back on the branches. Your spirit, like the birds, has been disturbed by something (shock from an accident perhaps? negative thoughts?) and won’t settle. Pericardium 8 calms that unsettled feeling. It also helps for the kind of sleeplessness that is about obsessive worry, though there are other points that can also help with that.
3.) Its MOXA time!
Finally, one thing that has helped my most difficult cases of insomnia is an ancient Chinese technique called Moxibustion. This is something you would have to see a Chinese Medicine practitioner for, but it works very well. Your healer will gently use “Moxa” as we call it. This ancient herb is rolled into small cones and set aflame on the skin in certain points, in this case for sleep. No worries…it is safe and your healer will be skilled enough not to burn you. The concept of Moxa for insomnia or sleep therapies is that it strengthens you when you are weak and tired… so tired in fact, that you can’t settle into a peaceful state. Remember when we were kids who stayed up late all the time and someone might say, “Oh, you’re just overtired. That’s why you can’t sleep.” Well, it’s true. If you’re exhausted or even anemic, Moxibustion will rebuild you and sleep will come. Time to heat things up for a good night’s sleep.
In case you are wondering about the sleeping beauty in the photo, that is Dax. He sleeps like we all wish we could! Yay Dax!
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About the Authors:
Leta Herman is an author, Five Elements and Chinese Medicine teacher, nationally certified acupressure practitioner, and co-author of The Energy of Love (Llewellyn 2014). She has immersed herself in the philosophies of Daoism, Alchemical Healing, and Chinese Medicine, as well as many other healing modalities. A Smith College graduate and past nationally syndicated journalist, Herman has devoted the past 15 years to learning everything possible about the Five Elements. In other aspects of life, Leta is also a world explorer who speaks multiple languages, loves life, her family, and a challenging game of Boggle.
Jaye McElroy is an author, photographer, and business entrepreneur. McElroy combines her career in advertising, business, and writing with the Five Elements to help people manifest their true potential in life as a Five Elements Life Coach. She considers herself a humble student of life, love, her dog Dax, and of course the Five Elements.