April Bui Holistic Acupuncture

Houston, TX  .  Memorial Spring Branch

Contact Us  .  713-922-3474

Sleep Disorders

On this page is a brief discussion about sleep disorders according to Chinese medicine principles, the possible causes of this condition by Chinese medicine diagnosis, and the treatment protocol at our clinic.


Please keep in mind that Chinese medicine is very different in principle, concept, language, and treatment method from western medicine. The information here is intended for the lay people who have no knowledge about Chinese medicine, therefore this discussion must be limited in scope and depth. 


The purpose is to impart the relevant information and to help you gain a general understanding, from your standpoint as a potential patient of Chinese medicine, how Chinese medicine views and diagnoses this condition of interest and what you can expect from a treatment if you decide to become a patient of our clinic.

Chinese Medicine Terminology

Below are brief explanations of some common terms and concepts in Chinese medicine diagnosis that you would come across in a reading. Although Chinese medicine concept can be abstract, this helps you to understand better the discussion on this page.

  • Qi - means energy and is the universal energy that pervades within and without us everywhere in our physical realm of existence. Strictly speaking in our body, qi is the vital force that causes all movements, activities, functions, growth, development, control, check and balance, nourishment, protection, and transformation.

  • Blood - the food sustenance for life force and nourishment for all functions in our body. 

  • Yin - pertains to the material basis of our body.
  • Yang - pertains to the energetic, functional aspect of our body.

  • Jing Essence - the vital substance which governs and originates the primal foundation for the soul aspect and physical aspect at the moment of conception as well as throughout life. Essence is intrinsically connected to and stored in the kidneys. Essence also helps to create bone marrow and reproductive vital substances such as semen, sperms, eggs, menstrual blood.

  • Damp - refers to moisture in the body. The mentioning of damp in a diagnosis usually refers to an excessive accumulation that consequently produces problems.

  • Heat, cold - temperature in our body. The mentioning of temperature in a diagnosis usually indicates an extreme level of imbalance.

  • Wind - exists naturally in our body. The mentioning of wind in a diagnosis indicates an imbalance has occurred which causes the activity of wind to become excessive or in severe cases out of control.

  • Meridian - another term for energy channel.
  • Deficiency, excess - the condition of imbalance in the body relative to a normal balance.

Chinese Medicine Diagnosis:

Sleep disorders are characterized by the inability to fall asleep, waking frequently throughout the night, inability to sleep deeply, respiratory obstruction such as sleep apnea, significant disturbances such as overly active dreams or nightmares, feeling lethargic when wake in the morning. According to Chinese medicine, these imbalances are the result of:


• Qi stagnation of liver, heart, gallbladder

• Yin deficiency of liver, heart, kidney, spleen

• Blood deficiency

• Heat, excess or deficient type

• Excessive phlegm obstructing heart

Treatment Protocol:

Acupuncture and herbs are the primary methods used in sleep treatment to:


• Nourish qi, yin, and blood. 

• Clear heat and/or phlegm obstruction. 

• Unblock energy pathways, guide qi downward, and calm the spirit. 


Chinese medicine is quite effective for treating sleep disorders. The course of treatment is six weekly sessions. A maintenance program is necessary to continue supporting the body and energy system.


It is important to avoid sleep aid while undergoing acupuncture treatment for sleep.

Individualized Assessment:

An in-person consultation is necessary in order for us to give you an in-depth assessment and to recommend an individualized treatment plan. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation appointment.

Request Your Free Consultation