Have you ever tried to sink a volleyball in the sea? No matter how many times you jam it down underwater it pops right back up. In this video I share one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned – you’ll never be able to cure insomnia if you try to drown it under water. That is because insomnia is a symptom, not a disease. It is merely a manifestation of our poor health, therefore we must look for the underlying cause. Once the root cause is addressed insomnia will be resolved, kind of like the ball would sink once it is pierced.
I’ve spent thousands of dollars on supplements in order to treat my sleep disorder and it took me way too long to realize that treating symptoms is futile. In fact, I am sure that many times I made my condition much worse with supplements. You read some promising article, you order the supplement and you wait full excitement – “This is going to be it! This will be my cure!” It seemed like no matter what I tried I was experiencing paradoxical reactions. This was insanely frustrating.
Once I started looking at my health holistically I started making progress. My next lesson is patience. It is taking unbelievably long to recover and I still see no end in sight but I persist and I learn. This is the only thing I can do.
The things that helped me most so far is to shift my focus from Western medicine to Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The latter treats everything based on energy patterns of inner organs. There are herbal formulas that address certain patterns, acupuncture, moxibustion and that’s it. No complicated hormones, neurotransmitters, vitamin deficiencies and so on. I am not saying I see no value in Western medicine but if you’re dealing with sub-clinical health issues like me (tests show nothing wrong with me) then working with organs and inner energies is your only hope.
By learning more about TCM I learned that most disorders manifest when our body becomes dis-balanced. This usually happens when stress and poor diet affects on of the organ systems, say for examples kidneys. We keep borrowing energy from kidneys and kidneys at the same time have to borrow energy from somewhere else, like your heart. At the same time your kidneys become too week to lend cooling energy to your liver which starts acting up and dampens your digestion. This causes a chain reaction with multiple symptoms, including insomnia.
So now what happens when we freak out and run for the sleep supplement section? We grab anything we can to deal with insomnia. We learn that we need to calm our brain and nervous system so we jump for all the calming herbs and minerals. We pour and pour water over fire but it keeps re-igniting because we’re not addressing the root cause, the underlying pattern. On top of it, we’re creating more imbalances in our brain where the body has to work overtime to balance everything out again. Sure, things like magnesium, certain amino acids, calming herbs may get you through the night but you’ll be back to square one in no time.
So my main advice here is too look for other clues in your health. What other symptoms are you experiencing besides insomnia? How’s your gut health? How’s your mood? Are you too hot at night, are you too cool? What are other sensations in your body? All these signs point to other dis-balances that could lead you towards addressing the root cause.