Did You Know What Insomnia Really Is?

Summary of insomnia

Our bodies have a sleep rhythm of waking up in the morning and sleeping at night. Still, those sleep rhythms are disturbed, causing insomnia, such as inability to sleep, resting lightly, waking up quickly, or waking up early in the morning.  It is insomnia.  It is when these symptoms continue, not transiently, before the test or while traveling.  

The first thing to do to treat insomnia is to eliminate the cause of insomnia and create an environment that makes it easier to fall asleep. 

Chinese Herbal Medicine 

Unlike sleeping pills, Chinese herbs do not have the function of directly inducing sleep. Instead, it leads to rest more naturally by eliminating the cause of insomnia and making it possible to sleep.  

Insomnia varies significantly from person to person, as some people say that it is enough to sleep for 5 hours, and some people do not feel well unless they sleep for 8 hours.  There is no fixed line that you are not sleepless.  “It’s hard to sleep” regardless of sleep time.   

What is insomnia? 

  • Trying to fall asleep but can’t
  • Waking up many times in the middle of the night
  • No feeling of deep sleep even when sleeping
  • Waking up early in the morning and can’t sleep after that
  • Sleeping lightly
  • Sleeping short time
  • These symptoms continue (generally three weeks or more)

Technically, the state of difficulty falling asleep is called “Sleep onset disorder,” the state of waking up in the middle is called “halfway awakening,” and the state of waking up early in the morning is called “early morning awakening.”  

You can’t sleep because many reasons include

  • Environmental factors affect such as noise, vibration, brightness, temperature, and bedding condition.
  • Mental factors influence such as anxiety, depression, etc.
  • Physical characteristics such as pain, illness, medications, ingredients (caffeine, alcohol, etc.)
  • Age (the older you get, the harder it is to sleep) 

Mental condition highly affects sleep disorders.  Typical mental illnesses associated with insomnia are depression.  

The Solution of Insomnia

The solution of insomnia
The solution to insomnia

The first thing to do to treat insomnia is to eliminate the cause and create an environment that makes it easier to fall asleep.

  1. Try to sleep before midnight.
  2. Do not put your cellphone near you
  3. Do not drink any caffeine after 3 pm
  4. Try 5–10 mins meditation before you go to bed
  5. Try natural Chinese herbs. Here is the link that you can try and prescribe the right Chinese herbs. Y / K

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About Author: Satoru Ozawa – Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an acupuncturist, and a Chinese herb specialist.

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An Zhong San (安中散)

Ingredients of Chai Hu Gui Zhi Tang

An Zhong San is for stomach pain, heartburn, nausea, loss of appetite, etc. 

It is often for stomach upset in people with high gastric acid secretion and for people who are thin and have relatively weak abdominal muscles. 

Also, for discomfort around the stomach due to stress

This formula also works for easy to get nervous such as feelings discomfort around the abdomen due to stress. 

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About Author: Satoru Ozawa – Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an acupuncturist, and a Chinese herb specialist.

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Do You Know How Can Chinese Herbal Medicine Effective?

How Kampo works

How does Chinese Herbal Medicine work?

Chinese Herbal Medicine
Many Chinese herbs cannot be fully effective unless they are suitable for their constitution and symptoms

Many Chinese herbs cannot be fully effective unless they are suitable for their constitution and symptoms.  It’s essential to diagnose the patient’s constitution and “measure” to Chinese medicine here.  

What is the “constitution” to be diagnosed in Kampo? 

In Kampo, there is an original method that diagnoses the constitution based on its theory.  That is “Sho” and “Qi, blood, water.” 

In Chinese medicine, it’s prescribed not only for each person’s condition but also for their constitution.  Therefore, sometimes you can see the stomach even though it is an acne treatment, or you can check the condition of your period (menstruation) even though it is a treatment for coldness (one of the constitution). 

It is one of the methods necessary to determine the person’s constitution and prescribe Chinese herbs that are good for the person. “Sho” is a person’s condition (individual differences in the body, physical strength, resistance, appearance of symptoms, etc.). 

It is determined from the signs that the person complains about and factors such as physique.  Therefore, even if you have the same symptoms if your “sho” is different from the other person, the prescribed Chinese medicine will naturally be extra.  Even if the Chinese herbs you are taking have the same symptoms, it may not be effective even if other people take them.  

One of the ways to divide “Sho” is Excess and deficiency.  A person with sufficient physical strength and resistance is called “Excess,” and a person who has no physical power and feels weak is called “deficiency.”  

Deficiency type

  • Weak without stamina
  • Thin and delicate
  • the complexion is pale, and the skin is easy to breakout
  • weak voice
  • Gastrointestinal weakness and easy to get diarrhea
  • Sensitive to cold

Excess type

  • Stamina
  • A muscular and good physique
  • Good complexion
  • Strong voice
  • Strong GI but easy to get constipation
  • Sensitive to heat

“Qi, blood, water” measures the cause of the disorder.

Qi / Blood / Water is a ruler for finding the cause of a disorder.  In Kampo, our body is in good health when the three elements of “Qi, blood, and water” circulate well in the body, and when in the body, and when these are deficient, stagnant, or biased, we get sick.  It’s thought that illness, disability will occur.  Therefore, we will diagnose the condition of “Qi, blood, and water” at the medical examination to find out where the problem is.  

Qi: Invisible life energy

It’s said to be close to the function of the autonomic nerves

Blood: Nourishes various tissues and organs throughout the body

Water: It corresponds to all body fluids other than blood and is related to water metabolism and the immune system. 

Relationship between Qi, Blood, Water disturbance and disorder

Qi Deficiency

Low energy, fatigue, lethargy, tiredness, loss of appetite etc

Qi Stagnation

Heavy head, feels like stuck in the throat (plum-pit syndrome), difficult to breathe, abdominal bloating, etc.  

Qi / Yang rising

Heart palpitations, sweating, anxiety, etc.  

Blood stagnation

Menstrual disorders, constipation, tenderness in the abdominal (pain when pressed), etc

Blood deficiency

Anemia, dry skin, hair loss, poor circulation etc

Water toxic, water stagnation

Edema, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, abnormal urination, etc

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About Author: Satoru Ozawa – Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an acupuncturist, and a Chinese herb specialist.

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Do You Know How Chinese Herbal Medicine Developed?

How did Chinese Herbal Medicine develop?

How the Chinese Herbal Medicine developed
How did Chinese Herbal Medicine develop?

If you want to express Chinese herbal Medicine (Kampo) characteristics in one word, “variation” would be perfect because Kampo is diverse and diverse in many ways.  

  1. Chinese herbs are a combination of various herbal medicines
  2. Eliminate or relieve various symptoms with one formula
  3. Different Chinese herbs are used according to the condition and constitution of the patient.
  4. There are two types of Chinese medicine.  One works immediately after taking, and the other works by continuing to take it.  
  5. Even for the same illness, the Chinese herbs used different formulas depending on the symptoms or severity.  

Some people may have the image of Chinese medicine as a medicine that works for chronic diseases, but a medication improves the constitution. It does not work unless you take them for a long time.” Indeed, Chinese medicine has such an aspect.  But that’s not all.  Here is a story.  

A Story about the Chinese Medicine

At the end of the Edo era, US Admiral Perry arrived.  It was a Chinese herbal medicine that helped the “American flu” (now called influenza) brought in Japan at that time.  We are not sure which Chinese herbs he had prescribed, but we use Chinese herbs such as “Ma Huang Tang” for influenza, and their effectiveness has prooved in modern medicine.  

In addition to influenza, Chinese herbs may be used with the expectation of immediate effects.  For leg cramps, a Chinese herb called “Shao Yao Gan Zao Tang” is effective.  If you have gastrointestinal problems such as stomach upset, stomachache, or abdominal bloating, you should try “Liu Jun Zi Tang.”  

Western medicine focuses on the name of the disease.  In Kampo, we do not look at the body locally but consider the mind and body as one and make a comprehensive diagnosis.  In other words, the prescription differs depending on the person’s constitution with symptoms, etc.  And since Chinese herbs contain multiple ingredients, they can be expected to be effective on numerous symptoms.  

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How Was Chinese Medicine Actually Introduced In Japan?
How Was Chinese Medicine Actually Introduced In Japan?

How Was Chinese Medicine Actually Introduced In Japan?

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About Author: Satoru Ozawa – Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an acupuncturist, and a Chinese herb specialist.

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How Was Chinese Medicine Actually Introduced In Japan?

How Was Chinese Medicine Actually Introduced In Japan?

How was Chinese Medicine Introduced in Japan?

Chinese medicine was introduced to Japan from China after the 5th and 6th centuries.
Chinese medicine was introduced to Japan from China after the 5th and 6th centuries. 

Chinese medicine was introduced to Japan from China after the 5th and 6th centuries. 

At that time, Ancient Japanese doctors brought many Chinese prescription herbs, drugs, and medical books. 

After that, They performed medical treatment (diagnosis and treatment) according to traditional Chinese medicine until the Muromachi era. However, after that, it developed independently in Japan. 

It has evolved and established medicine that adjusts Japan’s climate, the constitution, and the lifestyle of the Japanese people.  

Kampo used in modern medicine can be said to be “Japanese unique medicine” protected and developed as traditional Japanese medicine.  

Main features of Kampo medicine (Chinese medicine)

  1. Natural science and traditional medicine accumulation of treatment experience of ancestors
  2. Harmonize the whole body by uniting the mind and body
  3. Focus on the constitution and characteristics of the individual and look at the symptoms. 
  4. Use “Chinese medicine,” which is a mixture of Chinese herbs based on natural products.  Since one Chinese formula contains multiple ingredients, we can expect that they are effective for various symptoms.  

Western medicines are usually made from a single active ingredient. They have a strong effect on a single symptom or illness, such as lowering blood pressure, killing bacteria, or relieving fever or pain.  

In western medicine, the basis is emphasized by the test and patient complaints.

The results of the tests are used to search for possible illnesses and to consider treatment methods.  Therefore, western medicine is good at illnesses that appear clearly in test results.  

On the other hand, Chinese herbal medicine contains multiple active ingredients in one formula, so it is a significant feature for various symptoms. 

In addition, Kampo emphasizes the patient’s complaint and constitution and prescribes based on the results. 

Therefore, we are good at treating symptoms derived from the constitution (functional dysmenorrhea, poor circulation, weak constitution, etc.) and disorders that do not appear in the examination (symptoms of menopause).  

A significant feature of Chinese herbs is that one formula can improve multiple illnesses as well as symptoms. 

For example, “Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan” is effective for low back pain and frequent urination, but it may improve multiple symptoms such as tiredness and swelling feet.  

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About Author: Satoru Ozawa – Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an acupuncturist, and a Chinese herb specialist.

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Do You Know What Chinese Herbal Medicine Is?

Do You Know What Chinese Herbal Medicine Is?

What is Chinese Herbal Medicine (Kampo)?

Chinese herbal medicine (Kampo) combines multiple herbal medications such as plants and minerals in nature in principle. 

Through the experience of treatment of thousands of years from the ancient Chinese doctors, it has confirmed which herbal medicines are combined to obtain what kind of effect and whether there are any harmful bodies.

It has been systematized as a Kampo prescription.  

The fundamental part of the current Kampo preparations, which is made by utilizing the blessings of nature. 

As a formulation that makes full use of the latest technology, it is processed to bring out herbs’ medicinal properties and make them easy to take and store.

What is a single herb? 

Single Chinese Herbal Medicine
Single Herbs work different purposes

Herbal medicine is the process of plant leaves, flowers, buds, stems, branches, roots, fungi, minerals, insects, and other substances that have been considered adequate over a long time into easy-to-use convenient storage and transportation.  

Chinese herbal medicine is a remedy that is used by mixing them. 

The characteristic of Chinese herbal medicine is the combined effect of Chinese herbs.  

Even though it is a plant, the parts used differ depending on the plant, such as flowers, fruits, seeds, roots, stems, bark, and leaves. 

For example, “Tao Ren 桃仁” is peach seeds, “Ge Gen 葛根” is one of the roots of Kudzu, and one of the big beautiful flower’s root part called “Shao Yao 芍薬.” 

In addition, mushrooms are also herbal medicines, such as “Fu Ling 茯苓.”  

Other than plants, minerals include calcium sulfate “Shi Gao 石膏” and animal-derived oyster shells such as “Mu Li 牡蠣” are used as Chinese herbs.  

Since Chinese herbs (Kampo) are made from single herbs and natural, many people think it is safe because there are no side effects. 

However, Chinese herbs also have side effects.  In some cases, it may cause an allergic reaction. 

In rare cases, serious side effects and allergic reactions may occur, so consult a medical institution immediately if you think something is wrong.  

Recently, Chinese herbal medicine has been verified by the evaluation method of western medicine, and its effectiveness has been proved. 

Chinese medicine is becoming more and more evidence-based medicine, not just traditional medicine based on experience. 

Modern Chinese medicine is attracting people worldwide, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has also established a department to study alternative therapies. 

Also, at the US Gastroenterology Week (DDW), an article on the effects of Chinese herbs was published, which has been attention to many doctors. 

Please feel welcome to comment if you have any questions about this post.

Sayonara till next post.

About Author: Satoru Ozawa – Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an acupuncturist, and a Chinese herb specialist.

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