Fabulous Friday: The Power of the Acupuncture Nap

One of the things I hear so often is that there is nothing like the nap you get during acupuncture. The acupuncture nap is better than, in some cases, a three-hour nap, a long massage, or full night’s sleep. It’s the true power nap! It might only be 20 minutes long, but often people think it feels longer, experience vivid sensations, or just relish a complete, delicious surrender that they rarely feel in their daily lives.

There are a few reasons why:

  1. You’re actually, truly taking time for yourself. By coming into the clinic and having a treatment, you are taking a mental and physical break from your day, separate from if you were to take a nap on your couch in the afternoon (with dishes in the sink, a dog barking at the mailman, or your computer dinging with email deliveries). We have gotten to a point where allowing yourself to take that break is a very powerful thing to do.
  2. It’s so incredibly restorative when you allow yourself to relax—even if it’s for a short time. A lot of people think, “What’s the point of doing a few yoga poses? I have to do it for an hour or it’s worthless,” or “I need a week-long vacation to get any stress reduction at this point.” But studies have shown that doing just 15 minutes of meditation every day makes a significant difference in your blood pressure and overall stress level. A short burst of deep relaxation helps to restore body and mind. Think about that: just 15 minutes of unplugging helps the body to restore itself. We leave the needles in for 20 minutes or so to do their work—perfect amount of time to unwind.
  3. It feels really good. You might not equate an acupuncture treatment (yet!) with a trip to the spa, but you are getting a chance to take a rest. You’re in a quiet, dark room. We’re encouraging you to rest—no guilt! We have heat lamps, music and white noise, and eye pillows with lavender oil. It’s a recipe for relaxation.
  4. It takes about 20 minutes for your body’s Qi to cycle through all of your organs fully. By selecting certain points, we are tapping into energy where it is stuck or blocked. Maybe it’s your head, or digestion, or knee, but wherever it is, it opens up that area and helps your Qi to flow better. Then, that energy can go to places where your body needs it the most. It stimulates your organs and cells and increases body’s ability to create energy. After it circulates all the way, you’ve not only had some restorative time, but you have also actually stimulated your body to create more energy to use!

All that said, not all people fall asleep during their first acupuncture treatments. When people are really tense or stressed out it can take a few sessions to sleep during treatment. But whenever someone falls asleep, that is a huge compliment for me—that I’ve done exactly what I need to do to them. And when they get there, oh man, do they rave about it!