I have had difficulty falling asleep for years. The nights are so long, and I feel exhausted every day. It is a kind of torture. Are there any energy techniques that can help me?

Restful sleep is one of the most important ways your body’s energies are renewed. This is nature’s design. Many people, however, experience difficulty sleeping, at least on occasion. For some it is a chronic problem, sometimes linked to physical or emotional difficulties; for others it is a passing annoyance.

Sleep labs such as the one at UCLA have studied insomnia and innovated various techniques that you might want to investigate if your insomnia is chronic or severe. These programs are described in a number of popular books as well as various websites you can find by searching for "insomnia" or "sleep disorder." But I have successfully worked with a variety of people suffering with chronic insomnia who were not helped by these standard methods.

The energetic reasons for insomnia vary from person to person and even for the same person from one night to the next. The following insomnia techniques are designed for a wide range of situations. Most people need only one or two of them to come into peaceful sleep. Find the one(s) that work for you. The page numbers refer to the second edition of Energy Medicine (Tarcher/Penguin, 2008).

Before You Get into Bed:

  1. The Expelling the Venom exercise (pp. 236 - 237) reduces tension by releasing stressful energies.
  2. The Triple Warmer Smoothie (p. 253) relaxes the Triple Warmer meridian. An activated triple warmer keeps all systems on alert.
  3. Connecting Heaven & Earth (pp. 266-267) creates space so that energy can move throughout the body.
  4. The Crown Pull (pp. 88-90) releases tension in the head and upper body.

After You Are in Bed:

  1. Rub & then hold the backs of your knees. This stimulates the pineal gland to produce melatonin, a hormone that is vital for sleep
  2. Shine a flashlight on the backs of your knees. This also gets the pineal gland to produce melatonin.
  3. Place a black eye mask over your eyes, putting you in total darkness. This is a third way of getting the pineal gland to produce melatonin.
  4. Place one hand on your frontal Neurovascular Reflex Points (pp. 102 - 103) and lay your other hand flat across your second chakra (p. 149). This dissipates stress, allowing your body to relax.
  5. Again, place one hand over your frontal Neurovascular Reflex Points and the other around the back of your head (just above your neck). The side of your palm and your fingers will be touching the bones behind your ears. These points relax Triple Warmer. After a few deep breaths, rest both hands on your heart chakra. This harmonizes all the body’s energies.
  6. Make a 3-finger cluster with your thumb, 2nd, and third fingers, and place it in the indent at the bottom of the front of your neck (this is a Triple Warmer Neurovascular Reflex Point). Place your other hand beneath your belly. This relaxes Triple Warmer, the Penetrating Flow, the Central meridian, and the chakra system.
  7. The Hook-Up (pp. 98-99) completes the circuitry between the Central and Governing meridians, which then connect all energy systems, putting you in the zone for sleep.
  8. If incessant inner chatter is keeping you up, a physical component may be a deficiency in one of the B vitamins, inositol. A quick fix can be as simple as shifting your eyes so you are looking toward your right ear.
  9. Imagine you are looking at a clock in front of your face. Focus first on the 12. Next look at the 1. Continue all the way around the circle, looking at each number for a second or two, until you are at 12 again. Now go around again, imagining that you are winding the clock tighter and tighter each time you go around, as if the hands were on a spring. Continue until you cannot wind it any tighter. Then go from number to number in the opposite direction, letting the spring unwind and letting all your tension unwind with it.
  10. To release facial tension, push your fingers up under your cheekbones, making small circular movements. Move outward along the cheekbones, continuing with these circular motions. Take a deep breath and bring your fingers to the sides of your nose, and push your fingers up toward and beyond the bridge of your nose. Spread your fingers across your forehead to your temples using pressure or small circular motions.
  11. Teffening is a technique that was first used in Brazil to help babies fall asleep. Using the backside of your fingernails, gently and very lightly slide down the inside of your arms with your fingernails.
  12. Use the Acupressure Points shown in Chapter 4 of Energy Medicine as described below:
    1. For insomnia in general: Hold the Strengthening Points on the Small Intestine and Heart meridians.
    2. If your mind is racing, hold the Liver meridian sedating points.
    3. If you regularly wake up between:
      • 11 p.m. & 1 a.m.: Hold the Gallbladder meridian sedating points.
      • 1 a.m. & 3 a.m.: Hold the Liver meridian sedating points.
      • 3 a.m. & 5 a.m.: Hold the Lung meridian sedating points.
      • 5 a.m. & 7 a.m.: Hold the Large Intestine sedating points.
    4. Hold the points before going to sleep and later as necessary.

Helping Your Partner Fall Asleep:

  1. Give your partner a Spinal Flush (pp. 93 - 94).
  2. Do the Brazilian Toe Technique for your partner.

The Brazilian Toe Technique

  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Your partner stands or sits at your feet so your toes can be held comfortably, without straining.
  3. Start with the thumbs on the pads beneath the 3rd toe and with the 3rd (middle) fingers on top of the nails of the 3rd toes.
  4. Hold for 3 minutes.
  5. Repeat with the 4th toes/4th fingers (thumbs always on the pads beneath those toes); then 5th toes/5th fingers; 2nd toes/2nd fingers; and finally the big toes with the thumbs beneath them and the 2nd and 3rd fingers on the toenails.
  6. Maintain contact with the foot when you change toes. Gently move your thumb to the next toe, then move your finger.