Acupuncture for Snoring – A Natural Remedy for Sound Sleep

Written by on March 5, 2009 in Health & Wellness, Natural Health Tips with 21 Comments

acupuncture snoring

Here’s how acupuncture works as a natural remedy for snoring. It unblocks Qi, and can help you (and your partner!) fall asleep fast and sleep the whole night through.

In this fascinating article, several acupuncturists and Chinese herbal medicine specialists describe acupuncture as a remedy for snoring, as well as other ways to fall asleep at night.

Before the tips, a quip:



“A use has been found for everything but snoring,” said Mark Twain.

If you have no use for snoring, you’re not alone! I have no use for it either, but have learned to sleep through my husband’s rumbles.

Many snorers find a mouthpiece to be very helpful; the Doctor’s Nightguard Advanced Comfort is one of the most popular snoring remedies. It’s not as relaxing or healthy as acupuncture, but it works.

How Acupuncture Helps People Stop Snoring

Acupuncture can treat sinusitis and allergic reactions, which cause snoring.

“I’ve treated clients with sinusitis caused by allergic reactions with good results,” says Ontario-based acupuncturist and herbalist Nancy Winlove-Smith. ” If the source of the snoring is an obstructed nasal passage due to chronic sinusitis, acupuncture can effectively help snoring.  Many people have chronic nasal congestion due to allergies; acupuncture could relieve and even reverse the condition.  When the nasal cavity is constantly obstructed by edema (the by-product of inflammation), the tissue is starved of oxygen and nutrients and becomes dysfunctional.  Acupuncture dilates blood vessels, allowing oxygen and nutrients in to help support and repair the tissue. Acupuncture also allows edema to enter into the lymphatic system to be removed. Voila: reduced congestion!”

Winlove says some causes of snoring are hormonally driven. If so, acupuncture won’t help people stop snoring. Instead, try these natural sleep remedies.

Acupuncture stops snoring by opening blocked nasal passages

“Acupuncture can help open nasal passages for patients who have chronic allergies, and help re-establish balance within the systems of energy in the body,” says licensed acupuncturist Beth Kohn of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, MI. “To help people stop snoring, I recommend a daily sinus wash using warm water, epsom salt and perhaps a diluted grapefruit seed extract solution. I may use traditional Chinese herbal remedies to help balance the underlying patterns related to the chronic inflammation. I also review their diets to see if decreasing certain mucus producing foods (eg, dairy products and others) helps improve their health.”

For more tips for stopping snoring: 6 Ways to Stop Snoring – From Changing Sleep Positions to Acupuncture.

Environmental irritants cause snoring; acupuncture removes irritants

“Sinuses can swell as a result of environmental irritants,” says Kohn. “Some people also have odd shaped sinuses which don’t allow for proper drainage, thus causing recurrent infections. Also if their diet is rich in mucus producing foods, they may also have issues with chronic sinus problems. For more serious issues related to sinues (eg, polyps, etc) they should see their doctor or a specialist, such as an Ear Nose and Throat Specialist (ENT).”

If snoring is due to a structural problem related to the tongue slipping to the back of the throat during sleep, then acupuncture won’t be as effective.

Acupuncture decreases mucus in airways, which cause snoring

“Anything that blocks the air flow can cause the vibration that is snoring,” says licensed acupuncturist Ruth Krill, founder of Arlington Acupuncture and Wellness in Arlington, MA. “Sinusitis, for instance, is the inflammation of the sinuses that blocks the narrow channels connecting the sinuses to the nose. The mucus cannot drain properly and can easily become infected. The inflammation is usually the result of the common cold.  People with low immunity get frequent colds that can cause recurrent sinusitis. Acupuncture works for snoring by improving the circulation in the nasal cavities, allowing the body to heal itself quicker.”

Acupuncture also improves and regulates the immune system.

Qi Deficiency can lead to snoring; acupuncture unblocks Qi

“Qi Deficiency is having a weakened immune system that over-responds to everything,” says licensed acupuncturist Becca Seitz, of To The Point Acupuncture & Herbal Clinic in Portland, OR. “The swelling associated with sinusitis or allergies is created by two mecanisms: either a blockage of the normal flow of Qi due to Qi Deficiency or Wind Invasion (think of it as a traffic jam on the freeway), or heat in the nose, drying the nasal tissues.”

An acupuncturist will choose acupuncture points to Tonify Qi, Dispel Wind or Clear Heat, as needed.  Often, herbal formulas will speed the process.

Breathe Right Nasal Strips are also an effective way to fall asleep faster — depending on the cause of the snoring.

If you have any thoughts on acupuncture for snoring, please comment below!

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  1. Laurie says:

    Thanks for your comments, Paul! It’s good to know that acupuncture is a natural remedy for people who can’t sleep. My husband had acupuncture treatments, and said it was the most relaxing thing he’s ever done. For me, it’s massage :-)

  2. Paul Carter says:

    I agree with the article. In my clinic in Melbourne Australia I’ll often treat snoring with acupuncture, herbal medicine and lifestyle advise with good results. Often a poor diet and stress underlying the problem, predisposing the person to allergies, colds, phlegm etc.

    Chinese medicine aims to clear the sinuses and the root cause of the problem. Here’s a hay fever article with dietary changes that can also be of help with snoring. http://acupunctureaustralia.com.au/blog/natural-hay-fever-remedies/

    Paul

  3. My husband went to a few acupuncture sessions, but that was before he started snoring. It was for a different health issue. Now, I’m wondering if he should go back to the acupuncturist and see if it helps with his snoring!

  4. Fred Robins says:

    My dad is an acupuncturist, and one of his favorite things to “cure” is snoring. Acupuncture really helps clear nasal airways, but it depends on why the person is snoring.

  5. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    I agree — support groups to give up smoking is a great way to quit! Finding natural remedies such as acupuncture for things like smoking or snoring is good, too. Sometime we need a combination of things to get where we need to go!

  6. I almost never hear people talk about support groups to give up smoking. Places such as stop smoking message boards can help you to stop without other methods whatsoever. Get an urge, simply create a thread and get support. It really helps! Just try it, you will be surprised the amount of users would attempt to help you.

  7. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Acupuncture for snoring isn’t just a good way to get a better night’s sleep — acupuncture is one of the best natural ways to relax!

  8. Acupuncture seems to be a good alternative medicine.

  9. VJ says:

    Now, I’ve never had acupuncture before, I’ve always been wary of it since I’ve never got the fact that poking/piercing someone with needles contributes to your health.

    However, it is something I am curious about.

  10. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    I think any remedy for snoring — natural or not — depends on the reason for the snoring. Acupuncture is worth trying because it’s been proven to be relaxing and restorative…though I don’t know if they’ve studied the effects of acupuncture on snoring or sleep.

  11. Benji says:

    If acupuncture works to reprogram muscle & tissue activity then yeah , it might work. Snoring is a lot to do with jaw position and airway restriction.

  12. Abigail Clark says:

    i have been suffering from sinusitis for so many years and i can only relieve the stuffiness of the nose by means of decongestants.:*~

  13. Provo Chiropractic says:

    I wouldn’t have thought that acupuncture could help with snoring, but I suppose if you’re on the receiving end of the spectrum, that you would try anything to get some rest.

  14. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thanks for your tip, arthritisguy! I didn’t know that acupuncture was good for snoring before I wrote this article…nor did I know that it’s good for other common ailments.

  15. arthritisguy says:

    Acupuncture is really a good alternative medicine technique for common ailments such as allergies, minor headaches and pains. I have been practicing acupuncture for 4 years now.

  16. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Since there aren’t any negative side effects to acupuncture (that I know of), then it’s definitely worth a try to as a way to stop snoring! Worse case scenario is that it doesn’t work, and he feels relaxed and happy…

  17. Hmmmm..Maybe I could ask my brother who snores loud to try acupuncture, who knows it will help him.

  18. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Thanks for your comment! My husband did a few sessions of acupuncture, and said it made him feel incredibly relaxed. He didn’t have any problems like migraines or snoring, though.

    I’ve always wanted to try it, but have no real reason to justify the expense…though I imagine some acupuncturists are less expensive than others.

  19. bodydetoxboy says:

    i am always astonished how Acupunture helps in dealing with my migraine. it works wonders on other diseases like anxiety and allergy.

  20. Laurie PK says:

    Here’s another tip for stopping snoring with acupuncture treatments, from Eunice Kan, a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist in Burlingame, CA.

    “Snoring can be caused by obstructed nasal passages, sinusitis, or allergies – and it’s important to find a remedy that treats the underlying cause,” she says. “If snoring is caused by sinusitis, the tissues in the nasal passages become inflamed. Phlegm can get stuck, obstruct the airway, and lead to snoring.”

    Kan explains that acupuncture can help snoring by reducing inflammation and draining nasal congestion. “When you have clear nasal passages, you breathe better.”

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