by Dr. Hua Bing Wen: Carol L. had been in a car accident few months ago which gave her neck pain and stiffness, upper shoulder and back pain as well.
She had been taking pain medication and received a series of physical therapy. The pain and muscle stiffness have gotten a little better. But she developed a severe insomnia which she never had experienced before. She had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep which also closely relate to the level of pain. More pain, more trouble with sleep. After taking prescription sleeping pills which did not help much, she came to our clinic seeking help.
Car accidents are often traumatic and could cause severe complications for long period of time. One of the common complications is insomnia that has been overlooked quiet often, accompanied with headache and muscle stiffness. This type of insomnia is more likely not responsive to sleeping pills like a typical case of insomnia.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM), Carol’s diagnosis is trauma induced blood stagnation in the head. She was given a combination of acupuncture and a herbal formula called “Xue Fu She Yu Tang” (Drive out Stasis In The Mansion of Blood ), a classic formula used for this pattern. Her insomnia, neck pain and back pain improved after one treatment. In this case, the insomnia was triggered by the trauma that could impact the blood circulation in the brain. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help stimulate and increase circulatory system and to restore the balance.