There are many routes you can take if you want to stop snoring and acupuncture is one of the options. But should you consider acupuncture for snoring as one of the first treatments to address your snoring problem?
There are some people who have tried it and who will tell you it works. However, there are also plenty of people who have tried to use acupuncture to treat their snoring and noticed no improvement at all.
Traditional Chinese medicine is very different from the medical procedures and treatments used in the West.
Although it’s relatively easy to find an acupuncturist in most countries of the world, this type of treatment is generally considered “alternative medicine.”
That’s not to say it has no value. It just means there is not enough proof to support using acupuncture as a treatment for snoring.
However, research does support its abilities in other areas. For instance. It has a lot of credibility as a treatment for chronic pain.
The interesting thing about this is, medical practitioners and traditional Chinese doctors have differing opinions about how the system works.
How Acupuncture Works
According to experts in the traditional Chinese way of healing, the human body contains energy channels. They call these meridians. Just as the blood vessels carry blood around the body, this network of energy channels carries the life energy, known as the “Chi” or “Qi.”
When the meridians become blocked, it disrupts energy flow, causing sickness. This theory is very different from western medicine, which focuses more on bacteria, viruses, and other hostile microbes.
Acupuncturists place needles into specific areas of the body that coincide with the path of the meridians. They do this to remove the blockage and restore normal energy flow.
Every ailment is attributed to blockages in a specific meridian. Often, the area of the energy blockage does not correspond to the area of pain or infection.
Similar beliefs exist in many parts of Asia. For instance, the Japanese healing system, Shiatsu, aims to restore good health by removing energy blockages via massage. Chinese Acupressure works in the same way.
Doctors in the West see things very differently. They believe the acupuncture needles provide healing by stimulating nerves under the skin and encouraging the release of pain-relieving endorphins.
However, if you are in pain and acupuncture provides relief, you are unlikely to care about how it achieves it. Be it due to removing an energy blockage or releasing endorphins, the main thing is acupuncture works for pain anyway.
Unfortunately, there is a lack of evidence to prove the viability of acupuncture as a treatment for snoring.
Where Are the Acupuncture Points for Snoring?
Inflammation of the sinuses is one of several factors that can contribute to snoring. As with congestion, the inflammation prevents nose breathing. This forces you to sleep with your mouth open, making you more likely to snore.
However, the audible noise we know as snoring originates at the back of the throat.
During the initial examination, the acupuncturist will determine the location of the energy blockage causing the problem. They will then insert their needles into the relevant areas.
Acupuncture Points for Blocked Sinuses
Acupuncturists target several acupoints to remedy snoring due to blockages in the sinuses. They are underneath the eyebrows, at the point where the bride of the nose connects over the eyes.
There are two more important acupoints on the nostril openings on both sides of the nose. Another one is situated lower down, at the base of the cheeks.
The Acupuncture Point for Treating the Throat (to Stop Snoring)
So, where’s the acupuncture point that removes that unpleasant snoring noise from your throat? You may be surprised to learn it’s not on the neck. It’s at the top of the nose, between the eyebrows. Acupuncturists identify it as GV24.5 (Governing Vessel 24.5).
Apart from targeting snoring, GV24.5 is also the acupoint for easing sleep apnea, insomnia, and depression.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Any treatment that turns your body into a pincushion is likely to hurt, right? It seems a logical supposition but most acupuncture patients claim this is untrue.
The most noticeable sensation is apparently throbbing or jumping. Chinese acupuncturists see this as a positive sign and believe it signifies an unblocking of the chi.
If you are unusually nervous about needles you may have a tendency to overly focus on them. This could cause you to perceive the treatment as being more unpleasant than it is.
There is also a slightly greater chance of sensitivity during the first treatment. Chinese acupuncturists believe this is due to the energy points being reactivated for the first time.
Certain needle insertion points may be more sensitive than others. Especially in areas where there is less flesh, such as near to the nails. These are not areas an acupuncturist needs to use as a treatment for snoring.
Does Acupuncture Have Any Risks?
Be it as a remedy for snoring or for any other reason, it’s important to only seek treatment from a licensed acupuncturist. If you are going to allow someone to place needles into your body, you need to be sure they know what they are doing.
However, even when you employ the services of a licensed practitioner, acupuncture can still present some risks.
Possible complications include:
- Bleeding or bruising. This is more likely to be an issue when the needles are being taken out.
- Soreness around the needle penetration point.
- Organ damage. This may occur if the needles are pushed too far into the flesh. If you are using a licensed practitioner, this should not be an issue.
- Serious infections. If the needles are not sterile, there is a danger of infection. Again, if you have chosen your acupuncturist carefully, infection is highly unlikely.
Acupuncture is not a suitable snoring solution for everyone. For obvious reasons, if you have bleeding issues or are taking blood-thinning medications, you will need to find a more suitable way to get your snoring under control.
Acupuncture is also an unwise option for any woman who is pregnant or nursing a child.
If you have a pacemaker, some of the modern acupuncture treatments that involve electric pulses will present unacceptable risks. Even if you are considering traditional acupuncture treatment for snoring, it will be best to check if the treatment is a suitable option to pursue.
Is Acupuncture for Snoring Expensive?
Acupuncture is likely to be quite a costly way to try and control your snoring. The price can vary from one practitioner to the next but often costs $50 – $100 per 1-hour session. Some acupuncturists may charge considerably more. You may require several treatments and there is no guarantee the procedure will work.
It’s possible your medical insurance may cover this type of procedure. However, it’s more probable that it will not. The only way to be certain is to contact your insurance provider and see.
Acupuncture Pros and Cons
- Some people claim the process helps
- Lack of scientific proof to show acupuncture for snoring works
- Can be expensive
- May present danger of infections and other issues
- Not suitable for everyone
The Bottom Line
Will acupuncture be a good way to control your snoring? Only you can answer that question. Hopefully, this article has provided you with the information you need to decide.
If money is not an issue and you have no fear of needles, it’s possibly an option you may wish to look into. Some snorers say it helped them so there is no reason why it shouldn’t help you too.
It’s a gamble though. So are many other anti-snoring options such as MADs and TSDs, but these and other established options like chin straps, nasal dilators, and CPAP machines are likely to offer a greater chance of success. Especially if you go with a quality item.
These mainstay snoring solutions will also be less invasive and should be considerably cheaper.
Having said that, if you think a MAD is likely to work best, and many people do, it’s best to go for a boil and bite option in preference to a custom-built dental MAD.
The cost of getting a MAD via a dentist can run to over $1,000. That may be more expensive than a course of acupuncture and it’s an unnecessary expense. Boil and bite MADs can be just as effective and, because you set them up at home, they cost a fraction of the price.
Just to be clear. Although we probably wouldn’t suggest acupuncture for snoring as the first stop snoring remedy, it appears to have a lot to offer as a treatment for chronic pain. Unfortunately, as a snoring remedy, its credentials are not so good.
Apart from an investment in money, acupuncture will also involve an investment in time. You will need to make time to visit an acupuncturist. In all probability a number of times. This might be hard to fit around your work and home commitments, adding extra stress to your life.