The "Tongmai Tiaoshen" abdominal massage therapy of traditional Chinese medicine improves sleep quality of chronic insomnia patients: A case report

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2021 Feb:42:101292. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101292. Epub 2020 Dec 24.


Background and purpose: "Tongmai Tiaoshen" practices are effective for treating psychophysiological disorders. Herein, we report the treatment of a post-menopausal female patient with chronic insomnia using "Tongmai Tiaoshen" abdominal massage therapy.

Materials and methods: A 62-year-old woman who had chronic insomnia due to deficiency of heart and spleen accompanied by anxiety and depression for 30 years was treated with "Tongmai Tiaoshen" abdominal massage therapy for six weeks. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), and Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) scores were recorded before and after treatment to evaluate treatment efficacy.

Results: Compared with the baseline, PSQI, HDRS, and SAS scores were significantly lower after application of the abdominal massage therapy.

Conclusion: The "Tongmai Tiaoshen" abdominal massage therapy may alleviate the symptoms of chronic insomnia caused by deficiency of heart and spleen, thus improving the quality of sleep and mitigating the state of anxiety and depression.

Keywords: Abdominal massage therapy; Case report; Chronic insomnia; Traditional Chinese medicine; “Tongmai tiaoshen”.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Massage
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Middle Aged
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders* / etiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders* / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome