Support for People Doing Shift Work

by Stef Cordes and Lisa Baird

Anyone who’s worked shift work knows that it can be hard on the mind and the body. Whether you’re working nights long-term, or doing a rotating schedule, having work hours that overlap with the typical sleep period can be very disruptive. There’s even a name for the excessive sleepiness and insomnia that can result: “shift work sleep disorder” which is a type of “circadian rhythm sleep disorder”.

The good news is, community acupuncture can help with some of the symptoms and adverse effects. We treat folks working a wide variety of shift work: from those who serve food and drink into the late hours of the night, to truck & taxi drivers, to those who work late-night factory shifts. Some folks come to us directly after finishing their shift, while others come for an acunap before starting an overnight.

Our patients report deeper sleep in our clinic compared to sleeping at home (which is especially true for daytime zzz’s) and acupuncture also supports the body’s natural ability to deal with the stress of disrupted sleep schedules. So not only are you getting some extra good-quality sleeping time, but you’re also reducing the severity of the negative effects of a disturbed sleep cycle.

It’s impossible to ignore that many jobs requiring shift work are also very stressful by nature, above and beyond the sleep-related issues. Stress and anxiety, along with lower back pain & foot pain and lowered immunity are some of the most common complaints we see among our shift-working patients at GCA. One of the beautiful things about our treatment model is that you’re welcome to a free nap with every treatment. Which is to say, we can and do treat physical/mental/emotional ailments and give you a nap at the same time. We treat nurses with sore feet, stressed-to-the-max shelter workers, and security guards with insomnia.

If you’re doing shift work and you’d like some support, or if you want to know if we can help you get through your work week, get in touch.

Community acupuncture practitioner sitting on a stool in the GCA group treatment room, in front of a bearded patient relaxing in a recliner, while several other patients sleep in recliners covered in red blankets in a loose circle in the room.
People sleeping in our treatment room. (photo by David James Hudson)

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