Have you ever tried acupuncture for tinnitus?
What is tinnitus and what are the causes of tinnitus?
Have you ever suffered from a peculiar ringing in the ears? If so, you may be experiencing a condition called tinnitus. Tinnitus is constant, abnormal ear noise when there is no corresponding external sound present. Most sufferers of tinnitus describe the noise as a ringing sound. But this can vary from person to person. Tinnitus is more common than you think. Statistics shows it can affect 1 person in every 10.
Tinnitus can have a wide range of causes from exposure to sudden, loud music to a nerve disorder creating a constant ringing in a person’s ears. Tinnitus can range from mild to chronic. At its worse, tinnitus can lead to deafness. We often think this is a problem associated with veterans and the elderly. But other common causes also include whiplash or even certain types of dental work.
Tinnitus can be a very frustrating health problem for many people. Sufferers may be disinclined to socialise as they experience difficulty in settings with background noise such as concerts. It can be discouraging after many doctor visits where prescription drug therapies fail to make a difference. With this in mind it is worth trying acupuncture for tinnitus to see how beneficial it can be as a treatment.
Tinnitus caused by structural damage to the ear is very difficult to repair. Otherwise acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be a very effective treatment for tinnitus. The effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment may vary depending on the cause, how advanced the tinnitus is and the patient’s age. For example, treatment effectiveness for an elderly person with tinnitus may be significantly less than in the case of a younger person.
How can acupuncture help with tinnitus?
The use of acupuncture for tinnitus is a non-invasive and safe treatment that has been used for centuries. The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach is to address the underlying conditions and heal the body from within. As there is more than one cause of tinnitus, treatments will vary. For example, where a patient experiences a quiet, faint type of ringing, more predominantly at night before sleep, it is usually due to ‘kidney weakness’. This can wake people in the middle of the night with insomnia. Another type of tinnitus resembles the sound of chirping cicadas and this is caused by an imbalance in the ‘liver’. Acupuncture and TCM endeavours to address not simply the symptom, but also the underlying cause and eliminate both the surface discomfort and its source.
In cases of tinnitus where the ringing sensation is periodic, causes may be linked to high emotional strain, such as sudden anger. Diet can also have an effect on this condition. Excessive consumption of greasy foods or erratic eating patterns can lead to the production of phlegm. This prevents the rising of clear ‘qi’ to the head and results in the ringing noise associated with tinnitus. Nerve disturbance created by overwork or excess physical strain can lead to tinnitus. Trauma, or physical strain, is a common factor associated with the ringing noise that presents in this disorder. In these cases, tinnitus is an expression of an underlying disharmony. For these patients, the treatment options will include acupuncture alongside herbal therapies which nourish the body and create wellness at a deeper level. For others, tinnitus may arise as a result of side effects from medications or exposure to very loud noise over many years. These patients may respond well to acupuncture therapy alone.
How is acupuncture for tinnitus applied?
So, how is acupuncture applied? The practice of acupuncture is based on the stimulation of specific points on the body, including meridians and channels. After determining the patient’s unique case, stimulating specific points can rebalance the ‘qi’ (or, energy flow) to alleviate the source of the problem.
Acupuncture therapy uses one or more dry needles that are gently tapped into the surface of the skin at specific points. The needles are very fine and about 10 times thinner than conventional hypodermic needles and the treatment is painless and safe. The insertion of these needles stimulates a natural healing response from the body in which endorphins (relaxation chemicals) and enkephalins (pain relieving chemicals) are released into the bloodstream. There is no requirement for uncomfortable examinations and you may find this treatment very calming and soothing. Patients feel a sense of wellness and relaxation as a result of this natural body response. Moreover, there is no medication administered in the needles, so no negative side effects.
Chinese herbal formulas have ingredients that are derived from natural sources such as plants and minerals. A TCM practitioner will take into consideration other medications the patient may be taking to and make a decision on a complementary herbal course of treatment.
Traditional Chinese medicine has an extensive history and has been practiced for more than 4000 years. TCM recognises that everyone is unique so will have an individual response to treatment. TCM criterion includes pulse and tongue diagnosis as well as tracing the source of each case. Depending on the cause of tinnitus, some patients may respond rapidly to treatment, while others may need to be more patient with their healing time. Chinese medicine practitioners recognise this and tailor the treatment uniquely to suit each individual patient’s own healing journey.
Contact us to book a consultation
If you are experiencing the discomfort of tinnitus and wanting to seek treatment using acupuncture and Chinese herbs, we are here to help. For further information regarding acupuncture and Chinese medicines for tinnitus, please contact us at our Perth or Subiaco clinic:
Perth Clinic: Ph 9228 8828
Subiaco Clinic: Ph 9380 4171
Alternatively, you can send us your queries through our online contact page.