Does Acupuncture Work for Tinnitus?

Will this annoying buzzing noise stop? Tinnitus is a medical term that refers to “hearing” noises in the ears with no outside sound source. For some patients is a come-and-go condition, and some can suffer for hours. Many studies and experiences have shown that acupuncture improves comfort, and quality of life, decreases stress, and improves sleep in patients suffering from tinnitus.

Tinnitus, or as we often call it, “ringing in the ears,” can produce many different sounds in our ears such as buzzing, humming, whistling, hissing, etc. It is a medical symptom which can point to some damage in the ear or auditory system. Even worse, it affects daily functioning and quality of life since some patients may experience the symptoms for hours. Patients who suffer from tinnitus have problems concentrating and sleeping.

One great and improving alternative to treat tinnitus is acupuncture, a holistic therapy that can lessen ear buzzing and restore some of the hearing. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe that the energy imbalance in the body mainly causes issues like tinnitus. At times there are plenty or excessive energy flow, and sometimes the deficiency of energy causes problems in organ systems. Acupuncture will help boost the whole immune system, work on specific points which guard the ears and hearing, and improve overall body condition. TCM approaches can also involve herbs, cupping, acupressure, and more.

Makari Wellness – Acupuncture for Tinnitus in San Diego

Michael Woodworth, a holistic and TCM practitioner, is the founder of the great Makari Wellness, which assisted number of people in treating various conditions. He has been practicing alternative medicine for more than fifteen years, and acupuncture is one of his specialties. Since recently, more and more people suffering from tinnitus have reached for alternative treatment ways, Michael helped a lot of patients get rid of annoying hearing sounds. He uses needles to regulate and renew qi flow through body meridians, improve circulation, and lessen tinnitus symptoms. Besides treatments, Michael is always there for the patients to give some advice to improve their lifestyle and overall body performance. Book your consultation today and experience the best acupuncture in San Diego and Oceanside. Contact us at (888) 871-8889.

What is Acupuncture?

  • Acupuncture is an alternative treatment of many conditions based on Traditional Chinese Medicine.
  • Chinese practitioners believed that we all have the life force or energy flowing through many pathways in our body.
  • The pathways or meridians answers to a different group of organs which control the functioning of the body.
  • The energy, also known as qi, may be out the balance, which causes different conditions.
  • The qi balance is the balance between yin and yang which are the opposites and sometimes there is too much, too little, or completely blocked flow of it.
  • Acupuncturists insert needles in certain points of these meridians or where the energy flows, taking the balance back.

Can Acupuncture Help Tinnitus?

One study, which was conducted in a hospital in China, stated that acupuncture treatment helped to improve overall hearing abilities and lessened ringing and depression.

In comparison to placebo treatments, another study has shown that acupuncture significantly reduced the level of pitch in patients ears and the severity of loudness.

Tinnitus is a condition believed to be associated with somatosensory nervous system responsible for gathering information from sensory organs and transmit them to the brain. Some of these sensory nerves may be damaged by neck or head injury, dental issue, or nerve harm that may lead to hearing phantom sounds.

According to TCM practitioners, issues like tinnitus are caused by the imbalance in the body system and its energy. At times there is a deficiency of blood flow and sometimes the excessive amount if it. Ringing in the ears may be related to the following:

  • Blood qi deficiency
  • Excessive liver and gallbladder heat
  • Kidney deficiency
  • Rising liver heat
  • Phlegm stagnation

Acupuncture will reduce tinnitus by raising the blood flow and renewing the nerves, lessening chronic stress and anxiety, and improving sleep. Since tinnitus is seen as an expression of some deeper disharmony that is evolving gradually, acupuncture treatment can improve those certain points and find the root of the issues.

6 Acupoints for Tinnitus

Tinnitus can be divided into five categories and this division is based upon the type of your qi energy disbalance. If your ear ringing and hearing loss are due to the imbalance in your liver, acupuncturist will stimulate the meridians which run along this organ.

The most common issue and disbalance point are in the patient’s ears; in that case, these points are stimulated.

  • Tinggong (SI19) – Located in front of the ear and stimulated for ontological issues.
  • Ermen (TB21) – Located in the anterior of the ear and easily found and stimulated with open mouth
  • Shangguan (GB3) – The point which eliminated the wind and belongs to the gallbladder meridian
  • Tinghui (GB2) – The point which clears the heat, alleviates the pain and activates the ear channel. It is in front of the ear and placed where the whole qi of the ear meridians is collected.
  • Taixi (KI3) – Improves kidney yin, clears the deficiency heat, tonifies kidney yang and anchors the qi. It is located on the ankle point on the inside.
  • Yindu (KI19) – It belongs to the kidney foot meridian located on the upper abdomen. It regulated the qi, alleviates cough and wheezing and lowers the excessive heat.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is when you experience ringing or other noises in one or both ears and affects around 20% of people. Usually it is caused by age-related hearing loss, injury, or circulatory issues. But almost every person experiences tinnitus once in a lifetime, and it last a few seconds or minutes.

Those who experience it constantly have increased stress level and trouble focusing and sleeping.

There are two types of tinnitus: 

  • Objective – both a person who has tinnitus and examiner can hear the sound. Examiner approaches the stethoscope to patients’ ear, head, or neck.
  • Subjective – This means that only the affected person can hear the sound.

Symptoms of Tinnitus

Besides the classic ringing in the ear sensation, tinnitus can produce phantom noises in your ear, such as:

  • Hissing
  • Humming
  • Roaring
  • Buzzing
  • Clicking

The noises and their intensity go from low hissing to high squealing, and they can be present in one or both ears. Mostly it interferes with other sounds from the surrounding, making it hard for a person to concentrate and continue with activities. In some cases, a person experiences pulsatile tinnitus, which occurs as rhythmic pulsing in time of the heartbeat.

Common Causes of Tinnitus

Tinnitus is actually a symptom of some ear issue, and it is not known why people hear and where the noises come from. Some of the ear conditions which can cause tinnitus are:

  • Hearing loss
  • Ear infection
  • Wax
  • Foreign object
  • Inner ear disease – Meniere
  • Eustachian tube issue (tube placed between the throat and middle ear)

Besides these ear conditions, tinnitus may be caused by aspirin or antibiotics side effects as well as excessive intake of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco. Sometimes tinnitus can be alert for serious conditions such as high blood pressure, anemia, tumor, aneurysm, thyroid problems, obesity, etc. Musculoskeletal factors such as teeth grinding, jaw clenching, or muscle tension make tinnitus more visible. Massage therapy can be of great help in case muscle tension is the issue of tinnitus.

Tinnitus Risk Factors and Complications

Tinnitus is a condition that can hit anyone, but some factors increase the risk. Those factors include:

  • Tobacco and alcohol consumption
  • Sex – it is believed that men are more likely to develop this condition
  • Exposure to very loud noises
  • Age
  • Chronic health problems

Tinnitus hits different people differently, and not everyone has the same symptoms and consequences. It can affect the quality of life and everyday activities, which may cause mental decline for some. If a person has tinnitus, it can experience some complications such as sleep problems, depression and anxiety, headaches and migraines, fatigue, and loss of memory.

Prevention of Tinnitus

Certain kinds of tinnitus can be prevented, and some precautions can help with it.

  • People who work in some industries exposed to loud sounds such as factories, constructions, or musicians, should wear some over-the-ear protection.
  • Also, if you enjoy listening to music on your headphones, try to reduce the volume.
  • Taking care of cardiovascular health like eating healthy, walking and exercising can increasingly lessen the risk of tinnitus.
  • Lastly, limit the intake of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine since they affect the blood flow and increase the risk of developing tinnitus.