Have you been hearing a buzzing, ringing, clicking, whistling, whooshing, hissing, or humming sound in one or both of your ears that no one else can hear? If so, you are not crazy you are just experiencing tinnitus. Tinnitus is a common symptom of roughly 200 potential causes that affects nearly 50 million Americans according to the American Tinnitus Association. Not easily treated, doctors still don’t know how tinnitus occurs due to the vast number of health disorders tinnitus can be a symptom of. This is unfortunate because the symptoms of tinnitus can be maddening for a person to deal with, and can negativity affect your daily life and emotional state. However, the most common causes of tinnitus are hearing loss, aging, hormonal changes, earwax buildup, noise exposure, medications, head or neck trauma, or TMJ.
In certain cases, if the problem is known, treatment of the issue may relieve tinnitus. However, for those who are still in search of the root of their problem, knowing some alternative treatment methods may help give you relief. Acupuncture is one method that has become increasingly popular as a viable way to treat symptoms and chronic conditions. An ancient practice which places fine, thin needles into the skin along meridian channel points to promote healing throughout the body. Recently several controlled studies have demonstrated that acupuncture is an effective method for the alleviation of tinnitus. However, this is still not a one-size-fits-all approach and just like other treatment methods, may not work for everyone. Despite this, acupuncture can also help the patient’s ability to cope, even if the level of noise remains unchanged for them. Many find acupuncture to be very relaxing and it’s true! Acupuncture activates your body’s natural healing response in which endorphins and enkephalins are released into your body to help relieve your pain and help you relax.
To help support the idea of the benefits of acupuncture and tinnitus, researchers from Hubei Province hospital in central China conducted a trial on the effects of ginger moxibustion and acupuncture on tinnitus patients. The results were excellent, with 91% of the patients experiencing an improvement of their tinnitus. Other studies have also shown positive results, such as the one conducted by Iranian researchers. Researchers from the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences recruited 54 tinnitus patients and divided them into a treatment and placebo group. At the end of the study, researchers discovered that the treatment group had significant reductions in tinnitus, while the placebo group had no significant changes. Also, other studies have been conducted that also show that acupuncture has the ability to improve tinnitus in select patients.
Interested in finding out first hand about the benefits of acupuncture and tinnitus? When used in conjunction with standard Western treatments, alternative treatments such as acupuncture may give you relief. However, before you make that phone call to a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, consult with your physician first before you undergo acupuncture treatment.