If you suffer with tinnitus, you know how annoying it can be to pick up noises that no one else finds out. ENT physicians tell their patients that tinnitus is not a disease, and it is something that you learn to live with.
But, you will be pleased to know that you can reduce or eliminate those pesky sounds by using acupuncture for tinnitus.
Acupuncture for Tinnitus Protocol
The three most effective treatment modes of acupuncture for tinnitus are Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Japanese Acupuncture, and Korean Acupuncture.
The style of acupuncture that can work best for you will depend on your personal treatment preference, how long you have suffered with this condition, what underlying conditions you have, and the type of sounds that you hear.
Each style of acupuncture relies on treatment protocols called excess or deficiency patterns. The simplest way to remember the difference is that an excess pattern treatment is used if you have too much of something within your system and a deficiency pattern treatment is used if you have too little of something with your system.
However, it is possible to have a mixture of symptoms that will require both excess and deficiency pattern treatments.
Acupuncture is a detailed holistic practice that can take years to fully understand. You can use the following information from Yin Yang House Therapy, to help you understand the basics for the three major acupuncture for tinnitus protocol styles.
1. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
TCM is a theory of alternative medicine that includes acupuncture. Most acupuncturists received their training and education using TCM acupuncture style. The style is based on the foundations of Qi, a network of human pathways that TCM refers to as meridians.
This style places an emphasis on balancing the total harmony of Yin and Yang within your body. The needles used for TCM acupuncture are thin, fine and called filaments.
They are placed along specific Qi pathways to provide the most effective stimulation needed to treat your tinnitus symptoms.
2. Japanese Acupuncture
The Japanese Acupuncture style is a level beyond TCM acupuncture and requires more training. This form of treatment is based on the principle that less stimulation will create the most beneficial results.
The Japanese style uses fewer needle insertion points. More often than in other styles of acupuncture, your abdomen is used as a tool for diagnosis.
3. Korean Acupuncture
The Korean Acupuncture style uses techniques and treatments from four different treatment techniques. It uses applications from the TCM and Japanese styles as well as those from the Five Element and Auricular acupuncture styles.
One favorite subset of Korean Acupuncture is the Korean Hand Acupuncture practice that relies on the belief that hands are a microsystem of the human body and your condition can benefit from treating your hands.
Five Element Acupuncture places emphasis on your psycho-spiritual nature to heal your symptoms. This type of acupuncture requires specialized training beyond the knowledge needed for TCM or Japanese acupuncture.
Auricular Acupuncture is a specialty procedure that emphasizes the ear as a microcosm for the entire body. The basic belief is that any bodily condition can be managed by treatment involving the ears.
Acupuncture for Tinnitus Points
Initially, there were 365 acupuncture points, which are referred to as acupoints by practitioners. Those acupoints were thought to align with the number of days in a year.
The three locations for acupoints are along the meridians, A-shi sites found along tender or reflexive spots, and specified points outside the meridians call extraordinary points.
The most recent acupoint total is considered to be 670. But, this acupoint total does not include those points used in auricular acupuncture.
Acupuncture for tinnitus points are determined based on the type of protocol used and the symptoms and sounds you hear.
A good resource for five different forms of tinnitus and the suggested treatment protocols and treatment points is listed at TinnitusTalk.com.
Acupuncture for Tinnitus Treatment Sessions
During your first treatment session, the acupuncturist will ask about your medical and health history, what medications and supplements you are taking, and the symptoms that brought you to the office.
Based on your health situation and an analysis by the acupuncturist, a treatment plan will be commended.
You want to make sure that the acupuncturist explains how the treatment will benefit you, what steps are involved, how often the treatments need to be repeated, and how long will it be before your tinnitus is reduced or eliminated.
One time you have agreed to a treatment plan, you will receive your first procedure during that initial office visit. You can expect the entire visit to last about one hour.
Follow up sessions will last about 30 minutes. You may be responsible for the full cost of these sessions as most insurance policies do not include coverage for acupuncture.
Acupuncture for Tinnitus Results
According to an article by Dr. Emily Kane, ND, L.Ac, a Naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist, Top Five Remedies for Tinnitus, a positive tinnitus cure is possible if you have suffered with the condition for less than six months.
Acupuncture treatments are possible, even if your situation is long-standing, but it will be more difficult to treat. Whether your tinnitus is an early-stage or long-standing condition, you can expect to receive noise-level relief within the first few sessions.
Acupuncture for Tinnitus Time to Stop
Completely eliminating tinnitus perceived noises is not always possible. Curing tinnitus is more probable if you have early-stage tinnitus or a sudden onset tinnitus due to a head, neck or back injury.
The cure may require 5 to 10 sessions. If you have suffered with tinnitus for a long period time, you can expect to experience a reduction in the noise level after a few sessions.
But, to maintain the relief level, you may need to continue with your acupuncture treatments.
Acupuncture for Tinnitus Studies
While acupuncture is not a precise scientific discipline, it is a recognized kind of alternative medication. Acupuncture has been practiced for centuries by Asian cultures.
Recently, there have been many acupuncture for tinnitus studies performed by medical facilities and organizations as well as the research departments of medical universities and colleges.
One leading government organization is the National Institute of Health (NIH), a national biomedical research facility. Two positive NIH studies on the effectiveness of acupuncture for tinnitus are:
- The effects of acupuncture on the inner ear originated tinnitus,
- Acupuncture of tinnitus immediate relief.
In addition to the specific studies already mentioned, NIH is in the process of formulating another trial study entitled, Effectiveness of De Qi during acupuncture for the treatment of tinnitus: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.
Another prominent organization concerned with international public health is the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO is a specialized agency that comes under the United Nations.
They have performed extensive trials on acupuncture that include tinnitus. A report on their trial results is entitled, Acupuncture: Review and analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials. You can learn about the trials on hearing disorders at Section 2.12 of the report.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what acupuncture for tinnitus can do for you, you might want to consult with an acupuncturist.
Before you get in your car and drive down the road looking for an acupuncture sign, there are a few things you will want to consider. You can ask your family doctor or chiropractor for the name of a trusted acupuncturist in your area.
You can use the internet to check the credentials of a specific acupuncturist, how long he or he has been in practice, the office hours, the treatment protocols offered, and any patient comments provided.
Once you have made a consultation appointment with a licensed acupuncturist, take a list of questions to ask about your personal situation.
You are seeking treatment because your tinnitus is irritating and it interferes with daily activities and sleep.
You will want answers about the style of treatment, how many sessions are typically required to achieve relief or a cure, and once you have reached your anticipated cure or maximum level of relief, what must you do to maintain your renewed condition.
Beyond the benefits of a tinnitus cure, you want to feel comfortable with the professional who will be treating you.
According to a Hearing Health Foundation report, Tinnitus by the Numbers, approximately 90 percent of tinnitus cases are associated with some degree of hearing loss.
Acupuncture does not hurt and it can bring you the silence you have been craving.