Tinnitus Awareness Week is February 5-11, 2018. Tinnitus is a condition at Midwest Acupuncture Group’s Chicago clinic where we have seen dozens upon dozens of cases over many years. Like many medical diagnoses, it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Tinnitus comes in many forms: it’s most commonly experienced as a high pitched ringing in the ears, but can also be low pitched, be the person’s own heartbeat, be music, a mechanical sound, or have no sound at all. It may be a stuffiness or “thwu” sensation, as if there is water in the ears or hands are covering and muffling the ears, distorting everything. This latter description is Eustachian Tube Dysfunction, but it often goes hand in hand with tinnitus.
Noiseless to Others, Loud, Screeching, and Maddening to You.
What makes tinnitus so difficult is that other people cannot see it, so they have no idea that a person is suffering, and may suffer to the point of serious life disruption: concentration is poor, sleep is disrupted, and it’s hard to be in noisy places or to enjoy music and conversation. This can lead to anxiety and depression.
One Ear or Both?
From experience, there’s usually a stress component involved in bilateral (both ears) cases, and for unilateral (single ear) cases, we usually delve into physical trauma history that may have occurred to or near the ear.
What Causes Tinnitus?
There are dozens of potential causes of tinnitus including (but not limited to) stress, digestive issues, TMJ, allergies, and sinus pressure. There is often inflammation involved. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine will treat all of the above. We’ll also suggest when a specialist should be consulted. Most people have already been to see an Ear Nose Throat doctor (Otolaryngologist) as it’s essential to first check for any structural damage and to rule out the presence of a serious disease. And after those concerns have been ruled out, that’s where Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can help.
How Does Acupuncture Help Tinnitus?
Many acupuncture meridians run through and around the ears, so focusing on moving qi stagnation is essential to restoring normal functionality. As with all acupuncture, the qi circulation will reduce inflammation. The endorphins will calm a person’s frayed nerves and help restore balance. When appropriate, Traditional Chinese herbs are also used as an adjunct therapy depending on the root cause of the Tinnitus.
Tinnitus in Chicago
Last year saw a huge Tinnitus spike when Mother Nature sent us an early Chicago spring. Spring is the season of Wood and growth which impacts the energetic liver.
How Soon Until I Hear Change??
Most patients experience change during the first office visit, although some feel more change up to 2 days after treatment. For a tinnitus success story, read this former patient’s testimonial: http://www.midwestacupuncturegroup.com/general/tinnitus-success-story/
There is hope for the treatment of tinnitus! It’s an honor to be part of your health solutions!
Dana Hoffman, L.Ac., MSOM