As an acupuncture practitioner for many years, I have treated many patients with vertigo and other balance disorders. Vertigo is a common problem for many patients, particularly affecting the elderly. Symptoms of vertigo are including, spinning sensation, lightheadedness, unsteadiness, nausea and loss of balance.
There are several causes for vertigo. The most common is Meniere’s disease. This is an inner ear disease causing a change of pressure from a buildup of fluid. This can occur after an infection, illness, trauma or stress. There are medications that can help or an ear specialist can irrigate and clean the ear or try a procedure called the Epley maneuver to correct the imbalance in the middle ear. When these methods are unsuccessful many people turn to acupuncture.
I recently treated a client named Barbara who was experiencing vertigo for 8 months after having the flu. The vertigo was starting to affect her daily activities such as work and she was unable to concentrate due to the feeling of being unbalanced and constantly dizzy. Barbara did start vestibular rehabilitation six weeks ago at a frequency of one time a week but the results were temporary.
After a traditional Chinese medicine evaluation involving feeling the pulse and looking at the tongue, I determined that Barbara had a condition we call Liver yang rising and Kidney Yin deficiency with excess phlegm. This caused congestion on the orifices of her head including her ears. We began acupuncture treatment protocol designed to relieve the Liver heat and congestion in the acupuncture meridians’ of her ears. I selected the acupuncture points GV 20, SP 9, ST 8, GB 20, LV 2, and GB 34. All points chosen help descend Qi and clear the head along with removing phlegm from the body... I also added K6 K3 and Sp 6 to nourish yin in the body.
I recommended a well-known Chinese herbal formula called Tina Ma Gou Tang Yin that is very effective and safe to calm the liver, extinguish Wind, and nourish Yin.
Barbara was very pleased to report that after the first session many of her symptoms improved and she felt more balanced and without dizziness for a few days. She is now on a regular acupuncture treatment schedule for a few weeks and continuing her vestibular rehabilitation.
Post by Punita Jhangiani, L.Ac, FABORM
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