Acupuncture for Tinnitus - Study Shows Positive Results

By Chad Dupuis
Tagged in Acupuncture and Research

Tinnitus is a common complaint seen by Chinese Medicine practitioners, particularly as many western treatments have poor response rates.  There are cases where structural abnormalities exist and these are difficult to resolve with any method, however, many cases exist without a known etiology.  Within Chinese Medicine there are many patterns (see What Does Acupuncture Treat?) from which tinnitus can arise as a symptom and some appear to do better with treatment than others.  In a recent study conducted by Iranian researchers from the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, researchers explored the use of acupuncture for tinnitus.

Researchers recruited 54 patients and divided them into a treatment group and a placebo (sham acupuncture) group.  They were first assesssed by the hosptial and anxiety scale (HADS) and tinnitus severity index and tinnitus loudness scale were also completed by each patient.   The hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS), tinnitus severity index questionnaire, and tinnitus loudness scale were completed by the patients.  Patients were given 10 sessions of acupuncture with the analysis repeated after session 5 and at the conclusion of session 10. 

Treatment was aimed at specific tcm diagnosis and tailored appropriately.  The following standard points were used in all groups:

TH 17, GB 2, SI 19, TH 21

Secondary points by tcm diagnosis were added as follows:

1. TH 3, TH 5, TH 17, GB 8, GB 20, GB 43, LV 2
2. LI 4, SP9, ST 40, SI 19, TH 3, TH 21, UB 20, GB 20, GB 2, CV 9, CV 12, TH 5
3. SP 6, HT 6, UB 23, KD 3, KD 7, GB 2, LV 3, GV 4, CV 4
4. LU 9, SI 19, UB 13, TH 16, GV 20, CV 6, CV 17
5. SP 6, SI 19, UB 15, PC 6, GV 20, CV 14

After the 5th session and the 10th session researchers found significant reductions in tinnitus within the case group and no significant changes within the placebo group.  This indicates that acupuncture was effective for tinnitus.  That said results were mixed and in a true clinical setting proper Chinese Medicine treatment might involve more detailed specific treatment to the individual along with herbal formulas such as Ming Mu Di Huang Wan, as an example, and tuina to facilitate better circulation in the neck, sinus cavities, and ear canal.

Acupuncture for Tinnitus - Study Shows Positive Results

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Authored by: Chad Dupuis on 17 September 2012

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