Meniere’s Disease is a chronic condition that affects the inner ear. According to a 2018 study published in the Journal of Complementary Medicine and Alternative Healthcare, the disease is more common among adults above 40 years—but it can occur at any age.
The cause of Meniere’s Disease is not exactly known. But some experts point to genetics, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and changes in fluids found in the inner ear.
The signs and symptoms of the disease may include:
- Vertigo (i.e., a spinning sensation)
- Tinnitus (i.e., ringing in the ear
- Impaired hearing
- Loss of balance
- Sweating and vomiting/nausea
- Aural fullness (i.e. the feeling that your ear is plugged)
As a chronic disease, Western medicine deems Meniere’s Disease as an incurable condition. Patients can only manage the symptoms through lifestyle changes. Conventional treatments include pharmaceutical medication, physical therapy, hearing aids, or even surgery.
Owing to the lack of a cure and the risk posed by the symptoms, patients often look for alternative/complementary treatments. Acupuncture is a well-known, ancient alternative treatment modality that may help with Meniere’s Disease.
Here’s How Acupuncture Can Help with Meniere’s Disease
Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have different approaches to diagnosis and treatment than conventional Western Medicine. Specifically, signs and symptoms of diseases are seen as imbalances in body organs, blood (Xue), Qi (energy), and Yin & Yang.
TCM theories believe that the kidneys play a crucial role in the development of Meniere’s Disease.
The Zang-FU Theory of Internal Organs and Meniere’s Disease
The functions of internal organs in TCM and acupuncture are elaborated on in the Zang-Fu theory. It is different from what is taught in Western medicine. According to the Zang-Fu theory, the kidney is known as the “Root of Life” since it stores Qi. Qi is the foundation for Yin and Yang, and it interacts with Blood to maintain healthy Yin levels.
In TCM, the abnormal fluid retention seen in Meniere’s disease is known as Dampness. It causes QI stagnation and may damage the body’s Yang. It can be difficult to treat. It can also last for a long time and may affect other parts of the body.
The Zang organs that have a role in Dampness include the kidney, liver, and spleen.
- Kidney: The Kidney stores Qi.
- Lung: Lungs help in the circulation of Qi.
- Spleen: The Spleen creates Qi and controls blood.
As highlighted earlier, Meniere’s Disease often develops after the age of 40. In TCM, this is explained by the Huang Di Nei Jing (Essential Questions of Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic). This ancient volume notes that “three Yang meridians of women are weakened at 42, and Kidney Qi of men is deficient at 40.”
The major cause of Meniere’s Disease is Wind (Feng), which is associated with dizziness, pain, and vertigo. It is generated by impeded Qi and stagnated Blood. For this reason, acupuncture treatment for Meniere’s Disease looks at Qi regulation and blood mobilisation.
Is Acupuncture for Meniere’s Disease Effective According to Science?
- According to a Case Report appearing in the Journal of Acupuncture in Medicine, APS (acupuncture point stimulation) helped reduce dizziness and hearing loss in a 58-year-old patient.
- A 2013 study by the WHO Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicine and the Kyung Hee University suggests that the LR3 and GB34 acupoints promising results in the treatment of dizziness and tremors due to Wind.
- The results of a study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine showed that acupuncture treatment is effective at stopping vertigo and other symptoms of Meniere’s Disease.
Acupuncture for Meniere’s Disease
There is no cure for Meniere’s Disease. However, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can be effective alternative/complementary treatments to effectively manage the symptoms.
Looking for an “acupuncture clinic near me” in New Zealand? Centre of Balance in Hamilton is one of the best acupuncture clinics around. Your health is our priority, and we focus on treating the root cause of your health problem to improve your quality of life and general wellness.
Visit our clinic at 27F Whatawhata Road, Dinsdale, Hamilton or call us at 07 846 7956 to book an Initial Exam with an experienced practitioner.
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Curran, J. (2008). The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine. Retrieved from https://juniperpublishers.com/jcmah/pdf/JCMAH.MS.ID.555715.pdf
Tong-Zheng Hong. A Study on Acupuncture Treatment to Meniere’s disease J Complement Med Alt Healthcare. 2018; 7(3): 555715. DOI: 10.19080/JCMAH.2018.07.555715
Huang N, Li C (2012) Recurrent sudden sensorineural hearing loss in a 58-year-old woman with severe dizziness: a case report. Acupunct Med 30(1): 56-59. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1136/aim.2010.010003
Yeo, S., Choi, Y. G., Hong, Y. M., & Lim, S. (2013). Neuroprotective changes of thalamic degeneration-related gene expression by acupuncture in an MPTP mouse model of parkinsonism: a microarray analysis. Gene, 515(2), 329-338. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23235115/
Steinberger, A., & Pansini, M. (1983). The treatment of Meniere’s disease by acupuncture. The American journal of Chinese medicine, 11(01n04), 102-105. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6660197/