Balance can mean different things within Acupuncture; it can mean physical balance, mental balance, or spiritual balance. However, for the purpose of this article, we’re focusing on physical balance and whether or not Acupuncture can help with issues such as dizziness and vertigo.
So, can acupuncture help with balance problems? Acupuncture can help with balance problems such as vertigo and chronic dizziness; in some cases it can provide immediate results. It is particularly useful for reducing the symptoms of such conditions, as well as reducing the need for and reliance on Western medication.
Read on to learn more about Acupuncture for balance, the relevant Acupuncture points for balance, and how many sessions would be needed.
Can Acupuncture Help Balance Issues?
Studies report successful outcomes in patients that have been treated for balance problems, such as vertigo, with Acupuncture. In one case, a patient reported reduced symptoms after just one session, and complete cessation of vertigo by the second session. After six months, the patient was still symptom-free.
This case suggests that Acupuncture could be a successful alternative treatment for balance problems like vertigo, or even dizziness and lightheadedness in terms of reducing symptoms. It could be particularly useful for those that, for whatever reason, wish to reduce or completely eliminate the use of drugs, or in the case of dizziness, where there is currently no well-established, curative medication that is suitable for long-term use.
Another study reported that Acupuncture demonstrates immediate effect in reducing the symptoms and discomfort of dizziness and vertigo, making it a safe and effective emergency treatment that doesn’t rely on Western medication.
How Does Acupuncture Restore Balance?
Acupuncture restores balance problems in conditions such as vertigo by offering the following effects:
- Increasing blood flow
- Increasing local microcirculation
- Increasing endorphins
- Reducing inflammation
- Reducing the feeling of dizziness
Acupuncture Points for Balance Problems
Acupuncture points for balance problems will depend on the condition in question, however, some common acupoints in this area include:
- PC6 - Inner Pass - Nei Guan: useful for motion sickness, nausea, vomiting and headache
- GB21 – Shoulder Well – Jian Jing: useful for nausea, dizziness and motion sickness
- TH17 – Wind Screen – Yifeng: useful for dizziness, tinnitus and deafness
- ST36 – Leg Three Li – Zusanli: useful for nausea and vomiting
- EX-HN3 – Hall of Impression/Seal – Yintang: useful for headache, vertigo and congestion
How Many Acupuncture Sessions are Needed for Vertigo and Other Balance Problems?
It is thought that for balance conditions such as vertigo and chronic dizziness, 5 Acupuncture sessions are required; the first 4 sessions should be conducted every other day, and the 5th sessions should be conducted 1 week later. However, as always, the number of Acupuncture sessions needed to treat a condition will depend on that specific condition, its severity and any underlying health conditions that the patient may have.
Learn more about how long it takes for Acupuncture to work and how long patients should wait between treatments in our recent blogs. These blogs are more generalised approaches to these common questions, however, the information and guidance provided should offer useful insight.
Multiple studies have indicated that Acupuncture is a good alternative to Western treatments for balance problems like vertigo and chronic dizziness, and may be particularly useful in cases where patients want to reduce or cease taking medication for their condition.
However, it is important to note that studies into Acupuncture for balance problems appear to be in their infancy and all researchers disclaim that further research and large-scale trials into this area is required.
But, one study in particular stated that Acupuncture is a safe treatment for balance conditions so, if you’re a healthcare professional looking into providing alternative treatments, why not try Acupuncture? Breeze Academy offers a number of beginner and advanced Acupuncture courses across the UK that provide you with everything you need to successfully perform Acupuncture on your patients. Take a look online today or get in touch for more information.
What is Vertigo?
Contrary to popular belief, vertigo is actually a symptom rather than a condition in itself; it is the feeling that you, or the environment around you, is moving or spinning. A vertigo attack can last from a few seconds to a few hours, or even days and months in more severe cases.
What Causes Vertigo?
Vertigo is caused by inner ear conditions which affect balance. Commonly, these include:
- benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) – where specific head movements cause vertigo
- labyrinthitis – an inner ear infection caused by a cold or flu virus
- vestibular neuritis – inflammation of the vestibular nerve
- Ménière's disease – a rare inner ear condition, which sometimes involves ringing in the ear (tinnitus) or loss of hearing
Migraines and some types of medicine can also cause vertigo and sometimes, medical professionals simply cannot attribute vertigo to a specific cause.
What are the Main Causes of Balance Problems?
Some of the causes of balance problems overlap with the causes of vertigo, however there are some additional causes in relation to other conditions;
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
- Vestibular neuritis
- Persistent postural-perceptual dizziness
- Meniere's disease
- Acoustic neuroma
- Ramsay Hunt syndrome
- Head injury
- Motion sickness