Acupuncture and Herbs Eliminate Meniere’s Disease

Acupuncture has been proven clinically effective for the treatment of Meniere’s disease, a disorder characterized by vertigo, hearing loss, and tinnitus. Researchers determined that acupuncture produces a 100% total effective rate. The results indicate that acupuncture is safe and effective for the treatment of Meniere’s disease. [1]

The total effective rate was determined by combining ) three tiers of patient outcomes: cured, very effective, effective. All patients improved significantly and none were included in the not effective category. A total of 26 patients were completely cured (no symptoms whatsoever), 6 patients achieved the very effective tier (complete relief of vertigo), and 12 achieved the effective tier (significant relief of vertigo). [2] Perhaps the most important finding in the total effective rate is that the completely cured tier of effectiveness is dominant.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Meniere’s disease is categorized as part of the Xuan Yun (vertigo) designation. The researchers provided examples of TCM theory on the topic. Hyperactivity of liver yang, phlegm turbidity, qi and blood deficiency, and kidney deficiency are part of the diagnostic patterns. Liver, kidney, and spleen are usually involved along with fatigue. Emotional stresses and overeating may contribute to the pattern. In many cases, the pathogenesis is excess in the upper burner and deficiency in the lower burner.

Hospital medicine produces inconsistent results for the the treatment of Meniere’s disease. [3] A review of acupuncture finds that it is highly effective with a low relapse rate. [4] The research by Liu et al. incorporated the use of the following acupuncture points: [5]

  • GB20 (Fengchi)

  • LI4 (Hegu)

  • LV3 (Taichong)

  • EX-HN22 (Anmian)

  • EX-HN3 (Yintang)

  • GV26 (Shuigou)

  • DU20 (Baihui)

The research team provided the TCM basis for the acupuncture point selection. Fengchi and Taichong belong to Gall Bladder Channel of Foot-Shaoyang and Liver Channel of Foot-Jueyin respectively, which are conducive to suppressing a hyperactive liver for calming endogenous wind and eliminating phlegm. Baihui and Fengchi acupoints are used to restore consciousness and relieve vertigo. For nausea and vomiting, the following acupoints were added:

  • PC6 (Neiguan)

  • ST36 (Zusanli)

  • HT7 (Shenmen)

The Zusanli acupoint is used to regulate the qi flowing in the channels. Neiguan, Shenmen, and Zusanli jointly play a role in regulating the spleen and stomach, dispelling dampness, harmonizing the stomach, and stopping vomiting. Neiguan has the function of relaxing chest and quieting the heart-spirit along with its powerful action to stop vomiting and nausea. For tinnitus, the following acupoints were added:

  • SJ17 (Yifeng)

  • SI19 (Tiangong)

  • GB8 (Shuaigu)

  • SJ3 (Zhongzhu)

Scalp acupuncture was added over the region of the superior temporal gyrus, an area of the brain containing the primary auditory cortex. Reducing needling methods were employed during acute stages and mild reinforcing-reducing methods were used for chronic stages. Needles were manually manipulated once every ten minutes. Needles were retained for thirty minutes per session and one session was administered daily for a total of ten days.

TCM Herbal Formulas

In combination with acupuncture, chinese herbal medicine is an effective treatment for tinnitus and meneire's disease. Researchers find a modified version of Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang particularly effective. The modified herbal formula highlighted in the research contains the following herbs: [6] Note: