Vertigo
336 Case Studies
147 Member Stories
36 Research

What is vertigo?

Vertigo and dizziness affect 20 percent of the population, with most being elderly women. In objective vertigo, the individual gets the feeling that the environment is shifting. In abstract vertigo, the individual feels like he or she's moving, and in pseudo-vertigo, there's a sensation of rotation within the patient's head. Medical reasons include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière's disease, and vestibular neuritis. It may also be due to injury, migraine, fever, and excessive alcohol intake.

In vertigo, the patient experiences rotation, loss of balance, and sometimes nausea. It may manifest in a resting or sitting posture, or only show when the patient stands up or walks around.

The cause is usually associated with an inner ear problem. The internal ear components play an integral role in maintaining our physical equilibrium when correcting our body position. Factors are known to cause vertigo include head trauma, neurological difficulties, migraine headaches, and side effects from certain prescription medications.

Patients with vertigo have significant relief in 3 months, and complete therapy is up to two or three weeks.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting,  ringing in the ears, feeling of fullness or pressure, migraine headache, and hearing loss. Occurrences can be incapacitating, lasting from several hours to several days and recurring with varying frequency. An attack may be precipitated by growth in fluid in the inner ear's labyrinth area, causing increased stress and a disrupted sense of equilibrium. It typically starts in mid-life and occurs about equally in women and men. Sometimes, professional treatment is unnecessary because the condition may resolve itself.

But, in other instances, medical therapy may be essential to take care of the problem. Fortunately, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can provide help in this section. This medical condition is often related to the element of wind and is described with the exact words as this naturally-occurring phenomenon. The alarming sensations related to a bout of vertigo are known to come on unexpectedly, sweep through the body, and cause symptoms that may come and go fast. 

See: 84 year old recovers from Vertigo with Miro 48 Acupuncture

Acupuncture for vertigo

A practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine can influence the effects of wind in a patient's body by using specific acupuncture points. For instance, if it's found that uncontrollably climbing and whipping wind is causing a patient to undergo loss of equilibrium and nausea, it's crucial to needle acupuncture points, which will promote a smooth, orderly flow of Qi. Qi is the most fundamental and essential kind of energy required for all life to exist.

Acupuncturists diagnose this as an obstruction at the meridian energy pathways which operate through the ear. Frequently the cause is that the adverse reaction to food allergens, disease, or diseases. Symptoms are often alleviated in a couple of sessions, and a series of treatments may reduce or eliminate the frequency of strikes. Acupuncture does provide a great deal of relief to a lot of patients experiencing vertigo regardless of the underlying condition.

Oriental medicine regards that vertigo and dizziness are caused by upper excess and lower deficiency. An excess of pathogenic qi in the upper body and deficiency of healthy qi in the lower body, the same as excess above and deficiency below, and Hanyak correct this issue. There is an assortment of etiological factors that could cause the condition. Emotional depression or anger may damage liver yin and cause the increase of liver yang or end. Extended illness, stress, anxiety, over-pensiveness, or poor heart, and spleen can lead to a lack of qi and blood. Overindulgent intercourse, extended illness, or advancing years may cause a deficiency of kidney jing. Stress, unhealthy diet, and eating habits can damage the spleen and stomach. This damage allows obstruction of the center jiao by phlegm-dampness or phlegm-fire. 

Vertigo and dizziness are distinguished by level in clinical practice, with vertigo as a more severe manifestation. In vertigo, the mind feels like wrapped in a moist towel, with symptoms of rotation and loss of equilibrium. The etiological cause is an inherent deficiency of spleen qi with accumulation on warmth in the center jiao. This deficiency contributes to food stagnation and phlegm, a critical pathogenic factor in vertigo. Underlying deficiencies of kidney yin and jing can create liver end, driving phlegm upwards. In TCM, this may be referred to just as endogenous wind-phlegm. Effective herbal formulas should tackle this complex of lack, wind, heat, and phlegm.

In traditional Chinese medicine, vertigo is connected to root lack and branch surplus. Several causes can result in vertigo, and therefore are essential to determine since they can cause a proper or improper TCM diagnosis.

See: Anxiety, Vertigo, Bloating, and Edema with Acupuncture and Asian Herbs.

Causative factors of vertigo

Etiological factors of vertigo

- Liver Yin resulting in a growth in Liver Yang or Breeze -- Emotional depression or anger [a sign commonly seen with vertigo].

- Middle Jiao by Phlegm-Dampness or Phlegm-Fire -- improper diet, and stress can damage the spleen & stomach.

- Weak Heart or Spleen causing qi & blood deficiency -- prolonged illness, stress, and anxiety.

- Kidney Jing Deficiency -- overindulgent intercourse, prolonged illness, and aging.

Vertigo in the TCM perspective will entail phlegm, lack, wind, or flame. With TCM diagnosis, it's crucial as providers to do a comprehensive consultation and analysis of the individual to ascertain points that will benefit both vertigo and potential underlying condition.

See: Chinese Herbal Medicine for Vertigo and Cough

How does Acupcunture help vertigo?

Acupuncture works for vertigo by:

- Increasing blood circulation -- based on the needling, it's enhanced in the vertebral-basilar artery that improves vertigo.

- Reducing inflammation

- Increasing local microcirculation -- this helps with any swelling associated with or causing vertigo.

- Reducing dizziness/vertigo -- needling certain points like PC6 and ST36 are frequently utilized to reduce dizziness/vertigo.

- Increasing endorphins -- stimulating nerves found in muscles & other cells leads to their discharge, altering the pain processing in the brain & spinal cord.

While success with acupuncture alone is hard to achieve, many professionals see results when blending appropriate acupuncture points with herbal formulas based on the individual's cause of vertigo. The correct acupuncture points and herbal formulas used are vital in addressing a patient's vertigo.

Acupuncture points for vertigo:

- GV20 -- Hundred Convergences -- Bai Hui -- situated 5 cun posterior to the AHL. This stage can provide near-immediate benefits, and in the method of vertigo, it can treat vertigo itself, intense headaches, dizziness, visual dizziness, and tinnitus.

- SI19 -- Auditory Palace -- Ting Gong -- situated anterior to the tragus and anterior to the mandible's condyloid process. This point calms the soul and is useful with ear problems like inflammation, tinnitus, & hearing loss.

- PC6 -- Internal Pass -- Nei Guan -- situated 2 cun above the wrist crease between the palmaris longus tendons and flexor carpi radialis. This stage is useful for motion sickness, nausea & vomiting, and headache.

GB20 -- Wind Pool -- Feng Chi -- situated in the depression between the upper part of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and the trapezius degree with GV16. This point will relieve dizziness, vertigo, numbness, headache, and neurological difficulties.

- GB21 -- Shoulder Well -- Jian Jing -- situated on the shoulder straight over the nipple at the midpoint of a line linking GV14 and the acromion in the shoulder's highest point. This point is beneficial for treating nausea, dizziness, and motion sickness.

- EX-HN3 -- Hall of Impression/Seal -- Yintang -- situated midway between the eyebrows' medial ends. This stage is beneficial for calming the soul, frontal headache, vertigo, and congestion.

- TH17 -- Wind Display -- Yifeng -- situated posterior to lobule of the ear in the depression between the mandible and mastoid process. This point is beneficial for nausea, tinnitus, and deafness.

- ST36 -- Leg Three Li -- Zusanli -- situated 3 cun below ST35 1 finger width lateral from the anterior tibia border. This point is beneficial for tonifying deficient qi or blood in addition to nausea & vomiting.

All of those points are also excellent acupressure points to potentially equip your patients to help any vertigo problems that may occur outside the office.

See: Home Remedies For Vertigo

Chinese herbal formulations for vertigo

TCM Herbal formulations for vertigo:

- Zhi Yun Tang -- moves Qi, strengthens the spleen, dredges the Liver, tonifies Qi, clears heat, moistens the Liver and Stomach, eliminates dampness, and transforms phlegm. For Those Who Have Liver Qi Stagnation & Spleen Qi Deficiency with Heat & dryness in the Liver and Stomach and Phlegm -- Dampness. For dizziness & vertigo.

- Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao San -- alleviates pain and dispels wind. For Those Who Have External Wind. Contraindicated for those with headaches because of Liver Yang Rising or Liver Wind. Additionally, it is contraindicated for those with Kidney or Liver Yin Deficiency or with Qi & Blood Deficiencies.

- Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang -- strengthens the spleen, dispels dampness, transforms phlegm, soothes the Liver, extinguishes wind. For Those Who Have Wind-Phlegm and Damp-Phlegm. Contraindicated for Those Who Have Liver Yang rising or Blood deficiency.

There are also herbs, which are more readily accessible to patients like turmeric, and ginger root, which will also aid vertigo. The very best points and formulas will tackle some kind of lack, wind, heat, and phlegm. Prolonged use of an herbal remedy may be required to have complete favorable results in vertigo treatment.

See: Ginger Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts

Acupuncture studies for Vertigo

A Research in 2015 Efficiency & Safety of Acupuncture for Dizziness & Vertigo at Emergency Department, and a meta-analysis in 2017, The Effectiveness of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Cervical Vertigo both concluded that acupuncture helped reduce symptoms of nausea and vertigo. Researchers in the 2017 study said that acupuncture might be more effective in efficacy and improvement of clinical symptoms and normal blood flow speed of the vertebral-basilar artery than conventional medication treatment for cervical vertigo (CV). Although more study is needed in this arena, acupuncture can be effective in treating vertigo.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners may opt to needle points on the liver meridian. One critical liver function is to make sure that Qi flows cooperatively and evenly throughout the body. A meridian, or station, is the pathway where Qi travels throughout the body. The energy in the meridians is obtained through the use of acupuncture needles to encourage recovery.

Unhealthy wind from the liver meridians may stem from a condition known as liver yang rising. Yang energy is lively, manly, and warm in nature. There are acupuncture points located on the toes that'control' this fast-rising yang energy to gently simmer down and return to normal. By doing this, vertigo and symptoms associated with it, like ringing in the ears, headaches, and disorientation, could be reduced or entirely prevented.

Acupuncture treatment is required for some people to strongly direct Qi up into the mind where it may benefit the mind. When the brain has more energy, it is best able to stave off the symptoms of vertigo. There's a common saying in acupuncture and Oriental medicine that "where Qi goes, blood flows." Therefore, applying acupuncture needles on the mind's peak can bring Qi and blood to nourish and energize the mind.

The sensation of having two feet firmly on the floor empowers us and helps you stay focused, aware, and capable in this world. If you see experience loss of balance, consult your doctor or practitioner of acupuncture. Meanwhile, if you experience a vertigo bout, there are a few points in your body, you can gently massage to deal with your symptoms.

Found in the center of your eyebrows, just over the nose's bridge, is a calming, sedating acupuncture point named Ying Tang. This stage can be pressed together with your fingertip's pads whenever any disagreeable sensations threaten your sense of equilibrium. Be comfortable by sitting down and shut your eyes when doing this exercise for the best results.

If you also experience nausea, then continue with the above exercise and just put the palm of your free hand over your stomach. The stomach is located under your rib cage in the middle of your body. Allow the warmth out of your hands to help alleviate any tension in this field. This technique can be implemented safely for as long as it takes for your body to recover its balance.

Acute vs. chronic vertigo

In acute conditions, a chiropractic adjustment is the first treatment to think about and frequently relieves the situation. In cases with past acute episodes, one also needs to look at the Epley maneuver. This exercise treats vertigo cases, which are the result of sand from the inner ear, and the move tests for, and releases by gravity, this sand. It can be compelling, and patients can learn how to do it themselves. Acupuncture may also be useful, although success with acupuncture alone eludes many professionals. Better outcomes are available when also using Chinese herbal formulas. There are various classical formulas used for vertigo and nausea, such as Chai Hu Jia Long Gu Mu Li Tang, Tian Ma Gou Teng Yin, Zhen Gan Xi Feng Tang, and Ban Xia Bai Zhu Tian Ma Tang. 

See: Dizziness and Irritable Bowel Syndrome treated by Acupuncture

References

1. Chiu CW, Lee TC, Hsu PC, et al. Efficacy and safety of acupuncture for dizziness and vertigo in emergency department: a pilot cohort study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015;15:173. Published 2015 Jun 9. doi:10.1186/s12906-015-0704-6

See: Ayurveda Treatment For Vertigo

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