Can Acupuncture Help With Tinnitus

Can acupuncture help with tinnitus

Today we are going to discuss the effectiveness of yet another approach to the problem of ringing in the ears. Can acupuncture help with tinnitus? Some people believe it works, other say it’s a total fraud, so we’ve decided to gather the latest scientific evidence on this matter to give you an ultimate answer.

Read on!

First of all, how can you fight an enemy that isn’t real?

In a sense, this is what tinnitus (ringing in the ears) amounts to: hearing sounds that do not exist in reality. This condition is usually tolerated well by most people, but severely impairs the life quality of 1-2% of them. And, believe me, the suffering of these folks is very real, no matter that the sound isn’t.

For them – it is. They are ready to do anything at all just to silence the incessant buzzing, ringing, and hissing in their ears. As a rule, they start with conventional medicine (which often is the very cause of their condition in the first place) and later switch either to the safety of the natural ways to treat tinnitus or to alternative treatments like acupuncture. But is the latter effective at all?

Let’s start with the basics: what is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an essential doctrine of traditional Eastern medicine based on the belief that inserting thin needless into specific spots on a person’s body can prevent, alleviate, and treat diseases.

The theory here is that there is a special form of vital energy called “qi” or “chi” that circulates through the human body via pathways (“meridians”) that are connected to our organs and skin. By inserting needles into specific points on the skin, the acupuncturist can allegedly modify the flow of qi throughout the patient’s body, thus treating or preventing all sorts of health issues.

Acupuncture is considered to be a pseudoscience by many traditional healthcare practitioners (here goes a detailed opinion of one of them), as neither its theory nor practice are based on solid scientific data. Other scientists stick to a more balanced opinion, emphasizing that certain studies show encouraging results even although they may be based on a placebo response.

So, does it work at all?

Yes, it does. And no, it doesn’t.

The scientific evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture is extremely inconsistent, and similar studies often report absolutely different results. Long story short, here are some of the conditions that are most likely treated and/or alleviated by means of acupuncture:

On the other hand, a massive analysis of Cochrane reviews (sources believed to be especially valuable in terms of evidence-based medicine) revealed that acupuncture is not an effective treatment for more than 20 different conditions including:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Epilepsy

  • Glaucoma

  • Chronic asthma

  • Stroke

Okay, but can acupuncture help with tinnitus?

As you see, the reports on the effectiveness of acupuncture as a doctrine vary, so it’s impossible to be 100% sure of the expected results. Nevertheless, there are certain studies that indicate encouragingly positive effects.

For example, a study published in the beginning of 2017 reported that both manual acupuncture, electroacupuncture, and periauricular electroacupuncture were able to improve the tinnitus of 39 people aged 20-75 years who had experienced idiopathic (unexplainable) tinnitus for at least 2 weeks.

Another study published in 2016 included 57 patients aged 18-60 years, who were randomly distributed between two equal groups. The first group underwent sessions of true acupuncture, while the second group received sham acupuncture treatment. Subjects from the first group had improved Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) scores. A similar, but somewhat older study published over a decade ago (in 2006) also stated that acupuncture was effective in relieving tinnitus.

Can acupuncture help with tinntusSounds great, doesn’t it? But here goes the punchline: a 2012 systematic review of 9 serious randomized clinical trials concluded that there isn’t enough data to definitely affirm whether this method is an effective approach to the treatment of tinnitus. It turns out that even the most substantial studies on the matter had either a relatively small group of subjects, or were designed poorly in terms of statistical analysis.

The bottom line: acupuncture and tinnitus

At the time being there is no ultimate answer to the question whether acupuncture can help with tinnitus in general, as a fundamental approach.

What we can say for sure is that some people experience a huge subjective improvement of their condition after sessions of this treatment, and isn’t that what matters in the end?

After all, the very nature of tinnitus is extremely personal, as if etched into the hapless brain of the affected person. Nobody else hears that ringing. Nobody else is followed by that clicking. Nobody else has to deal with that never-ending sound that just won’t cease. And if so, does it really matter whether a method is “scientifically proved” to be effective, as long as it works in your case?

All in all, when performed properly, acupuncture is a fairly safe method of alternative treatment. The rates of adverse effects and complications range from 0.13% to 11.4% according to different sources, so it’s still important to be careful and alert.

What else can be done to treat tinnitus in a safe and natural way?

It is important to keep in mind that tinnitus is rarely a standalone condition. Instead, it’s very likely to be a symptom of something else, like anemia, ear infections, injuries to the head, and even the result of taking certain drugs that are widely used in the conventional treatment of many diseases (aspirin, for example).

blocked ears natural remediesIf you want to get rid of your tinnitus once and for all, it is crucial to learn its underlying cause, either on your own or with the assistance of an experienced physician. After that, you can resort to all sorts of natural ways to treat tinnitus, even at your own home!

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  1. What a fantastic article! You’ve researched this subject so well which is great for me as I don’t have to do so much now 😉
    I developed tinnitus as a result of being in a non sound insulated room trying to soothe my crying 6 week old baby. I was in there with him for maybe 10 minutes and now I have tinnitus in both ears. Some days are worse than others, and its much more noticeable when I’m run down or tired. I often feel sad that I will never get to experience pure silence and stillness again but it is what it is. I have had acupuncture for a few things before, and thought about it for my tinnitus, but your article has got me thinking a bit more now…!
    Is tinnitus an area of specific interest to you? Will there be other posts on the condition I can link up with?

    • Thanks for the positive feedback Alice, don’t give up on finding a cure. Although there is not a confirmed cure, different methods works for different people. 

      Tinnitus is of interest to me as I have experience it many times aswell. In many cases tinnitus is a symptom of another problem and by identifying and treating that issue, you can get rid of the ringing in your ears. I had faulty eustachian tubes and this was causing the ringing in my ears. After sometime I found a solution for my eustachian tube problem and the ringing in my ears stopped and has not returned.

      I have another article with some home remedies that can help relieve the symptoms of tinnitus https://blockblockedears.com/c… These can help but everyone’s tinnitus is different so just don’t give up and keep searching until you find something that works for you.

          • I did read that article but I’m a little sceptical of the effectiveness of something like that, especially for a severe issue like mine. I can’t pop one ear most of the time and I’m a prescribed nasal spray, basically for life, whilst I’ve also been prescribed a strong steroid drop which pours directly in my ETs. Neither does much tbh. I think I probably have some kind of allergy to something unavoidable like dust, etc but that’s just guessing after quite a few other options have been exhausted. I have a hospital appointment (eventually) but I’ll keep an eye out to see if you come across something a bit more ‘hardcore’ for want of a better expression (I’m sure I’m already following on G+)

          • I understand your scepticism from reading just one review of Eustachi but I would urge you to read more reviews from customers that have purchased from amazon. I have read some stories of people that has suffered with problems of their eustachian tubes for years and tried everything. One guy even had surgery but had the procedure reversed as it made things worse. I read it myself before purchasing and you can see for youself too by reading the amazon reviews that people have really found this device to be a miracle worker after exhausting all other options.

            I do say in the review that it may not work for everyone but there is a a 30 day money back if it doesn’t work for you. If you do eventually decide to try it out, I would love to hear the results you get from it. Either way Dan, I really wish you the best of luck in finding a solution to you problem.

  2. I love stuff like this! Researching different topics. Question: What if the sound is real but the people afflicted by this are tuned into another frequency than those who aren’t afflicted? I’m also fascinated with energy, vibration, and frequency and their effects ). I would say that anything can be cured by any method if the patient believed it so. Great article!

    • Thanks Ardrienne for you postive feedback and what a great question as well. It is thought that tinnitus is the perception of sound in the absence of any external sound. But your theory is an interesting one and I intend to write an article, in the future, about the use of sound therapy and different frequencies to help cure tinnitus. So I look forward to researching and learning about this subject. I also agree with you about the power of thought and how I thoughts can influence are health.

  3. I have a friend who struggles with ringing in her ears all the time…I never actually knew what it was called, and I never realized how severe it could be. Interesting article, I will definitely be sharing this with my friend.

    • Thanks for commenting Stefanie, please do share this information with your friends. I hope that the information you pass on can help you friend.

  4. I suffer from tinnitus, fullness, and vertigo from having Meniere’s disease. It is pretty depressing. I can relate to Alice above regarding never experiencing silence. The more quiet the room the louder the sound in my head is. I find that running the fan or having some sort of background noise helps a little. I’ve never considered acupuncture but this is all fairly new to me. Thanks for your thoughtful take on the subject.

    • Hi Misty, thanks for commenting. I’m sorry to hear about your problem with Meniere’s disease. I think just like tinnitus there is no known cure but there are potential remedies or lifestyle changes that can really help to reduce the symptoms. As an example Meniere’s disease is thought to be cause by a build up of fluid in the inner ear, so by reducing you salt intake your body won’t retain so much fluid. This example may not work for you but you have to keep trying different methods until you will find something that works. I wish you all the best in finding a solution and please keep reading my articles as I will be researching and writing on Meniere’s disease in the future and listing some natural remedies.

  5. Me and my brother are both suffering from Tinnitus. His has been brought on by listening to loud music through headphones when he was younger.

    And the ringing in my right ear developed at the start of 2017 when I had an ear infection. Although it isn’t noticeable when there are noises around me, I do tend to notice it when I’m in a quiet room, especially when I go to bed.

    So I can understand how the condition would send some people crazy.

    I think it’s a case of trying not to focus on it which can help. But I still want the ringing to disappear, so I can get back to having normal hearing again.

    While there’s no guarantee that acupuncture works for folks with tinnitus, I think it’s still definitely worth trying because you never know what might happen.


    • Hi Neil, thanks for commenting and I’m sorry to hear about you and your brother’s problems with tinnitus.

       We are left with no choice but to try and not focus on it but also I believe we should focus on how we can get rid of tinnitus. You are right that you will never know unless you try. There are many alternatives for reducing or even curing tinnitus but we just have to keep trying different methods until we find what works for us.

  6. Hi Lee,
    I have seen many people suffering from this condition, and spend a lot of money on doctors which give temporary relief only. But your post is useful and it gives a permanent solution to this condition.Also, the food you have mentioned also prevents this condition from occurring. I will tell my friend to visit your site.

  7. Thank you for commenting Prabakaran and I’m happy to hear that you’ve found my articles on tinnitus helpful. Please share with your friends and I will continue to find solutions to help people with this depressing condition.

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