Acupuncture Treatment of Tinnitus
Chief Complaint: tinnitus
Western Diagnosis: vestibular-cochlear outlet syndrome
Medical History: 27-year male c/o tinnitus in Left ear for years. Born with Right-sided deafness. Seen by MD’s (inc. Mayo clinic), Chiropractors with no resolution or result of any kind. Patient is otherwise healthy with no other complaints and is otherwise unremarkable.
Questioning exam: Tinnitus had a gradual onset that was not high-pitched. It only occurred in L side and progressed over a period of 6-8 years from an occasional nuisance to causing dizziness 1-2 times/week. There was no discharge. Patient had no preferences for warm or cold and did not exhibit any specific deficiency signs. No complaints of low back pain or nocturnal urination. No dry eyes, floaters, conjunctival injection. Dreams sleep was unremarkable. Patient lives with his fiance and has a healthy but not excessive sex life. No GI complaints. Eats well without any cravings. No constipation or diarrhea. No history of EPI prior to onset. Pt presented as otherwise unremarkable.
Pulse exam: I first saw this patient in November in MN
Right: pulses tended to be wiry, full generally “bing mai” . Stronger on the R than the L Lung: bing mai deep
Spleen: wiry-slippery, full
Kidney/Pc: deep, wiry
Heart: deep, wiry
Liver: forceful, bing mai
Tongue exam: narrow, red with little coat, multiple horizontal cracks -tongue never changed over the course of Tx
OM Diagnosis: The Ears are the sensory expression of the Kidneys. They are also fed by the San Jiao and GB channels. Given the nature of his tinnitus, it fit more with a Deficiency rather than an Excess-type pattern. However, there was a lack of evidence pointing to other pathological causes such as blood deficiency or Ki-yin/yang deficiency. Given the total picture, the pattern defined itself as a local channel obstruction vs. Ki xue deficiency
Treatment Principle: 1. clear channels 2. tonify kidneys
Point Prescription: K-3, Ki-6, SJ-5, SJ-17, SJ-21, SI-19, GB-2
Later Ht-1 (in & out) was added for 2 treatments with a profound effect.
Herbal Formula: none used
Lifestyle Prescription: 1. reduce sex to 3-4 times/week 2. no other recommendations were warranted as patient was already eating & exercising appropriately
Results: Within two treatments there was a dramatic stabilization of symptoms and a reduction of the volume of tinnitus. Over the course of treatments (12) the tinnitus never fully resolved, but the patient was grateful that the symptoms responded positively for the first time. The stabilization has remained with an occasional (tune-up) every 4-5 weeks.
Synopsis: Tinnitus is a notoriously difficult symptom to resolve, especially the Deficient type. This patient was unique in that the tinnitus was virtually his only complaint and apart from what may be seen as a slight Jing-deficiency (in the form of R-side deafness from birth) the patient was otherwise healthy. Treatment has appeared to optimize his condition.