Can Acupuncture Help With Meniere’s Disease?

This post was written by Mike on May 12, 2010
Posted Under: General Information on Meniere's Disease / Syndrome

I have posted before on Acupuncture, but recently found this journal on the subject. I have used acupuncture with mixed results, and in my humble opinion it depends on the practitioner. I have tried several, most of whom were not very good but in saying that two were excellent. They helped rid me of most of my Meniere’s disease symptoms temporarily but were ultimately fighting a losing battle. In my case it was worth it to get relief, even if it were only for a few weeks at a time. I would also add that I have used acupuncture successfully with other problems such as sports injuries and back pain.

January 2014 Update: Learn How to Find the Causes of Your Meniere’s – Click Here

Here is an extract from the Journal of Chinese Medicine:

Assessment of results of Acupuncture for Meniere’s disease

Marked improvement: dizziness disappeared and hearing
improved after treatment, with no relapse during a follow-up
of one year.

Improvement: dizziness disappeared but hearing was not
improved after 3 courses of treatment.
Failure: no improvement was noted or a slight improvement
with relapse during a follow-up of 6 months.

Results

Of the 72 cases, 36 were markedly improved(50.0%) after
2-3 courses of treatment, 17 improved (23.6%) and 19 failed
(26.4%). The treatment was more effective in cases of short
duration.

Discussion

Meniere’s disease is a non-fatal disorder, and it has not yet
been reproduced in experimental animals. Consequently,
material for histological study is difficult to obtain. It was
long suspected that endolymphatic hydrops in the inner ear
was associated with Meniere’s disease and this was confirmed
by Hallpike and Cairs in 1938.
Case example
A 31-year-old male teacher experienced severe dizziness,
deafness and tinnitus of the left ear after his classes. He also
complained of nausea and vomiting on movement of his
head. The tympanic membrane was normal. Audiometry
showed a sensorineural hearing loss of the left ear. Caloric
test revealed that the vestibular function of his left ear was
reduced. He had red eyes, a flushed complexion, dryness in
the throat and a red tongue with yellow coating. His pulse
was taut and rapid. The diagnosis was Meniere’s disease
due to hyperactivity of Liver-yang. Electro-acupuncture to
left Tinggong SI-19 or Yifeng SJ-17, and Xingjian LIV-2 or
Taichong LIV-3 was administered. After two courses of
treatment, the dizziness completely disappeared and his
hearing improved with no relapse over 2 years.
Notes
1 Sensorineural deafness: hearing impairment due to disorders

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Reader Comments

Thanks for this information about Acupuncture. I am starting a treatment myself this week so it will be interesting to see the results. I agree with your statement, that just Acupuncture is not the final solution but I do think that used with other treatments (herbal medicine, diet, … ) it can be an important factor.

#1 
Written By Sam on May 25th, 2011 @ 10:44 am

I too have been using acupuncture with very little results. Acupuncture does help to relax you but in my case has not stopped the onset of MD symptoms at all. Also, vestibular rehabilitatio therapy has been more successful that anything else I have tried.

#2 
Written By Licho Skeahan on July 30th, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

Hi Licho,

Thanks for the comment, could you tell more about your vestibular rehabilitation therapy. AS for acupuncture, I believe like everything, therevare good practitioners and not so good. For me, I tried 5 different acupuncturists for Menieres disease, three were useless, one worked very hard against the odds and one was excellent. IT can’t cure, but I believe it can relieve the symptoms. I know in fact.

#3 
Written By admin on September 8th, 2011 @ 12:53 am

Can anyone recommend an acupuncturist who has been able to help with Menieres disease? Ideally in the London or Hertfordshire area.

Many thanks.

#4 
Written By Sara Nicholas on November 24th, 2011 @ 10:18 am

Admin, can you please refer me to the two Acupuncture professionals that you found benefitial? I live in NY, are they around? I beg you to send me this info ASAP, thanks so much.

#5 
Written By emilio on January 22nd, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

Sorry, they were all in Japan in the Yokohama area. Hope you find a good one in you area. There must be some.

#6 
Written By admin on January 23rd, 2012 @ 8:00 am

Menieres diagnosis mid Jan 2012 after a couple of years of symptoms. Doc put on diuretic, but had read an article about the chance of acupuncture helping. Went to local acupuncture doctor, she said, had never worked with someone with an actual diagnosis, but would try. She said after 2 weeks if not working…., but have not had an episode since the 1st treatment (went off of diuretic after 1st treatment) (2/17/12). Immediately felt something like drainage in one ear, felt drainage in other ear after 3rd treatment. Had blood work showing dehydration, had other residual affects, being treated now for those. Haven’t felt better in ages. All I can say is when you feel that bad, something so simple is worth a shot. Maybe it’s like one post said, it is a matter of finding a really good acupuncturist. Hope this helps others out there. This doctor is in Texas, and also a chiropractor (which is how we knew her).

#7 
Written By T M Gardner on March 19th, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

Thanks TM this great news for you and thank you for sharing. Acupuncture helped me a great deal for a while so I do believe it can help lower the symptoms…not a cure but definitely worth trying for some relief at least.

#8 
Written By admin on March 21st, 2012 @ 6:44 am

I’ve been living with Meniere’s Disease for nine years. Following a three year remission I’m having episodes again.
I began acupuncture treatment a week ago which seems to be helping. Tinnatus is now slight but aural fullness and vertigo is not present.
In addition I believe it is very important to follow a low sodium diet and eat very fresh foods, mostly prepared at home.
Regular cardio exercise also helps as this improves overall circulation to every system in the body.

#9 
Written By Pamela on April 26th, 2012 @ 12:05 am

I have suffered from meneries for 4 years and I have been going for acupunture since January of this year, although I still have tinnitus in my left ear, I have not had one attack of vertigo since my 1st appointment.
I would say to anyone suffering, give it a go and keep positive.

#10 
Written By Steve on June 16th, 2012 @ 7:52 am

Thanks Steve. I have also used acupuncture with relative success. But I think there are two points to remember here. One is that acupuncture will not cure you or find the root cause but by increasing energy flows and blood flow it helps relieve the symptoms often. The second point to remember is like all ‘therapies’ and ‘ treatments’ for any condition, sometimes it is great others not.
Very much depends on the quality or skill of the therapist you are using. Some are good others not so…..like any profession. So I would urge you to try and find a reputable therapist who understands just what he is dealing with in Meniere’s. Only my opinion, but an opinion based on first and second hand experience.

#11 
Written By admin on July 23rd, 2012 @ 5:05 am

I have suffred with Meniere’s Disease for ten years now.
I have used acupuncture only two times in the past year to treat the symptoms and both times were successful
The most recent attack began with the telltale symptoms of fullness in the ear, loud ringing or humming, and hearing loss. To avoid a vertigo attack I returned to acupuncture.

Following 5 acupuncture sessions with a trusted practitioner I am symptom free.
I believe it may be helpful to continue once or twice a month for maintenence.

#12 
Written By Pamela Primakov on January 8th, 2013 @ 10:47 pm

Hi Pamela,

Thank you for posting this. I have used half a dozen different acupuncturists here in Japan. Most were useless but two were excellent. They really did give me relief from my Meniere’s symptoms and clear my head most of the time.

It is not a cure and it is not meant to be but can give you relief if you can find a good practitioner (that is important I think) Thanks again and long may you stay symptom free :-)

#13 
Written By admin on January 23rd, 2013 @ 8:33 am

My husband suffers from Meniere’s. We live in Boise, Idaho but would like to try acupuncture for some relief. Does anyone know of someone they could recommend?

#14 
Written By Mickey on February 4th, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

HI Mickey,

In my experience acupuncture for Meniere’s can help with the symptoms to an extent, but it is not a cure. It really does depend on the practitioner. I have tried 7. 5 were a waste of time and money. 1 was very good and tried very hard but was fighting a losing battle at the time and one was superb.

#15 
Written By admin on May 8th, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

HI,
I have had great success with acupuncture and chinese hearbal medicines. I went a number of times, and felt better and stopped going. Then about a year later I had some bad, really bad episodes, so I have had 4 treatments and feel so great. My regular doctor wants me to take a diuretic – but I can tell those aren’t good for my system. I would like all sufferers to know about acupuncture in treating MD. I will say, it has helped my vertigo – not really my tinitus and deafness in one ear. I have had those so long I don’t know if they will heal. But the vertigo was stopping my life and it has helped greatly with that.

#16 
Written By Sarah on May 24th, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

Thanks for sharing this Sarah. I totally agree that acupuncture can be a great help with meniere’s disease. By getting the blood flowing and energy levels increased it helps reduce the symptoms, and we all know that vertigo is the worst symptom of all; so debilitating. The only problem is getting past many people’s perception that it is some kind of mumbo-jumbo Chinese witchcraft not to be taken seriously. We in the western world are conditioned that we take drugs to solve everything and tend to ignore more holistic natural approaches. What I will say though is, in my experience the success of acupuncture with reducing the effects of our Meniere’s symptoms depends on the skill and understanding of the acupuncturist and the intensity of the cause or trigger at that particular time. As I have written on here before: I used 5 different practitioners over a period of a few years and three were a complete waste of time and money, one was very good and worked very hard to help me but was fighting a losing battle with my compounding triggers at the time, and one was simply superb.

Bottom line for me is that acupuncture can definitely help ease the symptoms and is worth trying but ultimately it doesn’t get to the root cause. It is a treatment well worth trying but not a cure.

#17 
Written By Mike on May 27th, 2013 @ 11:24 am

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