Acupuncture for Hearing

There are many types of hearing conditions that could create a daily struggle difficult to overcome. According to The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD),

  • About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears
  • Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing
  • One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations
  • Approximately 15 percent of Americans (26 million people) between the ages of 20 and 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to noise at work or during leisure activities
  • About 2 percent of adults aged 45 to 54 have disabling hearing loss. The rate increases to 8.5 percent for adults aged 55 to 64. Nearly 25 percent of those aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of those who are 75 and older have disabling hearing loss.

Many conventional approaches for hearing related problems may include anything from medication to surgery to implants. Yet, rarely do people consider acupuncture for hearing which could be an approach, particularly in the beginning of one’s hearing challenge, that may significantly help.

Auditory Needling

Specific acupuncture points that have shown to be effective in treating auditory nerve problems as well as hearing trauma include:

TB17 – With the patient’s mouth open, in the depression behind the earlobe, between the mastoid process and the mandible. Expels (external) Wind, benefits the ears, clears Heat, opens connecting vessels, alleviates pain, tinnitus, deafness, discharge, itching and pain in the ear.

GB2 – On the face, anterior [front] to the inter-tragus [lower ear] notch, at the posterior [rear] border of the condyloid process of the mandible [top jaw]. When the mouth is open, the point is in the depression. Dispels Wind, benefits the eyes, clears Heat, alleviates pain. Good for tinnitus and deafness.

SJ21 – On the face, in the depression anterior to the supra-tragus [upper ear] notch and on the posterior border of the condyloid process of the mandible. Addresses tinnitus, deafness, and otitis media [inflammatory disease of the middle ear].

SI19 – On the region of the face, anterior to the tragus and posterior to the condyloid process of the mandible, in the depression formed when the mouth is open. Addresses tinnitus, deafness, and otorrhea [ear discharge].

LU7 – On the radial margin [thumb side] of the forearm, above the connection to the wrist. Addresses head and neck issues as well as nasal conditions which can all affect hearing.

GB43 – Top of foot, between the 4th and 5th toes. Addresses tinnitus, deafness, headaches and dizziness.

SJ3 – Top of the hand between the thumb and index finger. Used for tinnitus, deafness, sore throat and eye redness.

LR3 – Top of the foot at the beginning of the first toe. Addresses headache, vertigo, redness, swelling and pain of the eye, all symptoms of hearing loss.

Scientific Results

Studies show significant success when using acupuncture for various auditory conditions. By working the above points, as well as additional meridians, acupuncture has been linked to reducing pain, silencing nerve conditions and stopping discharge. In some cases acupuncture has brought sound back to deaf ears.

In a Chinese study published by the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine 2/15/15 it was stated that,

“Based on the above meta-analysis result, acupuncture can significantly improve the hearing of patients with nerve deafness”

The Clinic of Tinnitus of the Department of Otorlarynology Head and Neck Surgery found acupuncture to offer relief of tinnitus symptoms. The group that received acupuncture had a greater improvement in their symptoms, attesting to the effectiveness of acupuncture.

According to researchers,

“We conclude that there was significant reduction of the counting of the moments pre and post needling in both the groups, and in the group study the reduction is greater that in the group control,”

Classical Chinese Medicine Approach to Hearing

An acupuncturist trained in Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) approaches hearing loss through a centuries old practice that looks at the potential compromise of specific meridians (pathways). These meridians are connected to systemic constitutions such as the Kidney, Liver and Blood.

The ancient CCM text, The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine (the Neijing Suwen) ~240 B.C. states the importance of Kidney qi (chee – life force),

“Kidney qi communicates with the ears; when the kidneys are functioning well, the five types of sound can be heard.”

Also, the essential flow of Blood qi for hearing as well as other affected constitutions, is mentioned,

“a case of sudden onset [of symptoms], where the patient may pass out, lose hearing, or experience obstruction of the bowel or urine, is usually induced by chaos of the qi and blood within.”

Finally, the Neijing peaks of the significance of a balanced Yin/Yang when it comes to auditory health,

“When the yin fails to contain the yang, the flow in the channels will become rapid, causing the yang qi to become excessive and reckless. If the yang qi is deficient and unable to counterbalance the yin, communication between the internal organs will be disrupted, and the nine orifices will cease to function….When yin and yang are balanced, the five visceral organs function appropriately together….vision is clear and hearing is acute.”

Using acupuncture for hearing attempts to address all of these issues before conventional medicine is chosen. With the right acupuncturist and proper protocol, which may include botanical medicine and homeopathy, you just may be able to prevent, heal and in some cases reverse hearing challenges.

At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of Insurance Companies that commonly carry acupuncture benefits for its members. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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