Acupuncture Continuing Education

Acupuncture Tinnitus Relief Found Effective

acupuncture tinnitus

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine provide relief for patients with tinnitus. Anhui University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Affiliated Hospital researchers conclude that acupuncture plus topical herbal medicine reduces the severity of tinnitus with a total effective rate of 93.5%. [1] Learn more about acupuncture and herbal medicine at HealthCMi, a provider of acupuncture CEU continuing education online.

The TEQ (Tinnitus Evaluation Questionnaire) was used to assess the severity, duration, and effects tinnitus. A 21-point scale was used. The THI (Tinnitus Handicap Inventory) was also used, including 25 items such as body function and mood. A higher score is an indication of higher severity. After completion of acupuncture treatmenst, the TEQ score dropped from 14.29 ±4.03 to 8.13±5.551. The THI score dropped from 48.39 ±21.23 to 30.06 ±17.991.

Thirty-one cases of patients with tinnitus were admitted into the hospital from March 2019 to January 2021. Age range was 18 to 70 years. Average age was 44 years. Course of disease ranged from 2 weeks to 30 years. Average course of disease was 3.99 ±6.96 years. Twenty-two cases were females and 9 were males. Ten cases had bilateral tinnitus, 14 cases had tinnitus on the left side, and 7 on the right side.

Patients experienced different levels of anxiety and hearing loss. No objective sound could be perceived by the doctors. Ear canal examinations and audiology examinations excluded any physical abnormality that might cause tinnitus in patients.

Treatment was administered, 30 minutes per session, on alternate days, for 10 weeks. In the procedure, 0.30 mm × 25 mm and 0.30 mm × 40 mm needles were applied. A seated position was taken by patients. The following acupoints were used:

  • SI19 (Tinggong)
  • GB12 (Wangu)
  • TB17 (Yifeng)
  • GB28 (Shuaigu)
  • TB3 (Zhongzhu)
  • TB5 (Waiguan)
  • GB20 (Fengchi)
  • GV20 (Baihui)
  • EX-HN3 (Yintang)

For Tinggong, needles were inserted perpendicularly with a depth of 25 to 30 mm while patients kept their mouth open. A twisting manipulation method was used to achieve an inflating sensation perceived to reach the inner ear. Next, 1.5 cm moxa pieces were connected to the end of needles. For Wangu, needles were inserted obliquely with a 30 degree angle, reaching a 10 to 15 mm depth. When the needles reached the processus mastoideus, needles were slightly twisted.

For Yifeng, needles were applied perpendicularly from 20 to 25 mm and were then lifted and thrust a few times. For Shuaigu and Fengchi, subcutaneous insertion 15 to 20 mm was used. A rotating manipulation was added to Shuaigu. For Baihui, needles were inserted transversely from 8 to 15 mm. For Yintang, needles were inserted subcutaneously from 5 to 10 mm. For Zhongzhu and Waiguan, needles were inserted perpendicularly from 10 to 15 mm to achieve a deqi sensation.

In addition to the acupuncture treatment, 0.5 g Bingpian (冰片, Borneolum Syntheticum) was placed inside a tube (3 to 5 cm in length, 0.4 to 0.6 cm in diameter) made of of Xiaocong (小葱, Fistular Onion) and then into patients’ outer ear through this tube. The medicine was applied at bedtime and remained on the ear for a minimum of 6 hours.

The TEQ and THI (Tinnitus Handicap Inventory) scores significantly improved with a total effective rate of 93.5%. The researchers conclude that acupuncture with moxa and topical herbal medicine reduces the severity tinnitus.


[1] Zhang Wanlin, 31 Cases on Treating Subjective Tinnitus with Acupuncture and Bingpian, Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion,Sep. 2021,Vol. 41 No. 9.


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