Dizziness is a very disturbing, but extremely common problem. Officially termed vertigo, it is distinguished from being light headed and syncope, by a feeling that the room is spinning and a loss of balance. Frequently, vertigo is accompanied by: nausea, vomiting, nystagmus (eyes ticking back and forth), and an inability to walk or even move the head. Although the symptoms are extremely upsetting for those who experience them, dizziness is often due to non-serious problems.
Due to the severity of the presentation (as you can imagine, it is very scary to suddenly experience dizziness), I often will see clients after a Western physician has seen them. Frequently, they have been given the diagnoses of Benign Paroxysmal Postural Vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s Disease, or Labyrinthitis. Although they know what may cause the vertigo, it seems that Western treatments often fall short, and folks still suffer from dizziness. The good news is that acupuncture, the Epley maneuver, massage, cupping, and Chinese herbs can help immensely.
Each tool/technique will be used a little bit differently depending upon the diagnosis. This flexibility is one the greatest assets of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It allows acupuncturists to precisely adjust the treatment to the needs of each person. This is important with vertigo, as the cause has to be addressed
appropriately in order to get results.
For instance with BPPV, I find a combination of the Epley maneuver and acupuncture gets results very quickly. The Epley maneuver moves the “stone” out of the inner ear, correcting the root of the problem. Acupuncture addresses the symptoms and calms the nervous system – a powerful combination for relief. With Labyrinthitis and Meniere’s disease, herbal formulas and acupuncture play a more significant role in treating the cause of the problem in lieu of a physical technique. However both respond very well to treatment.
Although frustrating and scary to experience, vertigo is well treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM can offer solutions and relief with little or no side effectswhere other approaches fail – making TCM it a great treatment option!