Acupuncture for Balance and Dizziness

Treatment by acupuncture
Acupuncture treatment (Image: Boris Kaulin/iStock/Getty Images)

Acupuncture is an ancient form of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) that has been used in Asia for millennia. According to TCM practitioners, ailments like dizziness result from imbalances within the body, and they use acupuncture to restore the balance and alleviate symptoms. Consult your doctor before using acupuncture in order to ensure safe care.

Dizziness, Balance and Vertigo

In medical terminology the word “dizziness” can describe a range of sensations, according to MayoClinic.com. These can include faintness, loss of balance and the feeling of motion known as “vertigo.” In most cases, vertigo occurs when the the inner ear and its nerves -- which aren’t functioning properly -- disrupt the brain’s ability to accurately perceive motion. Severe vertigo can be debilitating, in some cases causing vomiting and imbalance.

Causes of Dizziness and Balance Disorders

Dizziness can occur for a variety of reasons, including anxiety disorders. People who have panic attacks or agoraphobia may experience dizziness among their symptoms. While dizziness can be a symptom of either physical or mental ailments, vertigo’s causes are typically physical. Psychological issues can still play a role in vertigo, however, according to MayoClinic.com. Although the initial symptoms result from a physical disorder, anxiety may prolong the perception of dizziness or vertigo.

Dizziness in TCM

Dizziness and vertigo can occur as the result of a number of different imbalances, according to TCM practitioners. For example, blood stagnation or an excess of phlegm can cause these symptoms, according to Yin Yang House, an acupuncture center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. To treat these symptoms, acupuncturists use very thin, solid metallic needles, which are inserted into the patient’s skin at specific points. These acupuncture points lie along lines called “meridians” that spread throughout the body, interacting with the body’s systems.

Common Acupuncture Points for Dizziness and Balance

The acupuncture points used to treat dizziness differ from patient to patient, depending on the practitioner’s assessment of the underlying causes of the symptoms. Two common points that are used to treat dizziness and imbalance are “LV 3” and “ST 9.” "LV 3," known as the Great Surge, or Tai Chong in Chinese, is located on the top of the foot. It is a calming point, according to Yin Yang House, and is used to treat a range of symptoms including anxiety, headaches and chest pain. "ST 9" is also known as “Man’s Prognosis” or “Ren Ying.” Found near the Adam’s apple, it is also used to treat headaches, asthma and hiccups.

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