Treating Disorders of the Ear

Ear-Trumpet-Vintage-Image-Graphics-Fairy.151735Recently in clinic, I’ve been treating quite a few patients whose chief complaint is related to the ear, due to various causes.

The most common symptoms that I’ve been treating with acupuncture and herbal medicine are tinnitus (ringing in the ear), blocked ears post-upper respiratory tract infection, fluid in the ear, loss of hearing, dizziness and vertigo.

Acute cases, typically respond quicker than diseases that have been around for quite some time.  There are some points in acupuncture, particularly, San Jiao 17 and a few others, which can influence the inner ear rather effectively.  A patient’s physician may prescribe decongestants or antibiotics in case of infection, but these drugs often do not resolve the patients’ symptoms.  Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine may provide the relief a patient is looking for.

In chronic cases  as well, such as Meniere’s disease, I’ve also found acupuncture to also be useful in managing patients’ symptoms. Fullness in the ear, ear-ringing, pain, dizziness, and decreased hearing are effectively managed with Chinese medicine, minus the harsh side-effects that are present with drugs given to treat Meniere’s such as Valium, Antivert, Prednisone, etc.

How to Change a Habit

Many times in addition to acupuncture treatment and herbal medicine, I give lifestye advice to improve the health of my patients.

In order to counteract any disease or illness, it is necessary to change our habits, in addition to applying interventions with acupuncture and herbal medicine.
If a patient is on board with making a few tweaks to their schedule in order to replace bad habits with good habits, their treatments will progress all the faster.

For this reason, in this month’s newsletter, I am including some information on how to effectively change a habit.  Many of us know that a change in managing stress, diet, exercise, sleep regiment, etc. would be a good idea, but we all know how tough it can be to implement a change.

Fortunately, since we are creatures of habit, we can use our habit-forming tendencies to our advantage.  Small changes of habit on a day-to-day basis, lead to big changes over time.  In order to stop doing harmful things to ourselves, the most effective method is to start with doing small positive things for ourselves.  Maybe for you it is adding a yoga class just once a week to your schedule.  Maybe it is getting to bed at a reasonable time so you don’t feel exhaused in the mornings for work, maybe it is quit smoking, or maybe a starting goal is to cook one meal at home per week, instead of eating out.

Over time, these small changes add up and contribute to our health moving in a new direction.  Once inertia builds in this new direction, instead of finding ourselves down-trodden and ill, we find ourselves happier, healthier and more useful to others.

Here are a few links for further reading on how to change a habit from a website I enjoy, www.lifehacker.com.

Change a Habit Flowchart – LifeHacker

The Right Habits – LifeHacker

Break Bad Habits by Developing an If-Then Plan – LifeHacker