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Toowoomba Acupuncturist Discusses How Scalp Acupuncture May Benefit Symptoms of Tinnitus

Scalp-Acupuncture-in-Toowoomba-for-TinnitusWhat is Tinnitus? Tinnitus is a perception of sound in the absence of an acoustic stimulus. The sound heard in Tinnitus may be a high-pitched sound like whistling, roaring, or hissing, or low pitched sound, such as buzzing, ringing, and humming. Tinnitus may be intermittent, continuous, or pulsatile, and tinnitus can be in one or both ears. The cause of tinnitus is obscure. The common causes of tinnitus are ear infections and inflammation, Ménière’s syndrome, acoustic neuroma, benign tumors, anemia, hypertension, hypothyroidism, head trauma, and side effects of some drugs. So far there is no specific medical or surgical therapy for tinnitus in Western medicine. However symptoms of Tinnitus may be helped using a combination on scalp acupuncture, ear acupuncture and body acupuncture.

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Senior Toowoomba Acupuncturist Discusses Scalp Acupuncture for Treating Tinnitus in Toowoomba


The following information is taken from the specialised text book entitled “Chinese Scalp Acupuncture” written by Jason Jishun Hao and Linda Lingzhi Hao and was published by Blue Poppy Press in January 2013.

Hao, J.J. and Hao L.L. Chinese Scalp Acupuncture. Publisher – Blue Poppy Press, 2011. ISBN 1891845608, 9781891845604. 268 pages.


Jason Hao reported “Mary came to our clinic at age 48 having suffered from tinnitus for two and a half years. She reported that the onset came from battling emotional stress for a long time. She said the constant ringing in her ears was very high-pitched like a hissing tea kettle. Sometimes it sounded like fingernails scratching on metal. She tried to relax through meditation, yoga, and other exercises, as well as changing her diet but the intrusive noises in her ears remained. There was an increase in intense anxiety, irritability, and depression, and Mary suffered from fatigue due to lack of sleep. Other symptoms included no appetite, diarrhea, and an inability to relax. An otolaryngologist and an audiologist offered medications to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia, but no relief for tinnitus. The initial examination revealed that the tongue was red with a thick, white coating. There was tremor on the tongue and teeth marks on the front and sides of the tongue. Her pulses were wiry and fine, and the cubit (chi) positions were noticeably weaker bilaterally than the other positions.”

For those trained in Traditional Chinese Diagnosis Jason concluded that the Chinese medical pattern discrimination was “Liver qi binding stagnation with occasional flaring of liver heat, and spleen qi deficiency”.

From Hao’s vast knowledge on Scalp Acupuncture he determined that the treatment area selection should include the Primary area: Vertigo and Hearing Area, with the Secondary areas: Head Area and Thoracic Cavity Area.

He states in the book “For tinnitus and dizziness, needles should be inserted in the Thoracic Cavity Area and stimulated bilaterally, while the Head Area should be stimulated unilaterally.

Once inserted correctly in the scalp, the needles are rotated at least 200 times per minute with the thumb and index finger for 1—3 minutes, twirling them as vigorously as the patient can tolerate and repeating the stimulation every 10 minutes.”

It is important to note “during the treatment, some patients may feel sensations of pressure or fullness in their ears. Patients who experience these responses usually improve more quickly”.

The needles are retained for 25—30 minutes. The patient should receive a treatment two to three times per week. A therapeutic course of treatment consists of 10 treatments. Several courses may be required for optimal results.


TREATMENT 1: During the initial session, Mary felt relaxed and then fell asleep. When she awoke she reported that the pressure and sensation of fullness in her ears were greatly relieved, and the ringing sensation seemed a little diminished as well.

TREATMENT 2: At the beginning of the second treatment, she reported that she had slept much better for several nights, and the ringing in her ears had changed from a high pitch to a low pitch like a buzzing or humming sound, which she could tolerate much better. The mood swings including depression, anxiety and irritability were better, the loss of appetite was significantly improved, and she had not had diarrhea since the last treatment. The tinnitus and other symptoms continued to improve in the following sessions.

TREATMENT 6: At the sixth treatment, the ringing in her ears had become intermittent, and noises in her ears seemed to be moving away from her head and fading into the background. Other symptoms had almost completely disappeared. Her tongue had turned a light red with a thin, white coating, and the tremor was gone. The teeth-marks on the tongue were better, and the pulses had become softer and only slightly wiry.

TREATMENT 10: By the tenth visit, the tinnitus was completely gone, allowing Mary to enjoy her life again.


In the book Hao states “Scalp acupuncture has a fairly good track record for controlling tinnitus. However, treatment should be directed at the underlying cause if that is known”.

In addition to scalp acupuncture, the selection of body acupuncture points should be individualized, based on the differentiation of patterns in Chinese medicine.

For instance, Xing Jian (Liv 2), Tai Chong (Liv 3), and Zhong Zhu (TB 3) would be selected for retention of damp heat in the liver and gallbladder, and Tai Xi (Ki 3), Zhao Hai (Ki 6), and Fu Liu (Ki 7) would be used for kidney weakness and deficiency.”

Many significant diagnostic symptoms go unrecognised in the wester medical system. Hao points out in the book “The types of sound heard by those with tinnitus do not necessarily indicate what the underlying causes are, in terms of Western medicine. They do, however, provide clues for the treatment strategy in Chinese medicine. Generally speaking, sounds with high pitch indicate an excessive condition that requires reducing or draining techniques, while low pitched sounds indicate a deficient condition that requires reinforcing or supplementing techniques”.

As tinnitus often gets worse with any type of stress, acupuncture points that have the function of relieving anxiety, irritability, or depression should be combined with the Scalp Acupuncture for best results.

Other therapies that promote relaxation and a sense of well-being such as Tai Chi, meditation, yoga, and herbs may be helpful in relieving tinnitus or the distress it causes.

I have been using Scalp Acupuncture as developed by Jiao Shunfa for over 15 years, and have been further mentored by his student Jason Hao, author of the reference book cited above. If you have Tinnitus and would like further information or wish to make an appointment please contact Louis from ANTRAC Acupuncture Clinic on (07) 4636 6100.

This article is simply for informational and educational purposes only, and is NOT a substitute for medical advice for which you should consult a suitably qualified physician.

Accupuncture, Acupunture or Accupunture common misspelling

Note that “Acupuncture” is often misspelt as accupuncture, acupunture or accupunture, that is with either too many c’s or not enough c’s. I would love to be able to clear up this very common spelling mistake, and set the record straight.

Ac·u·punc·ture – pronounced ak-yoo-puhngk-cher; Origin: 1675–85; < Latin acū with a needle (ablative of acus  needle) or acu- (as combining form of acus ) + puncture.


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