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Using Acupuncture to Treat Chronic Dizziness

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2023 | General Health, Chronic Disease

Chronic dizziness can be a challenging condition to manage. Its persistent and often debilitating nature can greatly impact one’s quality of life. While there are various treatment options available, acupuncture has emerged as a promising alternative therapy for addressing chronic dizziness. By understanding the causes and symptoms of chronic dizziness, as well as the principles of acupuncture, we can explore the connection between the two and gain insight into the process and safety of using acupuncture as a treatment option. 

chronic dizziness


Chronic dizziness is a complex condition that affects many individuals, causing a continuous sensation of unsteadiness or lightheadedness that can persist for an extended period, usually more than 3 months.  

When it comes to understanding the causes of chronic dizziness, there are various underlying factors to consider. One common cause is vestibular dysfunction, which refers to abnormalities in the inner ear or associated neural pathways responsible for balance and spatial orientation. These abnormalities can disrupt the normal functioning of the vestibular system, leading to vertigo, a type of dizziness. 

In addition to vestibular dysfunction, chronic dizziness can also be caused by cardiovascular disorders. Conditions such as low blood pressure or irregular heart rhythms can affect blood flow to the brain, resulting in dizziness. Furthermore, certain medications can have side effects that include dizziness as well. 

Anxiety disorders can also contribute to chronic dizziness. The constant worry and fear associated with anxiety can lead to heightened levels of stress, which can trigger dizziness in some individuals. Additionally, neurological conditions, such as migraines or multiple sclerosis, can manifest with chronic dizziness as a symptom. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), chronic dizziness is often seen as a manifestation of an underlying imbalance in the body’s Qi, blood, Yin, or Yang energies. Here’s the various factors that may contribute to chronic dizziness:- 

  • Qi and Blood Deficiency: Chronic dizziness can be attributed to a deficiency in Qi (vital energy) or blood. This may happen during recovery from a chronic illness or from a poor diet. Qi is responsible for maintaining the proper functioning of the body, including the brain and sensory organs. When there is insufficient Qi or blood to nourish the brain and sensory organs, dizziness may occur. 
  • Yin and Yang Imbalance: TCM emphasizes the balance between Yin and Yang energies. If there is an imbalance, it can lead to dizziness. For example, a deficiency of Yin (the cooling, nourishing aspect) can lead to excessive Yang (the active, warming aspect), resulting in symptoms like dizziness and heat sensations. 
  • Liver Qi Stagnation: In TCM, the Liver plays a significant role in regulating the smooth flow of Qi and blood. When Liver Qi becomes stagnant due to prolonged stress or anger, it can lead to disruptions in the flow of energy, causing dizziness, headaches, and vertigo.  
  • Phlegm and Dampness Accumulation: The accumulation of phlegm and dampness in the body can obstruct the sensory orifices, leading to dizziness. This often occurs in cases of chronic sinusitis, allergies, or digestive issues. 
  • Deficiency in Kidney Essence: The Kidneys in TCM are associated with the body’s fundamental energy and essence. A deficiency in Kidney essence due to aging or other chronic illnesses may lead to problems with balance and equilibrium, resulting in dizziness. 

TCM treatment for chronic dizziness aims to address the specific underlying patterns and imbalances in an individual. Acupuncture is commonly used to regulate Qi and blood flow, restore Yin and Yang balance, and resolve phlegm or dampness. Dietary and lifestyle recommendations may also be provided to support overall well-being. 

Acupuncture for Chronic Dizziness 

Acupuncture treatment for chronic dizziness typically involves stimulating specific acupoints to address the underlying causes of the condition. The selection of acupoints may vary depending on the individual’s specific symptoms and the practitioner’s assessment. However, here are a few commonly used acupoints that are often targeted in cases of chronic dizziness: 

chronic dizziness

GV20 (Baihui

Located at the top of the head, in the midline. It is believed to help clear the mind and promote overall balance. 

chronic dizziness

GB20 (Fengchi

Located at the base of the skull, in the depressions just behind the earlobes. It is used to relieve dizziness and headaches. 

chronic dizziness

GV16 (Fengfu

Located at the base of the skull in the center of the neck. This point is often used for various conditions affecting the head and neck, including dizziness. 

chronic dizziness

ST36 (Zusanli)

Located on the lower leg, about four finger-widths below the knee and one finger-width outside the shinbone. It is considered a general tonic point that can help improve overall energy and balance. 

chronic dizziness

PC6 (Neiguan

Located on the forearm, approximately three finger-widths above the wrist crease, between the tendons. This point is commonly used for treating nausea and dizziness. 

In conclusion, acupuncture offers a potential treatment option for individuals seeking relief from chronic dizziness. By addressing the underlying imbalances in the body’s energy systems, acupuncture may help reduce symptoms, enhance overall well-being, and improve the quality of life for those living with chronic dizziness. As with any medical intervention, it is essential to consult with a qualified acupuncturist and explore all available treatment options to determine the most suitable approach for individual needs and circumstances. 

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