H came to see me 3 weeks after her tinnitus started. It affected her both ears. The first two weeks, the noise was high-pitched, 24/7. It was not 24/7 in the third week, but still constant (almost all the time with occasional intervals). She had been to her GP, nothing helped. Her hearing test was normal. She is a drama teacher and she had been off sick for three weeks. She came to see me as her last resort (as she put it).
During consultation, I found this was the first time she had tinnitus, and there was no obvious abnormality before the onset of tinnitus (she has epilepsy for years, but it has been under doctor’s supervision, and her doctor didn’t think her tinnitus related to it.). There was no change of her tinnitus till seeing me, it stayed high-pitched, constant and got worse in any noisy circumstances. Her appetite was very poor, sleep was fine (due to her anti-epileptic medicine), bowel movement was normal (once a day). She said she was a calm person in normal daily life, but she felt anxious and disoriented since she had this tinnitus. On the day she saw me, she was indeed very low and distraught, she wasn’t very good at communication that day (and it wasn’t the case on her second visit). Red tip, yellow tongue coating, not greasy, pulse was thready and weak.
My diagnosis was Liver Qi stagnation accompanied with heat, which is obviously the Biao. Of course, I didn’t forget the Ben. As for tinnitus, there is always a Ben, which is Kidney deficiency. I would like to say a bit more regarding this. For every case, there are always a Ben and a Biao. Of course, they are not equally important. We should use our knowledge to identify them, to weigh them, and to come up with a solution about which one should be dealt with first, and at which stage another one or both need to be treated. Sometimes it just because one factor is so insignificant at the beginning doesn’t mean we should neglect it. Alright, after this little detour, back to our case. The Ben is so negligible at the first visit, but according to my experience, I would like to address it with just one point. So I came up with a prescription, which included general points (Ting Hui GB2, Yi Feng TH17, Zhong Zhu TH3, Jia Xi GB43, Yin Tang EX, Tai Chong LV3) and a couple of Tung’s acupuncture points. Among those, I used one Tung’s acupuncture point, called Shen Guan, to tonify Kidney. After withdrawal of needles, ear massage was given.
On second visit, she said she felt more energetic. In fact she looked like a different person from the last time. Her tinnitus was better, if she didn’t pay attention to, she wouldn’t feel much. Although she doubted if this is her mind working, she still would like to give some credit to the first treatment.
On third visit, she told me that two days after last treatment she felt so great that she started working back to school. She mentioned minor setback after back to work. She didn’t notice anything during the day probably because of work, but she had slight tinnitus when she back home. Not major setback, just occasional light noise. In general, she felt she was almost normal again.
On fourth visit, she said there was no tinnitus at all since last treatment. I gave her another one (also the last one) for strengthening. Told her to come back if tinnitus comes back (which I hope not). On follow-up afterwards, she was perfectly fine. She was pleased, so am I.
Here is what she said:
“An extremely useful alternative medicine! I was skeptical before experiencing this method. However, after suffering from tinnitus, it was completely cured. The procedure was easy and convenient, and after four sessions felt confident that this procedure had been successful.”