East Asian Medicine Treatments for Vertigo

I think everyone, as a kid, has at some point or another spun around so fast that they fell down and got dizzy for minutes afterward. As a kid this can be fun for a few times, but as adults having intermittent or persistent dizziness can be distressing. Worse, having vertigo – the sensation that the world is moving when you are standing still – can be even more distressing. Dizziness is typically classified as lightheadedness in conventional medicine, and time and attention are given to checking blood sugar levels, water intake, or past illness. However, vertigo is a challenging condition to treat using conventional medicine. Medications and PT are used, but if these don’t work then no other options are usually offered.

Spinning trees.
Image of spinning trees BY HomeAndGardners.com – CC BY”

In East Asian medicine, vertigo is often considered a secondary pathology. This means that some other condition that produces symptoms has progressed beyond its initial stages and has changed into a more complicated pattern. Because of this, treatment can require more time than for other types of cases, and fluctuations in severity (ie. periodic relapses) should be expected.

Both acupuncture and herbal medicine offer ways of treating vertigo. Most issues with vertigo involve some problem in the inner ear, which is one of the major centers where the body gets its sense of balance. Acupuncture can be used to help increase blood circulation around the inner ear and help encourage better nerve conduction. Another major cue for where the body finds its sense of balance is from vision, and acupuncture can help treat the muscles around the eyes by working on the connective tissue at the back of the skull that connects to them (and is also where the brain’s visual center is located).

Herbal medicine is also typically used for vertigo. Since the East Asian medicine diagnoses for vertigo are usually complicated, herbal medicine provides a great way to help improve a person’s constitutional health. As mentioned above, vertigo is often considered a secondary pathology, so herbs can be used to treat the primary condition that was originally aggravated and caused the vertigo to appear (typically a lymphatic or endocrine problem). And since herbs can be taken every day, treatment can be more frequent, allowing for a faster resolution of the problem.

If you suffer with vertigo, it may be time to consider integrative methods that can cut down on medication use and resolve symptoms. Schedule your consultation today and we will get you the help you need.