Acupuncture alleviates tinnitus. Researchers from the Central Hospital of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery in Chaoyang City investigated the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of tinnitus associated with cervical disorders. The data demonstrates that one standard acupuncture point prescription is 50% effective and a specialized acupuncture point prescription has an 80% total effective rate.

Cervical related tinnitus is ear ringing associated with instability of the craniocervical junction, intervertebral disc disorders, or other neck related pathologies (Montazem, 2000). This may involve temporomandibular joint dysfunction and stimulation of the somatosensory system (Shore et al., 2007). Cervical related tinnitus is a form of somatic tinnitus, which is due to head, neck, or dental disorders.

The research shows an enormous discrepancy between the efficaciousness of two acupuncture point prescriptions. The following acupoints resulted in an 80% total effective rate:

Yiming (extra)
Tianyou (SJ16)
Fengchi (GB20)
Wangu (GB12)
Tinggong (SI19)
Zhongzhu (KD15)
Shangyang (LI1)
Kunlun (BL60)
Juegu (GB39)
Ashi
The following set of acupuncture points only achieved a 50% total effective rate:

Ermen (SJ21)
Tinggong (SI19)
Tinghui (GB2)
Yifeng (SJ17)
Zhongzhu (KD15)
Xiaxi (GB43)
Two separate groups were tested with the acupuncture point prescriptions. Both groups had an acupuncture needle retention time of thirty minutes. Acupuncture was conducted once per day for a grand total of eighteen acupuncture treatments. The first set of acupuncture points outperformed the second set by 30% with a total effective rate of 80%.

References:
Montazem A. Secondary tinnitus as a symptom of instability of the upper cervical spine: operative management. Int Tinnitus J. 2000;6(2):130–133.

Shore S, Zhou J, Koehler S. Neural mechanisms underlying somatic tinnitus. Progress in brain research. 2007 Dec 31;166:107-548. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.

Xue H. (2015). Treatments of cervical tinnitus between neck acupoints acupuncture and traditional acupuncture. Jilin Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 35(9).

Adams PF, Hendershot GE. (1999). Current estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 1996. Vital Health Star10. 200: 81-103.

Zhu Y. (2005). Tinnitus epidemiological investigation in Northern Shaanxi. Journal of Disease Control. 12(6): 149-150.

Yingli Song, Li, Shilin, Yan Xiao, and Jiang Wu. “Efficacy Observation of Acupuncture Combined with Ginger Moxibustion to Treatment of 34 Cases of Intractable Tinnitus.” Zhongyi Zhongyao (Traditional Chinese Medicine and Herbs) Aug. 2013: 277-278.

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