Published: 12/20/2010 - Updated: 02/04/2018
The ears are sensory organs responsible for hearing and balance, by its position in the highest part of the body, where, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi Yang pure stands, they are considered as one of "pure holes." In Traditional Chinese Medicine, ears are not perceived as independent sensory organs, but as a part of the whole body.
It is considered that "the ears are the meeting place of all the meridians (channels through which Qi and blood circulate)." Because of this finding, the relationship between the ears and the rest of the body is very narrow, so the disease or specific organ dysfunction can often be reflected through the meridians in the ears, also, if there is any alteration in the ears, that can affect the entire body.
Despite its connection with different organs and meridians, ears maintain a physiological and pathological relationship more closely with kidney, heart, gallbladder, liver and spleen.
KIDNEY: ears are considered as the holes or opening to the outside and the functions of the ears are governed by the Kidney. If the energy or Kidney Qi is full, the hearing will remain clear, if not disturbed.
HEART: The opening of the heart is the tongue, but since it is not a hole, ears act as openings to the outside, this is due to close relations between Kidney and Heart because Heart is responsible for Fire Element and Kidney for Water, harmony between these two elements depends on the balance and smooth functioning of the ears.
LIVER: The Liver Qi or energy is communicated to the ears. If any condition disturb liver, then will affect the ear.
GALLBLADDER: Gallbladder and Liver viscera are couples, according to TCM, their physiological functions and pathological changes are closely related. Furthermore, the Gallbladder Meridian enters the inner ear from the back of the ear, and emerges at the front. The functions of liver and gallbladder are related to the pipeline and expansion. If these functions are disrupted, this can affect your hearing through the Gallbladder Meridian.
SPLEEN: The spleen is responsible for transforming food into essential substances, useful to the body, also governs transportation functions for liquids. If the functions act normally, ears get enough nutrients to ensure their good condition.
Tinnitus is a disorder of the ear consisting of sound perception in the absence of acoustic stimuli, it is a subjective experience of the patient, may have characteristics similar to ringing, roaring, whistling, etc. It may be intermittent, continuous or pulsed, frequently associated with hearing loss. In Western Medicine, the mechanism that produces tinnitus is regarded as a symptom of almost all disorders of the ear canal obstruction, infections, etc. It may also appear as a symptom in cardiovascular diseases: hypertension, arteriosclerosis, anemia, hypothyroidism, etc. Treatment is based on correcting the disease, there is not specifically treatment for tinnitus.
China Traditional Medicine is evaluating tinnitus characteristics and related physical and subjective symptoms. From the data obtained from this assessment, an analysis according to the differentiation of syndromes, most distinctive feature of Traditional Chinese Medicine, consisting of diseases classified according to their qualities, according to the organs and meridians involved which may distinguish several for the same disease syndromes, and therefore offer different treatments for the same pathology.
Once the syndrome has identified, you can set an acupuncture treatment protocol. It makes a selection of local points (around the ears) and distal points (in the rest of the body: chest, back, hands, feet, etc). Allow local points inter alia to improve the local circulation of Qi and Blood, thus contributing to the release of the ears and optimize results. It regulates distal points, tones and rebalances the various bodies involved, thus providing a holistic treatment for tinnitus, which can treat not just the symptom but the cause and origin.
In clinical practice these syndromes differs fundamentally for the treatment of tinnitus:
1) EXCESS OF FIRE IN THE LIVER AND GALLBLADDER
Symptoms: tinnitus or sudden deafness.
Possible associated symptoms: headache, facial flushing, feelings of bitterness in the mouth, dry throat, irascible, restless sleep, oppressive feeling in the chest, constipation.
Usually due to a fit of anger, this causes liver block, generating excess heat, which rises through the Gallbladder Meridian, disrupting the hearing.
China Traditional Medicine believes that the physiological function of the liver has an expansive character and is closely related to the movement and channeling. These characteristics provide a particularly important role in regulating the circulation of Qi, Blood and body fluids throughout the body.
Several factors can disrupt the physiological function of the liver, but the most common is the emotional factor. Since the emotion that corresponds to the Liver is anger. Therefore a fit of anger and rage may contribute to liver dysfunction and tinnitus triggering this syndrome that is usually made sharply and after conflict and stress.
The treatment would be to restore liver function, channeling the flow of Qi and remove the heat of the Liver (inhibit overactive).
2) WIND-HEAT EXTERNAL ACCESS
Symptoms: Tinnitus appears during a flu or cold.
Associated symptoms: headache, fever, chills.
External pathogens such as wind-heat penetrate the body through the nose and mouth and initially affect the respiratory system.
The treatment would be to release and drain the system by eliminating the pathogenic factor surface.
3) FAILURE OF BASAL KIDNEY SUBSTANCE
Symptoms: persistent tinnitus or hearing loss increases at the nights disrupting sleep.
Associated symptoms: Dizziness, decreased visual acuity, muscle pain and weakness in lower back or knees, espermatorrea.
Kidney basal substance is regarded as the essence of life, represents both the nutrition that feeds the various organs and tissues keeping them in their optimal state, as the energy that drives the various physiological activities. If for some reason there is an excessive or premature wear of the ground substance of Kidney that would affect the conservation status of different organs and tissues, as well as their physiological performance.
The ears are the external orifices of the Kidney; it means that their relationship and dependence are narrower than other organs, so that in case of failure of kidney basal substance may appear as impaired hearing or tinnitus deafness. In this case, you would have to strengthen and tone the ground substance of kidney.
4) FAILURE OF SPLEEN AND STOMACH
Symptoms: Tinnitus and hearing loss that increases with activity and work, or cold empty feeling in the ears.
Associated symptoms: Fatigue, loss of appetite, bloating after meals, pasty or loose stools, dull pale facial color.
The physiological function of spleen and stomach is related to the transformation of food into substances useful to the body and during transport.
Thanks to its role in food processing, the body gets nutrients to perform their respective functions. That is why in TCM is regarded as "The source of Qi and Blood." The Spleen Qi movement is upward and this movement depends on the transport function of the Spleen, by enabling the elevation of nutrients or pure substances in Heart and Lung and head.
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Shia Pei-Wen Tseng
European Foundation of TCM - School of TCM - Guang An Men Clinics