Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo that people experience. It is characterized by brief periods of vertigo that occur with change in position and movement of the head. Vertigo creates the sensation of motion even if the patient is still, these sensations are often typically described as spinning, rocking, or falling. Anything can trigger an episode of vertigo, something as simple as getting out of bed can cause these sensations, this is due to damage to the tiny fragile sensory organs of the inner ear that help our bodies establish balance. This sensation of spinning and dizziness can cause other symptoms like nausea and headaches. Medications are often recommend to deal with vertigo-induced nausea and some non-drug methods are used by maneuvering a patient’s head to help reposition the canalith and free floating debris in the fluids of the interior canals of the ears.
Given that there are very few drug and non-drug therapies for BPPV acupuncture has proven to be very useful. A patient came in to East to West Wellness Center with a bout of vertigo, she had had episodes of BPPV in the past and this was her first time seeking acupuncture for treatment. She had sensations of dizziness and spinning upon waking, these sensations were triggered by the slightest movements including extension, flexion and rotation of the head. When she came to us she was also suffering from vertigo induced nausea. We inserted needles primarily in the head neck and ears. By the end of the treatment this patient expressed that the intensity of her vertigo had significantly decreased in intensity and her nausea subsided. With a just a few more regular treatments the vertigo will be completely eliminated. Acupuncture is able to increase blood flow to the vertebral basilar artery which helps to reduce the intensity of vertigo.
-Anna Craddock, Student of Acupuncture