Nose, throat and ear problems
chronic sinusitis, loss of ability to smell, runny nose, ear pain, hearing loss, tinnitus, middle ear infection
In Chinese Medicine, a sore throat is believed to be the result of an attack of harmful influences. This does not mean an attack by viruses or bacteria but rather of pathogenic factors such as wind, cold and dampness. Excess of cold and wind manifests in the beginning with a slight scratchy throat and chills. If left untreated, the inner cold quickly converts into heat, manifesting with fever and a severe sore throat.
If treatment is administered promptly with the appearance of the first symptoms, the course and severity of the malady can be considerably shortened and reduced. Even if the malady has had time to set in, treatment at a later stage can still help alleviate the symptoms and strengthen the immune system.
Chronic Throat Inflammation
Treatment of chronic throat inflammation requires strengthening the immune system as the first step. Harmony between body and mind, as well as a healthy and appropriate diet are important factors necessary to stimulate the body’s self-healing energy and help it overcome illness. TCM can assist the body in eliminating weaknesses, releasing blockages and strengthening the immune system. It is particularly important to strengthen the lungs, the kidneys and the spleen, as these organs form the immune system in Chinese Medicine.
A Lump in the Throat / Uncomfortable Feeling in the Throat
A healthy liver promotes the harmonious and smooth flow of Qi throughout the body, which supports our physical, mental and emotional functioning. The smooth flow of Qi also assists the spleen in the transformation and transportation of food and helps the stomach in breaking food down. The liver Qi helps spleen Qi to rise and stomach Qi to descend. According to TCM however, the liver is the organ most susceptible to the stagnation of Qi (Qi becomes blocked). Stress, incorrect diet and environmental pollution overload and disrupt the liver’s function of detoxifying the body.
In the case of liver Qi stagnation, the liver no longer distributes Qi, which accumulates in the liver. Swelling and a feeling of pressure or distention, especially in the abdomen, chest and neck area, as well as the dumpling sensation in the throat may arise as a result of a liver Qi stagnation.
Chronic sinusitis usually arises out of an acute sinus infection. Acute sinusitis in turn is normally caused by the simple cold virus which damages the mucus membranes, such that bacteria can settle resulting in chronic inflammation.
TCM therapy administers acupuncture and Chinese herbs with the aim of activating the bodies self -healing powers in order to eliminate weaknesses in the body.
Loss of Smell
Partial or complete loss of the sense of smell is almost always due to a preceding viral infection of the respiratory tract. The effect of which is a diminished quality of life. Those affected not only lose the ability to smell, but may also no longer be able taste their food. In this event, TCM helps to balance the body, restoring the senses.
From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, sinusitis is caused by wind-heat which impairs both the downward movement, as well as the distributing function of lung Qi. This leads to constant fluid retention in the nasal passages. In chronic cases, the functioning of the spleen can even be weakened. The result of which is the accumulation of mucus and purulent discharges. The aim of therapy in such an instance would be to liberate the surface of the body, discharging wind and heat and to further tonify (boost) the lungs and spleen.
The causes of earache are numerous. Common causes include injury or invading bacteria. Hearing loss, tinnitus or dizziness may be possible consequences. Ear ailments can be treated very effectively with acupuncture. Particularly important here is the treatment of the gall bladder meridian.
Difficulty / Loss of Hearing
Hearing involves the perception and processing of acoustic signals through the ears and the subsequent translation of the information by the brain. The causes of hearing loss are varied. It can be a symptom of old age, a result of disease or due to excessive noise.
TCM associates hearing loss with a weakening of the energy flow and thus blockages in the body. The treatment is as individual as the cause and requires a thorough diagnosis. As acupuncture is a holistic method, it treats not only the symptoms, but also the deep seated cause of the hearing loss.
Tinnitus is the term describing rushing, ringing or whistling noises in the ear, which only the patient can hear. There are a number of factors that can cause tinnitus. Even a thorough examination by an ENT specialist is often not able to pin point the reason for the Tinnitus.
Chinese medicine distinguishes between acute and chronic tinnitus, as well as between tinnitus caused by an excess or deficiency in the body. An appropriate treatment strategy is chosen depending on the individual diagnosis.
Middle Ear Infections (Otitis Media)
Middle ear infection is usually caused by bacterial inflammation of the middle ear and is a common occurrence among (small) children. Patients complain of severe, throbbing ear pain and hearing loss. They feel sick and suffer from fever and headaches. Infants and young children often have non-specific symptoms such as light diarrhea and vomiting and often complain of abdominal and / or ear pain.
According to Chinese medicine, the liver, gall bladder and kidney meridians play an important role in middle ear infections. After determining whether the infection is acute or chronic, acupuncture can be administered along with conventional medicine as an effective treatment combination. Acupuncture stimulates the flow of Qi and blood locally, relieving the ear pain.