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April 26, 2011

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Ear ringing warns of energy loss

TINNITUS is a symptom that was already found in medical literature of early times. It is described as a ringing, buzzing, humming or screaming noise in one or both ears.

The noise can be stable or intermittent. The volume ranges from quiet to loud, changing in specific situations or gradually increasing over time. However, once it appears, it will never go away completely.

The ear is regarded as the gateway to the kidney and also as a detector of the energy level in a person's body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, a person's qi (energy flow) is stored in the kidneys.

Specific activities like late-night working uses up a high amount of energy, especially when it is done after midnight. Other activities such as qigong and nutritious food help the body maintain this constitutional energy.

There are four main root causes that are mainly diagnosed in patients with tinnitus.

The most often diagnosed cause is "deficiency of kidney qi" which means a person is already using up his/her life energy. Through exhausting activities, hectic lifestyle and insufficient resting times, the body is loosing an inappropriately high amount of energy.

Here, tinnitus is a warning signal that the person needs to slow down and let the body recover. The noise of this kind of tinnitus is a gradually increasing buzzing sound that is heard day and night. Some patients simultaneously complaint about lower back pain and weak knees.

The second root cause, gan huo or "liver fire," is more related to emotional changes in a person's life. Patients feel stressed and anxious. The tinnitus sound comes suddenly with a high volume. It goes along with a red face, red eyes and headaches, sometimes with dizziness (Be careful: Mnire's disease).

Another reason for tinnitus is "blood deficiency." This cause is often related to a disease or trauma. The severity of the sound in the ear varies and the patient often suffers from sleeplessness, lack of energy and a pale face.

The fourth reason is related to lifestyle and diet. The "phlegm excess" is caused by the wrong diet such as greasy food and irregular eating times. This excessive phlegm blocks the qi from nurturing the whole body.

TCM treats tinnitus with a high success rate. Acupuncture and herbal medicine are proven methods to reduce the sound in the ear. Qigong also helps in most cases of tinnitus. To reach the best possible treatment outcome, a healthy and calmer lifestyle must be the goal.

(Doris Rathgeber is founder of Body & Soul Medical Clinics.)

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