Balance and Acupuncture

Balance and Acupuncture

Balance Awareness Week 2020

Balance is something most of us take for granted. It’s automatically hardwired into our bodies at birth, evolving and adapting as we grow and age. While basic balance is innate, some of us are able to perfect or even master our balance through exercise and practice. We don’t often think about our balance‚ until of course, we lose it.

Many people may not be familiar with the word vestibular‚ relating to your inner ear, brain, and sense of balance‚ many of us have experienced the awkward or sometimes scary feeling when we momentarily lose our balance. Maybe it’s taking a wrong step or getting motion sickness aboard a jostling boat. Eventually our balance comes back and life moves on. 

This is not the case for the over many who suffer from the mostly invisible and often debilitating symptoms of chronic imbalance association with a vestibular disorder. Whether it comes on gradually over time or all of the sudden, bouts of dizziness, vertigo, and nausea can make many of life’s more routine tasks intolerable. Trying getting a good night’s sleep with a high-pitched ringing in your ear, or to focus on something as everything around you appear to be spinning can be very difficult. For those living with a vestibular condition, everyday life becomes a progressively challenging obstacle course to navigate.

Balance Awareness Week is an opportunity each year to come together and shine a light on these otherwise invisible balance disorders. If we’re all more aware, then we can better understand and be empathetic to those who need our support the most‚ our family, friends, co-workers, and neighbours. 

Balance Awareness Week is about vestibular disorders to support patients in their journey back to balance.

Traditional five element acupuncture looks at why the Vestibular system is affected, this can be a from a long term condition exacerbated by when a patient is run down and stressed. This can be from a virus an ongoing illness, a long term stressful situation, a shock, not eating well, getting enough sleep or many other circumstances that put strain on a person’s body, mind and spirit. Acupuncture helps to recover the ability for your system to heal and ongoing treatment 

Acupuncture has been proved through controlled trials to be an effective treatment for labyrinthitis, nausea, vomiting and headache. The World Health Organisation also recommends acupuncture for deafness and vestibular disorders because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult. 

Traditional five element acupuncture with Southwell Acupuncture Clinic can treat with acupuncture to help you to reduce stress, as emotional strain affects that may your condition to worsen, help you to manage your condition and understand the triggers. Looking at lifestyle, diet, exercise, relaxation, sleep, relationships and work life balance, by supporting you in Body, Mind and Spirit.

For information and treatment contact Hannah on:

Conditions that affect the balance are:-

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) usually causes intense, brief episodes of dizziness or vertigo associated with moving the head, often when rolling in bed or getting up in the morning. Some people may also feel nauseous between episodes of vertigo. It occurs when tiny particles break loose and fall into the wrong part of the vestibular system in the inner ear, stimulating the nerves that detect head rotation. The brain receives the message that the head is spinning although the head has only moved position slightly. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo.

Vestibular neuritis (or vestibular neuronitis) and labyrinthitis are disorders that result in inflammation of the inner ear and/or the nerve connecting the inner ear to the brain. Generally caused by a viral infection, these conditions cause vertigo (usually experienced as a spinning sensation), dizziness, imbalance, unsteadiness, and sometimes problems with vision or hearing.

In a healthy balance system, the brain combines messages sent by the balance control systems in both ears, but if one side is affected the messages from that side are distorted, causing the symptoms of dizziness and vertigo.

Vestibular migraine or migrainous vertigo is a type of migraine that may or may not cause a headache, but can include a number of debilitating symptoms affecting the ears, vision and balance. It is the second most common cause of vertigo.Alongside symptoms of vertigo, imbalance and dizziness, during a vestibular migraine some sufferers may also find head movement involved in turning, bending down or looking up intolerable, feel a pressure within their head and/or ear, have neck pain, find it hard to hear low sounds, or develop tinnitus (a ringing or other sound in the ear). People may also experience headaches, visual disturbances such as hazy or blurred vision, sparkles or blotches in their vision, or loss of part of their vision.

Ménière’s disease is a balance disorder characterised by episodes of vertigo (spinning sensation), dizziness, tinnitus (ringing or other sound in the ears), feeling of pressure in the ear and hearing loss.

Starting with one symptom and gradually progressing, Ménière’s disease is believed to be caused by the abnormal build up of fluid in the inner ear, which interferes with functioning of the sensory cells responsible for balance and hearing. Vertigo caused by Ménière’s disease can last from 20 minutes to 24 hours and is associated with dizziness, nausea, vomiting and unsteadiness. A second symptom is sporadic tinnitus, a subjective noise (such as ringing, buzzing, hissing or rumbling) in the ear or head that is not associated with any external sound. Progression of Ménière’s disease may also lead to fluctuating hearing loss and the occasional feeling of fullness in the ear.

Cerebellar ataxia leads to a lack of muscle movement coordination caused by a dysfunction in a part of the brain called the cerebellum, which controls the timing and force of muscle movement. People with cerebellar ataxia have trouble balancing, walk in an uncoordinated and unsteady way, and find it difficult to carry out fine movements with the hands and arms. It can be caused by conditions that lead to brain damage, specific drugs, or genetic cerebellar disorders.

Cerebellar ataxia can affect balance, walking, speech, vision and the ability to judge distances. Initially, people with cerebellar ataxia may find it hard to balance but as the condition progresses, walking becomes an unsteady or staggering movement, and a wide stance is adopted to help with this. Speech can become slurred and people with cerebellar ataxia can lose the ability to judge distances and control fine muscle movements so that it is difficult to pick up small items or touch a specific letter on a computer keyboard, for example. If control of eye movement is affected, it can become hard to balance and read.

Sensory ataxia is lack of muscle movement coordination caused by a loss of the sense of where different parts of the body are located in relation to each other and the ground. Caused by damage to the nerves that send constant feedback from the position sensors in the joints and muscles to the movement control centre in the brain, sensory ataxia leads to unsteady walking and, in particular, may affect the ability to balance in the dark or with closed eyes (in situations such as showering).

Due to the loss of sensation in the feet and legs in sensory ataxia, sufferers develop an unsteady, possibly stomping gait, with the foot striking the ground hard on each step, which is sometimes described as ‘walking on pillows’. It may also be associated with pain in the feet and legs.

Traditional Five Element Acupuncture can make life clearer or easier with these conditions, where there is a chronic condition acupuncture can help reduce flare ups and relapses be further apart and slow down the progression of disease.

For information and treatment contact Hannah on:

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