By Barry Keate
Barry Keate, has lived with tinnitus over 40 years and has published 150+ research articles on numerous aspects of tinnitus. He is an expert on the condition and a well-known advocate for those with tinnitus.
There is new research from Germany on a treatment similar to acupuncture, called acupressure, which is combined with a smartphone app to provide a non-invasive option for treating tinnitus.
While acupuncture consists of inserting thin needles along the body’s meridians to guide the flow of energy to re-balance energy levels and correct disturbances that may lead to disease, acupressure uses the same medical methodology except it employs manual pressure at the points where acupuncture needles would be used.
Arches has long recommended acupuncture as one viable treatment option for tinnitus. We discussed the basics of acupuncture theory in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for treating tinnitus. More recently we reviewed using acupuncture combined with moxibustion (burning herbs over acupuncture points), which enhances acupuncture results.
Scientists at the University of Wurzburg, Germany studied 39 tinnitus sufferers over a period of six weeks. They used an acupressure device called ForgTin together with a smartphone app that provides self-help tips to the participants. The device fits behind the ear, is adjustable to fit all ears, and provides a soft pressure at various points. (1)
Patients were required to purchase the device (about $700 each) and use it along with the self-help tips. They reported twice daily using the smartphone app. Reports included tinnitus level, stress, mood, neck and jaw muscle tension. This allowed the researchers to receive 124 questionnaires per participant, which were used for statistical analysis.
They received tips for better coping with tinnitus. The tips were randomized from a library of 50 tips. They included suggestions for improving sleep, reducing stress, improving concentration, relaxing despite the tinnitus sound, and improving general health.
The researchers observed a significant negative trend of tinnitus loudness in 15 of 39 patients (38.5%), and reduction of tinnitus distress in 11 patients (28.2%). A significant decrease in tension in the jaw muscles occurred in 40.6% and a decrease in neck tension in 38.9%. A significant decrease in general stress level was seen in 38.9%.
The positive results of this study were limited by several factors. There was not a placebo group to compare with as this was an observational study. It is not known how the self-help tips were effective compared to the acupressure device. Also, it is not known how long the effects last. More investigation is called for, specifically a randomized, placebo-controlled study is needed to differentiate the effects of the self-help tips and the acupressure device.
While there is no universal treatment for tinnitus, let alone a cure, there have been many advances made in recent years in treatment options for people who suffer with tinnitus. Acupressure is one more. As with other “non-organic” treatments combining Arches Tinnitus Formula will increase positive outcomes and lead to lower tinnitus loudness and stress resulting from it.
1 – Schlee, W.; Simoes, J.; Pryss, R. Auricular Acupressure Combined with Self-Help Intervention for Treating Chronic Tinnitus: A Longitudinal Observational Study. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 4201. https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0383/10/18/4201