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Home > Newsletters > July 2005 >

Points - July 2005 - Ask the Doctor

Q: I am wondering if getting acupuncture for my dizzy spells would be helpful.

A: Acupuncture is successful in treating dizziness and can be a great natural alternative to relieving this unpleasant feeling.

Dizziness is an unsettling sensation of movement that may be accompanied by blurry vision, nausea, vomiting, sweating and a tendency to fall down. It is a feeling that we have all experienced at one point or another, but when dizzy spells become more frequent, they can really affect your quality of life.

Dizziness relates to your sense of balance. Your sense of balance is maintained by a complex interaction of the inner ear, the eyes, skin pressure receptor, muscle and joint sensory receptors and the central nervous system. All of which monitor where the body is, what position it is in and whether it is standing still or in motion. When there is conflicting information given to the brain by any of these sensory systems dizziness occurs.

Obtaining detailed information on the type, quality and duration of dizzy spells is extremely important in determining the diagnosis. Common questions that should be asked by your practitioner include:

  • Differentiating simple dizziness from vertigo. Simple dizziness is a sensation of lightheadedness. Vertigo is a spinning sensation or the feeling that you or the room around you is moving.
  • Whether dizziness or vertigo occur with a change in body position
  • Duration of the dizzy/vertigo spells
  • Whether there are other symptoms accompanying the spells.

Dizziness according to Chinese medicine is a symptom of an underlying disease. It is therefore very important for the practitioner that will be treating you to take a full medical, lifestyle and dietary history. This will allow the practitioner to diagnose according to the root cause of the disease.

According to Chinese Medical Theory the symptom of dizziness or vertigo may result from a number of root causes:

  1. Deficiency of Qi and Blood
    Symptoms of dizziness accompanied by fatigue, listlessness, poor appetite, palpitation and pale complexion. The deficiency caused by an insufficient amount of qi and blood reaching the brain resulting in dizziness.

  2. Deficiency of Kidney Essence
    Dizziness accompanied by tinnitus (ringing of the ear), poor memory, and low back pain. The kidney organ system in Chinese medicine is the source of all yin and yang of the body. As you age this source gradually declines, chronic illness as well as over indulgence in sexual activities may also strain these resources, the brain is unable to be nourished and dizziness results.

  3. Hyperactivity of Liver Yang
    Dizziness is accompanied by headache, irritability, ringing of the ear(s) or soreness of the lower back. Yang is hot in nature and a hyperactivity of liver yang rises up and attacks the brain resulting in dizziness.

  4. Stagnation of phlegm and dampness
    Dizziness accompanied by a heavy sensation of the head, nausea and anorexia. This can be due to over indulging in greasy food or improper diet. Phlegm and dampness hinder the natural flow of qi and blood, obstructing the flow of energy to the brain causing dizziness.

Acupuncture is successful in treating dizziness and can help reinforce deficiencies, calm hyperactivity and resolve phlegm and dampness. It is recommended that patients suffering from dizziness and vertigo avoid greasy food as well as decreasing situations involving loud noises. It is also important to consult your physician to ensure that there are no physiological causes for the dizziness that need to be addressed immediately.

About our Doctors

Jasmine Sufi HBSc, BHSc, D.Ac
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Practitioner, Toronto ON

Jasmine graduated from the University of Toronto with an honours Biology and Neuroscience degree. She then completed a Bachelor of Health Sciences and a Diploma of Acupuncture program from The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences. Her clinical experience includes the Acupuncture Clinic in the Wasser Pain Management Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital, St. Johnís Rehabilitation Hospital as well as the Toronto Centre for Acupuncture.

Her passion towards alternative medicine began with her interest in the study of pain and natural herbal medicine. Her enthusiasm towards Chinese medicine has grown and shows in her quest to educate individuals on the benefits of integrating eastern and western medical philosophies to enhance the quality of life.

To find out more about her private practice please visit:

This Month's Articles

July, 2005
Volume 3, Number 7

Is There a Male Menopause?

Bell's Palsy

Balance in Change

Recent Research

Ask The Doctor

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