The symptoms can vary from mild dizziness or disorientation to a debilitating sense of movement around you despite being motionless, including a physical difficulty maintaining balance.
Western Medical View
Dizziness could be caused by problems with the ear, eighth cranial nerve or brain stem.
Problems with the ear could include wax, otitis media, acute labyrinthitis, Meniere’s disease and postural vertigo.
Damage to the eighth nerve (from meningitis, trauma or tumours) can produce vertigo.
The brain stem can be affected by encephalitis, meningitis, trauma, thrombosis of the posteroinferior cerebellar artery and multiple sclerosis (and as a result cause vertigo).
Chinese Medical View
Dizziness in Chinese medicine is called Xuan Yun. Xuan means “blurred vision”, while Yun means “dizziness”. The symptoms may range from a very slight to very severe vertigo with loss of balance and feeling that everything around seems to be spinning.
The causes fall into two categories: Deficiency and Excess.
In the case of Deficiency, not enough Qi from the Kidney (Kidney Essence – the body’s essential energy) or blood reach the head.
Excess conditions are caused by a build-up of Phlegm and pathogenic factors which prevent clear Yang (the body’s essential warm energy) from reaching the head.
According to Chinese Medicine theory acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be prescribed to treat the main factors effecting dizziness, namely Liver-Yang, Liver-Fire, Liver-Wind and Phlegm.
Depending on the cause (Excess or Deficiency), the treatment will involve resolving Phlegm, tonifying the Kidneys as well as nourishing the Liver.
You should reduce stress, as emotional strain affects the Liver and may cause Liver-Yang (hot energy) to rise and cause a high amount of dizziness.
Overwork and/or excessive sexual activity should be reduced, as over time this will weaken the kidneys which will fail to produce enough marrow to nourish the brain and will also cause dizziness.
Greasy foods, dairy products or irregular eating should also be reduced as this will weaken the Spleen and lead to Dampness and Phlegm. When this happens and there is a deficiency of Qi (the body’s essential energy) dizziness will also occur.
For personalised advice on diet and lifestyle, please ask the doctor during your consultation.
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