Posted by: seattledizzygroup | May 31, 2015

Acupuncture and Acupressure Therapy

Acupuncture & Acupressure Therapy for Vestibular Disorders

by Steve Knobler, LAc

of North Seattle Community Acupuncture

(Presented to Seattle Dizzy Group on 5/9/15)

This presentation gives an overview of Acupuncture Therapy including how it works and how it can help as well as Acupressure techniques to try at home.  Learn about this complementary therapy for managing the symptoms of a chronic vestibular (inner ear) or balance disorder.

How Acupuncture Therapy Works

Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years.  It helps reduce stress, improve energy, and restore balance.  Acupuncture provides effective therapeutic relief for many health conditions including migraines, dizziness, depression and anxiety.

During a treatment, acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points on the body. The needles are hair-fine and solid, different than the hollow hypodermic needles used for injections. Usually, a person feels nothing at all or only a slight, mild ache or pinch. Most people find the experience very pleasant and relaxing, often falling asleep during treatment.

What Can Chinese Medicine Treat Concerning Vestibular Disorders?

Most Treatable Conditions

  • Fluid Imbalance/Insufficiency
  • Pathogenic Causes (Viruses & Infections)

*Acupuncture cannot effectively treat certain types of vestibular or balance disorders.  For example, Particle Repositioning Maneuvers are necessary for the treatment of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.*


  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Imbalance
  • Migraines
  • Depression & Anxiety
  • Stress

Chinese Medicine Associates Vestibular Disorders with Phlegm.

All of the above symptoms can occur if fluid moves poorly within the ear or anywhere else in the body.

  • A good analogy is making soup. It becomes too thick and phlegmy if you:
    • Don’t have enough stock
    • Overcook it
    • Use incorrect ingredients
  • The Goal: Correct the Cooking Problem
    • Clear the phlegm. Then…
    • Add more water
    • Reduce heat
    • Change ingredients (change diet)

What Tools Does Chinese Medicine Use to Help Vestibular Problems?

  • Acupuncture (pretty helpful)
  • Acupressure (moderately helpful)
  • Herbs (very helpful)
  • Massage (pretty helpful)
  • Lifestyle (can be very helpful)
    • Food
    • Exercise
    • Meditation

(Acupuncture information and images from

Acupressure Therapy

Acupressure is an ancient healing art developed in Asia over 5,000 years ago which uses the fingers to press key healing points that stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. Using the power and sensitivity of the hand, acupressure therapy is effective in the relief of stress-related ailments, and is ideal for self-treatment and preventive health care for boosting the immune system. Acupressure releases tension, increases circulation, reduces pain, and detoxifies the body for more vibrant health.

Acupuncture and acupressure use the same pressure points and meridians.  For a pressure point reference, see the book “Acupressure Potent Points” by Micheal Reed Gach, PhD.

(Acupressure information and image from

Acupressure Techniques


  • Use moderate, circular pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Never be abrupt, forceful, or jarring.
  • Use abdominal points cautiously, especially with pregnancy or disease.
  • Don’t press heavily on lymph areas.
  • Do not massage burns, infections, ulcers, or new scars.

Acupressure Techniques Handout by Steve Knobler LAc (Click to Download PDF)

A Little Advice

Best Herbal Advice: Always consult an acupuncturist/herbalist before taking anything.

Best Dietary Advice: Minimize sugar, raw food, cold food, and dairy.

Best Exercise Advice: Move often and make it comfortable.

More Information:

7 Acupuncture Points That Can Save Your Life This Spring

Acupuncture Effective for Treating Hearing Loss

Acupuncture and Parkinson’s Disease (Click to Download PDF)

Steve Knobler, LAc

of North Seattle Community Acupuncture

Steve is a Licensed Acupuncturist who graduated from NIAOM in 1999. He is nationally board certified (NCCAOM) and has post-graduate training in orthopedic and sports acupuncture with Dr. Whitfield Reaves of Colorado. Steve enjoys treating everything, but his focus is treating people who are injured, pre/post surgical, with structural challenges or who desire improved physical performance.


Presentation information is not meant to be taken as medical advice.

Presentations posted online may include discussion notes, links, images, and other information added by Seattle Dizzy Group.


© Copyright 2015, Seattle Dizzy Group. All rights reserved.


  1. […] 2015, we had guest speakers on the topics of Massage Therapy, Acupuncture and Acupressure Therapy, and Biofeedback […]

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Seattle Dizzy Group

Providing support & community for people living with chronic dizziness & imbalance -- in Seattle & beyond

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