10 Simple Exercises to Improve Tinnitus and Deafness

Done properly over time, these can help improve tinnitus, deafness, hard of hearing, and aural fullness symptoms

10 Simple Exercises to Improve Tinnitus and Deafness
A recent U.S. study found that nearly 1 in 10 Americans experienced tinnitus symptoms in 2021, but less than half sought medical attention. (Shutterstock)
Kuo-Pin Wu
Tinnitus and hard of hearing are common aural clinical symptoms. A recent U.S. study found that nearly 1 in 10 Americans experienced tinnitus symptoms in 2021, but less than half sought medical attention.

Wu Kuo-Pin, Superintendent of Taiwan Xinyitang Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Clinic, said that the cause of tinnitus is fairly complex, often the result of multiple causes occurring at the same time.

He pointed out that in addition to acupuncture and TCM treatment, mild, healthy exercises on the ears and massaging the surrounding areas can also significantly improve related symptoms.

A study by Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan found that among the 107 patients who received more than four courses of acupuncture, 56 had their tinnitus symptoms improved significantly, and 7 recovered completely.

Even better results were seen in patients who received acupuncture more than 17 times. Compared with patients who only had acupuncture on ear acupoints, patients with combined acupuncture on other parts of the body also had a more obvious effect.

In addition to acupuncture, Wu introduced five simple exercises of the ears and massage techniques, which can improve symptoms such as tinnitus, deafness, hard of hearing, and aural fullness.

5 Tinnitus Self-Care Exercises

1. Use the thumb and index finger to knead the ear 36 times from the bottom to the top, starting from the earlobe below the ear.

2. Open the middle finger, and index finger in the form of a V. Place them in front of and behind the ear, respectively, and push from bottom to top 36 times in one direction.

3. Put the palm of your hand straight on the ear and fold the ear flap back and forth 36 times.

4. With the palms facing the ear canal, place your middle fingers horizontally on the back of the head, and the index fingers above the middle finger. Flick the index finger down from the middle fingers to tap the back of the head 36 times. At this time, you will hear a thumping sound like a drum. This is the ancient “Heavenly Drum” method.

5. After pressing the ear inward with the palm of your hand, pull back out instantly. Do this 36 times.

The above five acts are the basic health exercises to help alleviate tinnitus.

5 More Tinnitus Enhancement Therapy Routines

The causes of tinnitus are complex, sometimes having to do with misalignments in other parts of the body and not just your ears. If conditions persist, and you have some of the following symptoms, it may be necessary to raise the level of treatment in order to see improvement.

1. For those with frequent cervical stiffness, soreness, and headaches, doing the previously introduced "Cervical Spine Self-Rehabilitation Methods" before doing these tinnitus self-care exercises is recommended.

2. If there are knots or pain points around the ears, massage them to release them.

3. The temporal bone structure around the ear should be massaged and pressed to release the intracranial pressure around the ear.

4. For those with nasal allergies, frequent nasal congestion, and snot backflow, bend the thumb and rub the side of it up and down on both sides of the nose to promote the circulation of qi (vital energy) and blood in the nose.

In addition, use the index finger to press and knead the "Bi Tong Point" on the upper end of the nasal alar and the lower edge of the nasal bone. This point has a favorable effect on improving nasal congestion and swelling caused by nasal blade hypertrophy.

In TCM, qi and blood are the most important fundamental substances necessary for life. The concept of “qi” can be understood as the “vital energy” or “vitality” that constitutes life in the body. The two substances of qi and blood circulate to maintain balance and stability in various tissues and organs. Illnesses or other conditions may appear when there are qi and blood imbalance or deficiency in the body.

5. Sleep disorders can easily aggravate the symptoms of tinnitus. Dr. Wu recommends doing more exercises of the "Cervical Spine Self-Rehabilitation Method," which is extremely helpful in improving insomnia.

When Will I Feel the Effects?

Because the causes leading to tinnitus are complex and the course of the disease varies, treatment is not one-size-fits-all. For best results, do the above tinnitus care exercises as often as possible. Do them leisurely and make them an enjoyable routine, and they may help alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus, deafness, hard of hearing, and aural fullness.
Kuo-pin Wu is the superintendent of Taiwan Xinyitang Heart Clinic. In 2008, he started to study traditional Chinese medicine and obtained a bachelor’s degree from China Medical University in Taiwan.