I recently started going to an acupuncturist for help with my tinnitus. Since there is no known cure for tinnitus, you kind of have to find your own way to deal with it. I’ve stopped taking Excedrin in excessive amounts, am trying to cut back on the caffeine, never put salt on my food (though the salt in restaurant/fast food probably doesn’t help), am seeing the sleep disorder doctor (finally) for my sleep apnea, and am taking a few new anti-anxiety drugs to help with the stress. I haven’t been exercising as much as I would like, but all the appointments for aforementioned treatments are keeping me pretty busy. Plus I have actually been able to do normal things, like see movies, get pedicures, and have dinner with friends. And Mom’s doing so much better that I’ve been able to cut back on the hours working at my “second job.” So that helps.

I still haven’t heard about the results from my MRI (what kind of ear, nose, and throat outfit is that place running, anyway???) But in this case, no news is good news, right? I decided to try acupuncture as a “first resort” out of curiosity and desperation. I got two recommendations (one from a teaching friend of my mom’s and one from a friend I haven’t seen in years who is now a Facebook friend) and I decided just to make an appointment with one of them and go for it.

I ended up seeing my mom’s friend’s doctor. She happened to have an appointment available soon after I called and she’s really close to where I live. I was a little nervous about the first appointment. I mean, what exactly would it be like to be lying on a table with little needles sticking out of you? But I was just so ready to do something, anything, to get a handle on that damned ringing, that I would have run naked down San Felipe to get it to stop. Well, maybe I wouldn’t have gone that far, but, then again, on the worst days….

So my first appointment was two weeks ago. Her office smells like incense and is very feng shui and zen and calming. And she has a pharmacy of herbal medicinals behind her little doctor’s office sliding window. I filled out the paperwork and commenced to the Ch’i-flowing induction. Dr. Wang tapped tiny needles into my skin at just the right places. She twisted them a little, creating a little pressure (and a little ouchie) to get the energy flowing. Then she turned out the lights, and let me percolate for about 40 minutes. She said most of her clients fall asleep because they are so relaxed. I didn’t fall asleep, but that might be due to the fact that I hear this dadgummed ringing in my ears! (I used the term “dadgummed” for those with delicate sensibilities regarding language, but that was not what I was thinking in my head!!!)

When the session ended, she told me she wanted me to come back twice a week for the next few weeks, and she gave me some herbal medicine (4 caplets to take twice a day) and said I should see results after 6 sessions. I didn’t even ask what was in the herbals – I just said I’d take them faithfully each day (with food and an hour before or after my “real” drugs.)

I’ve been to 4 treatments and, while the ringing certainly has not disappeared, it has diminished. It doesn’t bother me as much as it did. Now, I don’t know if it’s because of the acupuncture, the western meds, the lower stress due to my mom’s improved medical condition or what – but I don’t care!! I’m just happy not to hear this in my head all the time. (Scroll down for the audio. What I hear is a cross between the Ear Ringing Sound and the High Frequency Buzzing. Turn the volume all the way up on your computer. That’s not loud enough.)

So two more sessions. I’ll probably keep going after that because (as some of you know) I have a lot of issues that might benefit from a little needle tapping and twisting.

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