Acupuncture For Tinnitus: Facts, Research & Surprises

woman getting acupuncture for tinnitus relief

If you’re one of the more than 50 million people in the U.S. who suffer from tinnitus, you’ve probably experimented with a whole range of medical and non-medical options to mitigate the ringing. Among popular trends that have emerged in recent years is the use of acupuncture to treat tinnitus symptoms. And while it’s still too soon to declare acupuncture an evidence-based win for treating the condition, there may be cause for optimism.

Understanding Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that has gained popularity in the U.S. as an alternative, non-pharmacological practice used primarily to treat pain. As it’s become more mainstream in healthcare, its benefits are being observed well beyond general pain management to areas of stress reduction and, for some, tinnitus relief.

"Treble Health helped me reduce my tinnitus by about 80%, and now I can live my life again!"
"Treble Health helped me reduce my tinnitus by about 80%, and now I can live my life again!"
– Steve D.
Which Treble Health solution is right for you?

The procedure involves inserting very thin needles at specific points on the body. The process is described as a way to balance energy by stimulating the flow of blood throughout the body’s various pathways – often called meridians. Acupuncture is performed by a licensed practitioner and activates the central nervous system, thus improving blood flow and yielding a variety of physiological benefits. 

Learn more about acupuncture and tinnitus.

What The Research Is Saying

While the research is mixed on the long-term health outcomes of acupuncture, much of the science is compelling. In a 2011 study, researchers looked at tinnitus severity and quality of life, finding that individuals who received acupuncture reported significant improvement in overall quality of life and a greater reduction in perceived loudness of the tinnitus than those in a control group. While authors discuss that results may not be long-lasting as a possible limitation of using acupuncture as a therapy for tinnitus, they argue that individualized acupuncture regimens seemed to be helpful. 

Other studies suggest that while there seems to be some benefit reported when utilizing acupuncture for the treatment of tinnitus, it is difficult to draw definitive results due to methodological differences across different studies. We simply need more data. 

What’s more promising than acupuncture’s direct effect on tinnitus, however, is the correlation between acupuncture and stress mitigation. Countless studies show that acupuncture is effective at releasing endorphins and improving relaxation. Thus, because stress plays an outsized role in triggering tinnitus flare-ups, acupuncture can be an important part of a holistic treatment plan to reduce stress. Acupuncture has also been proven to help many patients experiencing chronic pain, which also plays a role in exacerbating tinnitus symptoms, since pain can trigger stress, which can then trigger tinnitus. 

Acupuncture Vs. Traditional Tinnitus Management

Like so many treatment plans, it’s often hard to know exactly what combination and frequency of therapies is right for each individual. If you find that your tinnitus symptoms are especially heightened with stress, then acupuncture, meditation, or other stress reduction exercises may provide the support you need. These types of therapies can be used in conjunction with more traditional tinnitus management options – such as the use of hearing aids or tinnitus maskers. Just make sure you’re working closely with your audiologist to experiment with both traditional and non-traditional ways to find relief. Your audiologist can serve as a guide in helping you track different interventions and adjust based on their success. 

So does acupuncture treat tinnitus? Results are mixed. But can a little stress relief go a long way to reducing symptoms and improving overall wellbeing? Absolutely. At the very least, it’s definitely worth talking with your audiologist to see if acupuncture might be a worthwhile addition to your tinnitus management. 

Next Step: Take The Tinnitus Quiz

More To Explore


Treble Health Audiologists Are
Professional Members Of The


Tinnitus Web Class
THIS Wednesday only

A special online event to help you find relief from tinnitus.

Class starts Weds at 8 p.m. EST.

Memorial Day Special Offer

Save 20% On The Best Bundle For Tinnitus Relief

Only Available Until Tuesday, May 30th

By clicking ‘Unlock $700 Off’, you consent to receiving information about Treble products and services via email and accept Treble’s Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.