Vertigo/Dizziness when Turning Your Head?

Chances are experiencing a condition known as BPPV which is quite common especially in people over 60 or those who have had a blow to the head. I myself experienced this vestibular nuisance twice, both after international travel which involved long flights and the physical stress that goes along with lugging suitcases, rushing around and standing in long lines.

There are three things you can do if you find that vertigo sets in when you suddenly move your head to the left or right or if you go to reach an object from a top shelf. The Epley maneuver is done by some ENT docs and physical therapists and there are on-line demos on home therapy. A rather new gadget that has come on the market from Canada is called the DizzyFix.

In the center of the ear are calcium crystals but sometimes a crystal or two escapes and finds its way into the ear canal giving the brain confused messages which causes the dizziness, vertigo, nausea. When the exercises are done, one moves her head to the right or left at which time the uncomfortable sensations will be felt. No, it’s not fun, but a person needs to stay with the dizziness until it passes. The idea is to get the crystal or crystal rocks back where they came from. Yes, it’s true–we all have rocks in our head.

Sometimes the crystals dissolve on their own but it can take a long time. Best to rule out any other ear conditions by seeing a qualified doctor but in most cases, the cause is BPPV. Some people report feeling better after only one Epley maneuver but everyone is different. One of the biggest challenges is finding a trained therapist in the technique and if you do, being able to get an appointment. A good idea to make several appointments. If the dizziness disappears and you don’t need the extra bookings, you can cancel.

As an acupuncturist, I find a few things helpful. Ginger for nausea or I use a special homeopathic in my clinic. I also bleed the apex of the ears which is most helpful and takes the edge off, but because BPPV is a structural issue, physical maneuvers are key. Oftentimes the cervicals and thoracis become misaligned and a good cranial sacral therapist can help loosen the muscles. The Epley manuever can be hard on the neck, so a double-pronged approach is necessary.