Acupuncture Therapy for Sudden Hearing Loss (SHL)

Sudden hearing loss

Does Acupuncture Work for Sudden Hearing Loss?

Read an actual patient's perspective on Dr. Honda's therapy for sudden hearing loss.

Yes, acupuncture has been successfully used to cure sudden hearing loss, using a technique pioneered by Tokuji Fujii, founder of SHL-Net. Dr. Kenri Honda of Nippon-Chiro is a member of SHL-Net.

Many SHL patients who received early treatment were fully cured. Recovery rates decline as the time between hearing-loss onset and treatment increase, but full hearing recovery has been demonstrated even in patients who delayed treatment.

Many SHL-Net patients have completed steroid or other treatment by an ENT physician, and have received the unwelcome news that their hearing loss is probably permanent. But, in fact, with early acupuncture treatment in many patients, sudden hearing loss is not necessarily permanent. (Your results may vary. Although many SHL-Net patients have enjoyed full recovery, others have not. Specific outcomes cannot be guaranteed.)

What is Sudden Hearing Loss?

Sudden hearing loss is the sudden loss of hearing in one or both ears. It often strikes people in their 30s and 40s, and SHL-Net treatment results—in terms of both the number of patients seeking treatment and the number of patients who see full recovery—are consistent with that trend. We are encouraged, though, that full recoveries have not been limited to these groups; both the most junior and most senior of our patients have enjoyed full hearing recovery.

Regardless of whether you choose acupuncture for SHL, sudden hearing loss must be treated promptly. See your ENT at once if you notice a sudden change in your hearing. Every day is critical—waiting a week can make a big difference in the chances of recovering your hearing.

How Many Acupuncture Treatments Will I Need?

Full-recovery patients at SHL-Net achieved full hearing recovery with an average of 12.7 treatments. Over 60% of these patients achieved full recovery with 10 or fewer acupuncture treatments. Even patients with severe hearing loss saw full recovery after just a few treatments, especially when they started treatment promptly after the onset of hearing loss.

What is Acupuncture?


Acupuncture is a 5000-year-old healing art that is considered by modern medicine to be a safe and natural practice with no side effects.

In acupuncture the body is seen as a grid of twelve dissecting energy channels which are called medians. These medians are believed to be active channels of energy along which flow the life force of Chi. It is believed that un-wellness is caused by interruptions in the flow of this vital energy.

The medicine of acupuncture uses very small needles (about the thickness of a human hair) which are injected into the skin in one or more specific sites throughout the body. The acupuncture practitioner will then gently stimulate the needles to open and harmonize the corresponding blocked energy median.

Acupuncture is safe and pain-free. We use only thinnest, single-use needles, and the insertion is very shallow—just under the skin. The acupuncturist will then leave the needles in place for several minutes, while you relax comfortably. The needles are then removed and discarded. Many patients report a sensation of feeling refreshed after an acupuncture session, which may be a result of improvement in the flow of Chi.

Acupuncture is not a one-time treatment—most conditions require several treatments for effective results. In addition, depending on the specific condition, a schedule of maintenance treatments may be recommended to cement the results.