Hey everyone,

I went to my first neurotologist appointment today and he wants me to try some VRT exercises at home and told me that most people feel better after six weeks of this. How can these exercises help when I feel like the floor is constantly not flat and I feel like I’m moving when sitting still? Does anyone know of anyone who had symptoms like me and got better from VRT? He also told me that he doesn’t believe I have MAV because I would have a history of migraines and migrianes doesn’t cause chronic disequilbrium. I told him that I actually speak to people online who had/have and he didn’t say anything. I know I must have MAV I’m going to try the exercises for a couple weeks and if I don’t see any improvements, I’m going to make another appointment with a neurologist and ask to start on some preventatives again. I hope everyone is doing well today.

dizzyinaz - don’t you hate when people dispute our diagnosis. we’ve all been though it. we almost all have the disequilibrium. I have been so confused about VRT. 6 doctors dx me with VRT, and only one recommended VRT. when I went to the place for VRT, they said that they were doubtful they can help people with MAV due ot previous experiences. there are articles which say that it is helpful. I am confused about this issue

Hi Dizzyinaz, I had some Drs. say the same thing “migraines don’t cause constant dizziness or disequilibrium.” As you pointed out, we know that is not true, unless we are all making this up on this forum! I tried VRT for 5 weeks and at first I thought maybe it was helping very slightly. In the end, however, it did not help and the therapist is the one who started pointing me in the direction of migraine related issues. I actually think it began to make me feel worse - more dizzy. It may be worth a try - I think some on here have had some success. I don’t think it will do any long term harm. Good luck. Ben

Hi dizzyinaz
VRT has helped me in the past but ONLY because I had/have uncompensated labs - it helped to remove some of that so that in the end the MAV became clearer and more apparant - and like Ben and Lisa it was my therapist who first pointed me in the direction of MAV when the VRT was no longer helping. I find that really interesting - the therapists are the ones spending the time with the patient and probably the ones really understanding the symptoms from the patients point of view.

VRT may help to confirm the diagnosis of MAV because if it makes the symptoms worse or at best doesn’t make it better then it effectively rules out something like uncompensated labs. Hope that helps - as Ben said there’s no harm in trying it and the therapist might be helpful about MAV too - maybe not in providing a cure but in providing information or guidance to the neuro-otologist about how the VRT works or doesn’t work for you.

Other stuff that helped the neuro-otologist I saw come to a diagnosis was in some of my triggers - do you also feel worse around your period time, with different foods especially caffeine or chocolate, sunlight/intense light, do you get any migraine auras - eg sparks or flashes in your eyes or I get the side of my arm goes numb sometimes (a bit extreme but some people get tingling down one side of their arm, finger, face etc), thunderstorms, stress, too much or too little sleep, missing meals or low blood sugar, smells - perfume or paint? If some of these things trigger worsening of symptoms this could help the neurotologist to accept the diagnosis of MAV. Keep at it - you’ll get the help you need, perseverence seems to be the most required quality with this illness.
Hugs, Tess

Thanks everyone,

I’m going to give these exercises a try but, I really doubt these exercises will help me considering I walk around at home and take care of my two year old son. I hate the feeling of walking now, but I’m trying to do it so hopefully my brain will compensate and I’ll get better. My Mom still has to come over to help me. The only thing that is on the exercise list is that I don’t really bend over too often to pick up things off the floor because it does make me dizzy. I’m going to give it a try for a couple of weeks and see. Has anyone tried acupuncture? I went to a chiropractor for a couple of weeks, but sadly no improvement.

I have never tried VRT. From virtually all of the people I have talked to, it makes everything worse for about a month. Most of the people I talked to about VRT though took it for a different ailment. I fear that it would take me below a functioning level and I won’t do it. I am the only driver in my family, the sole source of income, and I take night classes. I just can’t afford a month without pay, and not being able to take my family to the important places like a doctors appointment, or a school play, or miss a month of night classes.

Alls that I can say is that I fear VRT, and don’t know what the results are for MAV.


I went to a physical therapist who only does VRT. I did about 3-4 months of therapy. I do think it helped some. It certainly did not hurt me. It did make me a little dizzy during the exercises and maybe for a few minutes afterwards but that was nothing in comparison to how dizzy I felt throughout the day. I would do exercises for about15 -20 minutes twice a day. She would change my exercises - tailor them to my current symptoms. I would visit her every one to two weeks. I still do my exercises at home though not as regularly as I should. I think it is worth a shot. If you see a therapist that specializes in VRT, I do not think there could be any harm and perhaps there will be some benefit.

dizzyinaz - I tried 7 sessions of acupuncture. IT wasn’t helping at all and was very $$$. THe acupuncturist wanted me to try 15-20 sessions, but I couldn’t see wasting more money on it. I figured 7 sessions was a good go of it. The acupuncturist also told me every single session that there is no way I could have a migriane this long. Obviously, she didn’t know about MAV, but I was sick of hearing it.

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Has anyone tried acupuncture?

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I tried acupuncture for about four months, one session per week. It helped temporarily with headaches and tension relief, but it didn’t do anything for my dizziness or other MAV symptoms.


I had the same experience with acupuncture as Marci – temporary relief but only sometimes. Other times it did nothing but crank symptoms up higher. Massage does this for me as well – can be good or bad depending on how symptomatic I am.

Personally I think acupuncture is another remedy that is likely more placebo than anything else and perhaps lessens symptoms too because it is so relaxing. There is some weak evidence that the needles piercing the skin might have some sort of effect such as releasing endorphins etc but it’s a very mild and temporary at best if it occurs at all. It could work along the same lines as the relief you get when you rub your skin if you bump yourself. It stops the pain temporarily.

The acupuncture doctor I was seeing was charging me $40 for a 30 min head massage (which was great) and $50 for the needles. When I go now, I tell her to just do the massage and forget the needles even though she bangs on about energy meridians etc. I feel just as good without the needles and save 50 bucks.

Scott 8)

— Begin quote from “scott”

The acupuncture doctor I was seeing was charging me $40 for a 30 min head massage (which was great) and $50 for the needles. When I go now, I tell her to just do the massage and forget the needles even though she bangs on about energy meridians etc. I feel just as good without the needles and save 50 bucks.

— End quote

Yep! I agree with that 100%. My teenage daughter gives a pretty good head massage (not for 30 minutes, but its free!) and I get better relief from that than I did the acupuncture. I stayed with the acupuncturist as long as I did because she is also a chinese herbalist (and a great listener, and I must admit that may be why I kept going more than anything). I thought for a while that the herbs were helping, but now I think it was just my natural migraine cycle that I go through. I don’t regret giving it a try. All it hurt was my pocketbook.

Hey Marci,

All it hurt was my pocketbook.

That’s all these alternative things ever seem to do. I probably could have bought a house by now if I think of all the cash I have sunk into trying to treat this migraine garbage. Still, I’ll keep dumping money into massage … it feels too good and is worth the $$ I think. I sometimes go to this other Chinese group that have a setup in the local mall. They’re really excellent and will really tear me apart for 20 minutes and all for 20 bucks. It can sometimes trash me but is usually ok. For me anyway, I’m well and truly done with anything reported as “natural” and “alternative” for migraine apart from what actually has some credible evidence behind it (such as magnesium, vit B2, etc …).

Scott 8)

sounds like we’re all on the same page with acupuncture. Glad I didn’t shell out more money. I figured $600 was more than enough. I should try to treat myself to a massage. at least that feels nice. I did not find the needles relaxing at all.

Thanks everyone for all of your advice. I appreciate it so much! :slight_smile:

A massage sounds great too!

Dizzyinaz - -

I tried VRT too. I started it last October and continued it through February. I am not sure if it helped or not. My PT was awesome. She was the one who said I definitely needed to see Dr. Hain. I actually felt worse with the eye exercises she gave me to do. I had to stop them. I have two kids to take care of, I couldn’t afford to get even worse. Dr. Hain didn’t seem to think much of PT for MAV. He thought things like playing catch, ping pong, and Wii fitness is more beneficial. I started playing catch consistently with my daughter. I would stand on one foot and catch the ball then switch. I tried to incorporate balance exercises with it as well as it helping the eyes focus on the ball moving. I know it didn’t hurt me to try VRT, but I am not sure if it helped. It may be worth trying since everyone is different, I would say if you don’t notice improvement in a month, I would discontinue. It was quite expensive, but my insurance covered most of it.


Thanks Nance,

I am gettting so worried Nance and everyone! I haven’t noticed hardly any improvements at all in my symptoms. I’ve been doing the strict diet for a month now (well, I cheated a little bit one day), and I’m still walking like I’m on a trampoline, waterbed, and a lot of times it feels like I’m walking on a rickety old wooden bridge. The floor sometimes feels like its tilting to the right or left. The floor also looks like its shaking back and forth when I walk. (kind of like I’m looking through a hand held video camera and I’m running with it). I also feel like I’m walking through water and its really choppy (wobbilying wildy when I walk). I still feel a lot of movement when sitting still (like big waves of motion going through my body and sometimes I feel like a magnet is pulling me down to the left. I also feel like I’m bobbing up and down when standing still almost like I’m standing on water. Basically the floor never feels flat anymore and I told the neurotolgist this and he said to do the exercises and I should improve. These symptoms are so horrible and I just want to wake up from this nightmare!
The exercises the doctor have me, he wants me to do at home for six weeks, but I don’t see how these exercises will help me considering that I’ve been walking around a lot at home, trying to do chores, I’ve even braved going into two stores yesterday by myself (to buy some things very quickly). The exercises are basically what I’ve been doing at home everyday, walking around, twisting, rotating head, etc. or at least have been trying to do. He hasn’t reffered me to formal VRT yet because he said that 85% of dizzy people he sees are much better after they do the exercises at home. I don’t want to let this illness beat me so I’m trying to get back into my life (for my little son and husband) and kind of pretend what I’m feeling is not there, especially when I walk. But it’s so hard!! Last night I wanted to try and get out of the house so my husband and I went to a drive in movie (because i feel better in the car). Once I got home, I stepped out of the car and I felt like I was walking in extremely choppy waters. Then, afterward I steeped into my house and I felt like I walking on an old moving bridge for several minutes. I went into my bedroom and just cried. It was awful!
I’m trying to stay positive that I’ll improve but its so hard when I haven’t really noticed any improvement. The only thing I have noticed is my visual symptoms have lessened somewhat. I don’t have any objects moving in my vision, but being on the computer does cause me to feel more waves of motion when I’m sitting in front of it and I have noticed the same thing under flourescent lights and watching tv after awhile.
Thank you everyone, Nance, for supporting me. This has been so difficult for me.I want to improve so badly!

Dizzyinaz - I have all your symptoms exactly. you explain it so well. I can relate 100%. I’ve had this for 2 years. I also cry a great deal because of this. The past few days I’ve been trying to be more hopeful. But, Ive gone through months of crying everyday.It seems like meds are really the answer to this, not VRT. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the right one for me yet, but I have to keep on trying, as I have no other choice. I wish you the best of luck. i think you said you stopped the topamax. are you taking anything now? this illness just doesn’t seem to get better without the help of meds. would others agree? I have also done strict diet for almost 1 year, with no success. I also feel best in a car, and as soon as I get out all the symptoms return. Others with these symptoms have improved, so that gives me some hope. I too keep on hoping that this will just go, go, go as quickly as this came, and I can get my life back!! we’ll get there.

I think you should try VRT. I do not think you have anything to lose and you might possibly improve. Sure, you might need meds too, but in the meantime while finding the right med, why not try some exercises at home and perhaps your symptoms will become a little more bearable? When I did VRT I just did basic gaze stabilization exercises standing on a flat and then on a compliant surface. Later I added similiar exercises while walking across a room and a month or two later did similiar exercises outside on uneven, not level ground. I do not think you will be harmed in any way by doing these exercises, especially if you start slowly. If you want to discuss it more you can pm me.