One particular chiropractic procedure, known as the endonasal technique, is thought to help the eustachian tube to open and thus improve drainage of the middle ear. The tube is sometimes blocked off due to exudates or inflammatory processes. The endonasal technique can offer significant relief from earache.
Craniosacral therapy and osteopathy
Craniosacral therapy uses gentle manipulation of the bones of the skull to relieve pressure and improve eustachian tube function. This treatment may also help the eustachian tubes to assume a position in which they can drain on their own. The pressure exerted on a baby's head during the birth process sometimes contributes to the tubes being in a position in which it is hard for them to drain. Osteopaths practice a similar gentle manipulation of the bones of a child's head. One osteopathic study of children from kindergarten through third grade in a Missouri school district found a direct correlation between abnormal head shape at birth and susceptibility to otitis media during the early elementary school years. As of 2003 there are pediatric osteopaths who specialize in cranial work.
A number of herbal treatments for otitis media have been recommended, including eardrops made with goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), mullein (Verbascum thapsus), St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), and echinacea (Echinacea spp.). Tinctures of echinacea, thyme (Thymus vulgaris), and elderflower (Sambucus nigra) are often recommended for oral treatment of otitis media due to chronic congestion. Warm garlic oil can be instilled directly into the ear. Steam inhalation infused with eucalyptus or chamomile may reduce the congestion of the URIs that often accompany otitis media.