What is Tinnitus - it is the perception of sound within the human ear in the absence of corresponding external sound. Tinnitus is not a disease, but a symptom that can result from a wide range of underlying causes: abnormally loud sounds in the ear canal for even the briefest period (but usually with some duration), ear infections, foreign objects in the ear, nose allergies that prevent (or induce) fluid drain, or wax buildup. Also, use of in-ear headphones via sound entered directly into the ear canal itself, without any opportunity to be deflected or absorbed elsewhere are a popular cause of Tinnitus with volume set beyond modest or moderate levels.
Tinnitus can also be caused by natural hearing impairment (as in aging), as a side effect of some medications, and as a side effect of genetic (congenital) hearing loss. However, the most common cause for tinnitus is noise-induced hearing loss.
As tinnitus is usually a subjective phenomenon, it is difficult to measure using objective tests, such as by comparison with noise of known frequency and intensity, as in an audiometric test. The condition is often rated clinically on a simple scale from "slight" to "catastrophic" according to the practical difficulties it imposes, such as interference with sleep, quiet activities, and normal daily activities.
Tinnitus is common. About one in five people between 55 and 65 years old report tinnitus symptoms occur at some point or other in their lives. About 75% of the people who suffer from this condition are able to tune out the ringing most of the time, they push it into the background of their awareness and thus are not aware that they hear a ringing sound at all.
The first step in treating tinnitus is to make sure there is a thorough medical examination and search for physical and medical causes - trauma, blood pressure, aneurysm, etc. There may be other causes such as environmental conditions at home or at work, even diet can affect ringing in the ears. Is this problem occasional or constant? These must all be examined and dealt with appropriately before working with alternative methods such as self-hypnosis and/or EFT (see below).
If a person is experiencing bouts of insomnia, depression or anxiety, a doctor may prescribe drugs to treat these problems. Tinnitus sufferers often choose counseling as one of their ear ringing treatments. Counseling can help the patient to learn stress reduction and relaxation techniques.
For many sufferers of tinnitus causes are found to be allergies in body, a nasty blow in the head, formation of ear wax, sinus infections, blocked fluid in ears and increases in stress level and/or blood pressure. And, there are a number of cases of tinnitus without any measurable or identifiable cause.
The only truly successful way to get lasting relief from tinnitus and constant ear ringing is to correctly identify the underlying problem. Find the root cause of the tinnitus and then to treat the problem. If you don’t get to the root cause, all you’re treating is the symptoms of the condition.
So how can you go about identifying the cause of your tinnitus? Identifying the cause of the ear ringing is not as hard as you might think because there are really only three major causes of tinnitus. The most common cause of ringing ears is exposure to noise which results in high frequency hearing loss. Other conditions that can cause tinnitus are stress and anxiety, sinus problems and certain diseases. You need to see your health care professional to properly understand what has caused a problem in the first place.
Tinnitus can occasionally be eliminated. Twenty percent of all adults experience some form of tinnitus, including one out of three over the age of 60. That’s millions and millions of people. Seventy-five percent of those are not particularly disturbed by the noise because they quickly learn to ignore it. How can some learn to do that while others cannot?
The scientific explanation is, if the conscious mind considers them unimportant, so it makes a habit of ignoring them. In medical terms, you habituate those stimuli. And you can habituate the noise in your head. You absolutely cannot ignore the noise in your head as long as it’s accompanied by the negative emotions of fear, anxiety, anger, or frustration.
Basically this self hypnosis type of program focuses on relaxation. When you are relaxed you enter into an altered state of mind. Here you are open to suggestion and see things more clearly and not obstruction by human emotions. Once you have entered the altered state of relaxation here is where you can pinpoint the exact cause of your tinnitus. This state of relaxation is great for relieving stress and anxiety further increasing your overall level of health.
As the noise from your inner ear is turned down and becomes more of a background noise, you can easily overlook it thus having a relief for tinnitus problem. By guiding your mind to focus on something else, you can get relief. A side benefit is to relieve the stresses, which may increase the ringing in the ear problem, in the first place.
The most crucial factor here in whether we’re able to ignore (habituate) a stimulus is whether it’s associated with a positive or negative emotional response. Primitive survival instincts in the limbic system of your brain will not allow you to ignore stimuli that evoke fear, provide warnings of danger, or are associated with unpleasant situations.
Formula: Sound of tinnitus + fear = conscious awareness you cannot ignore.
Negative emotions set off a fight-or-flight response generated by your unconscious mind and autonomic nervous system. The typical response to the onset of tinnitus is fear or outright panic. What’s wrong with my ears, my head? Am I having a stroke? Is my blood pressure dangerously high? Am I losing my mind? Will I have to listen to this noise forever?
It becomes possible to ignore that sound only when we remove the associated fear, anxiety, frustration, etc. Humans typically fear what they don’t know, don’t understand or can’t control. Fear is the lack of knowledge. Once we know and understand what we are dealing with, we are empowered and in control. Understanding the roles of the auditory system and brain plays an important part in removing the fear and anxiety surrounding tinnitus. Also vital is the realization that you do have control.
The accepted medical definition of hypnosis is: An altered state of consciousness in which the conscious mind is temporarily bypassed, so that the subconscious mind becomes highly receptive to selective, positive suggestions. That’s a mouthful. The National Guild of Hypnotists says: “Hypnotherapy or Hypnotism means the use of trance and suggestion to improve general self-control and maintain a positive mental attitude.”
Every conscious mind contains a critical factor that analyzes, then accepts or rejects all new information based on whether the information agrees with what’s already inside the subconscious mind—our core values. Unfortunately, the critical factor seals off the subconscious mind at around age six. Unless we bypass the critical factor of the conscious mind, it’s almost impossible to effect lasting change in our minds, emotions, behaviors, habits, etc. To achieve maximum effect, the client is first guided to a level of mental and physical relaxation known as somnambulism. This level is completely safe and comfortable, and can be achieved in a matter of minutes.
Once clients experience this state, it is easy to return and experience it over and over. It feels absolutely wonderful! Under hypnosis, you enlist your subconscious mind to increase the control you have over your emotions. You can reduce or eliminate negative emotions surrounding your tinnitus, and replace them with positive ones.
Question: What happens when you separate and remove negative emotions from tinnitus? Answer: You move over into the 75% of adults who have tinnitus but don’t allow it to distract them, they keep it in the background. You don’t suffer from tinnitus anymore because your brain can now habitually ignore it (habituate.)
People sometimes ask if they “lose control” when hypnotized; quite the contrary. During hypnosis, you are more in touch with, and more in control of your body and emotions than when not hypnotized. Many people who undergo hypnotherapy are able to influence the characteristics of their tinnitus, and some can actually reduce its volume, just as people learn to reduce pain through hypnosis. Hypnotherapy deals directly with the subconscious mind, the seat of memory, emotions, and imagination.
Think about that for a moment. Memory…emotions…and imagination represent a huge part of who you are, and they reside in your subconscious - below conscious mind awareness. Negative emotions of anxiety, fear, frustration, etc. are pulled into the conscious mind in response to thoughts, memories, or events (whether the events are real or imagined - emotion is the glue to memory). Negative emotions are nearly always associated with experiences that were frightening. When these emotions well up in response to the noise of tinnitus, they bring along associated memories, compounding the fear we feel about tinnitus. Adding anxiety into the mix…about what might happen…rapidly increases our overall suffering and creates a sense of impending doom.
Under hypnosis a client’s subconscious mind can revisit a time immediately before the onset of their tinnitus, and he or she will often be completely free of tinnitus while there - sometimes for an hour or more. When we ask if they hear the noise, they don’t. Once we have them move forward in time to when their tinnitus began, we can easily identify and deal with whatever negative emotions arise. (And they see the emotions for what they truly represent.)
Emotional Freedom Techniques™ helps with defusing negative emotions. The basic premise of EFT is: The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system. Consciously thinking of a specific thing (tinnitus) or feeling (fear, anxiety) creates a specific thought field, which generates measurable energy. Positive emotions reflect a healthy energy, while negative emotions reflect a disruption in the system.
EFT has proven effective in reducing or completely removing negative emotions for many thousands of people around the world. It can be extremely effective in reducing the fear, anxiety, and related negative issues that accompany tinnitus. On occasion, the noise itself is dramatically reduced within a few hours or days. No needles are used in EFT, but it might be thought of as a type of psychological acupuncture or acupressure. With proper instruction and guidance, EFT techniques can be self-administered at home.
This is powerful - a thought generates its own unique and measurable energy, we know this. We also know that a traumatic event often disrupts the flow of normal body energy. The disruption remains in place until something proactive is done to reverse it. It’s the disruption in the energy system caused by a traumatic event that makes one feel whatever they subsequently feel. Some people find that stress aggravates their tinnitus symptoms. Therefore, alleviating stress by performing EFT will help clear up the tinnitus as well.
I ask clients to imagine a stream bed and water flowing along the pathway. Now see a branch that has fallen into the water (traumatic event) and it begins to collect leaves and debris that hinder the natural flow of the water (energy). As these bits and pieces continue to collect, the water flow becomes so blocked that it has to find another channel to use and water begins to overflow the banks and carve new channels in the soil around the stream, cutting away earth and rocks and roots. EFT is a way to remove these blocks, the debris of traumatic events that continue to cause pain and negative emotional charges - in other words we discharge the negative blocks so the energy can flow in its proper pathways naturally again.
Acupuncturists have outlined energy pathways of the body, known as meridians. EFT requires a person to tap each one of ten points along these meridians. In addition to tapping, the person recites specific statements related to his emotions responsible for creating the stress. Through Emotional Freedom Techniques, a person is able to heal themselves, by clearing their minds of negative feelings, and thus help relieve the various noises of tinnitus.
This is how it works: You think about a negative memory or feeling. As you think about it, you formulate a statement relating to this. An example of a statement would be, "I am upset that my wife left me." Then, you measure the strength of this memory or feeling based on a scale of 0 to 10.
The next step is to formulate a statement of acceptance. "Even though my wife left me, I fully accept myself." You tap three times on all the 10 EFT points while repeating this affirmation. These points include the beginning of eyebrow, chin, collar bone, top of head, under the eye, and others.
Following this procedure, you rate the intensity of this feeling a second time. Then, you repeat all these steps until the negative emotion is completely out of your system. Since anxiety can exacerbate the symptoms of tinnitus, it follows that people with tinnitus should find Emotional Freedom Techniques helpful in obtaining tinnitus relief.
Hypnotherapy (Self-Hypnosis) combined with EFT is a good method to correct some issues faced by tinnitus sufferers. Hypnotherapy deals directly with the subconscious mind, the seat of your memory, emotions, and imagination. Negative emotions are nearly always associated with past experiences that were frightening. When these emotions well up in response to the noise of tinnitus, they bring along associated memories, compounding the fear we feel about tinnitus. Adding anxiety into the mix rapidly increases overall suffering and a sense of impending doom.
The onset of tinnitus is a traumatic event, and certainly disrupts the energy system to cause anxiety, fear, frustration, or outright panic. Once this disruption is restored, however, it becomes far easier to habituate the noise because the negative emotions go away. Fear is the lack of Knowledge - Knowledge empowers us to be in control of our lives - gives us the power to create the lives we wish to live! Knowledge is power, Self-Knowledge is empowering!