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- if you are always checking the status of your tinnitus
- if you blame particular circumstances for increases and decreases in the tinnitus
- if you beat yourself up about it getting louder
- if you blame others for it getting louder
- if you are in a reactive state
If you are in an early-onset situation with the tinnitus being present for up to a few weeks, then this video presents good information for you. We also call this “Recently Acquired Tinnitus” and have a step by step video eCourse available for recent onset cases under “Courses.” Continue reading
This show aired March 16nd, 2009 at 2PM GMT.
Host: Dainis W. Michel
Guest: Julian Cowan Hill
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Look after yourself properly and your tinnitus will take care of itself. By Julian Cowan Hill R.C.S.T.
When you work with hundreds of people with tinnitus, certain patterns become clear. The core issue seems to be learning how to let go at a deep level, and once a person becomes able to do this, symptoms get better. In this article I want to show that if you receive the right kind of support, then the process of letting go takes place all by itself. I have had a lot of experience easing people with tinnitus out of a locked up state, and have witnessed great improvement not only with the noises in their head, but in their ability to be comfortable, positive, relaxed and healthy.
A person with tinnitus typically holds tension at the base of the head and along the length of the spine. Often the body feels like it is standing to attention or bracing itself. One man lay on the couch and claimed he was relaxed, and yet his head wasn’t even touching the pillow! He wasn’t aware of this, and when I told him, he needed to put his hand behind his head to check what I said was true. I have met literally hundreds of people with tinnitus who have not much body awareness because they are too locked up and numb to be able to feel what is going on inside.
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Basics – Okay so you have tinnitus. Now what?
This is a brief outline of what to do during the first month?
Tinnitus is not a permanent illness that you will have for the rest of your life. This symptom depends on staying stuck in a state of red alert or fight or flight.
What you need is to come out of red-alert mode. The more you come out of this state of fight or flight, the harder it will be for tinnitus to stay in your awareness. The more you let go the easier it becomes to let go and you find your path on the right track towards well-being.
So, in the first month you need to start setting up the right conditions that will help you learn to switch off and let go. Here is a list of guidelines that will become essential tools for you to let go:
Set up a support network. Its hard to let go into nothing, but when you have people around you that understand what is going on then you can start to unpack what you are carrying inside and unwind.
The following are highly recommended examples of what helps:
Body-based therapies such as:
- Craniosacral therapy
- Cranial osteopathy
Low-impact Body-based classes
- Tai Chi
- Stretching etc
Mental and emotional support
- Life coaching
- Cognitive Behavioural therapy
Gentle exercise such as:
Enjoyable body-focussing activities such as:
- Lying in a bath, Jacuzzi
- Taking long showers
- Cuddling one’s partner
- Facial massages, creams etc
Relaxing activities to divert the focus away from tinnitus:
- Listening to gentle music
- Arts and crafts
- Chatting and laughing with friends
- Watching life-affirming films
- Avoiding doom and gloom of the news or horror films etc
Taking care of your sleeping habits and allowing plenty of rest
Gradually reducing stimulants like coffee, tea, cocoa, alcohol
If you have any worries about tinnitus medically, go and see your doctor. They may or may not know much about tinnitus but they will be able to refer you to an audiologist who will. Most audiologists know that coming out of a state of flight or fight improves your chances of letting go of tinnitus. Taking the medical route can be useful for setting your mind at rest. Knowing there is nothing untoward in your hearing apparatus can be comforting in itself.
Sometimes people have scans or may be offered hearing aids. This can be helpful. However, please be aware of those who say there is nothing you can do about tinnitus. This unfortunately happens quite a lot. These people are really advertising that they don’t know how to help you.
Learn about Tinnitus
The more you understand tinnitus the less threatening it becomes. Be choosy about the source of information. Find people who have let go of it themselves who can be constructive, positive and supportive. Please be careful of reading negative stories about tinnitus. This can be very activating and upsetting. Unless someone has something positive to offer, protect yourself from groups that revel in misery, doom and gloom. This is not helpful.
Find out if there is a local tinnitus association. Local groups can often bring in speakers that have helped tinnitus. This can be a huge place for support and realising that you are not alone. Tinnitus is incredibly common. Over 10% of the population have it. Meeting others that understand what you are going through is very validating and helpful. Equally sitting around and stewing in how awful tinnitus is, is very unhelpful!
Give yourself regular down time. Let your family or partner know that you will need to take things easy and slow down the pace for a while. For as long as tinnitus is still with you, this is a sign that you need to stop and just chill out, relax and let go on a regular basis.
If you cannot do this, if you cannot just sit and be easy or still, then go and have a massage or have craniosacral therapy etc over a period of time until you can do this by yourself.
This may take months – so take it easy, do what leaves you feeling comfortable, calm and relaxed as often as you can.
If there is nothing that does this, then find something that does. This is so important. Learning to be kind to yourself and look after yourself is one of the most useful things you can do at this stage.
Keep your expectations realistic at the beginning. First of all aim for bringing in a bit more well-being and relaxation into your daily life. Try not to focus on stopping tinnitus. This is still focusing on it. Aim for more comfort, less pressure, slowing down a bit, relaxing. Slowly focus your attention away from tinnitus and onto well-being. This is massively more constructive than trying to stop tinnitus. That unfortunately is still focussing on tinnitus.
Learn some relaxation techniques that you can put into action every time tinnitus gets to you. There are plenty of these listed in curetinnitus.org. Get into a habit of practicing these when you find yourself stewing in negative responses to tinnitus.
How much can I afford?
Therapy and classes can seem expensive at first. But they can bring about massive life-changes that can get you on the right track. Start with what is manageable and don’t overstretch yourself. The aim is for you to become independent and become your own therapist who can look after yourself. At first you may need to learn this from a professional.
This sounds a lot but an hour a week of therapy or a relaxation class, and half an hour of down-time every day can be enough to turn things round. As the weeks go by, being kinder to yourself in this way builds up into a lot.
A little often is the best way to go. Keep things manageable.
It might be tough to accept, but research shows that people with tinnitus exhibit similar behavioral characteristics. A logical thing to ask then, is whether the characteristics actually cause the tinnitus, instead of the trigger or event that tinnitus patients often associate with tinnitus (the concert, the loud noise, the stress, etc.).
The following translation is not available anywhere else in the world. I personally translated the German text of the scientific study for you.
Here is my translation of Dr. Greuel’s “Die Biomentale Therapie.” (p. 39)
Tinnitus Patient Personality Characteristics
In the course of treating several thousand patients, including the group for this study, a fairly uniform personality of tinnitus patients became apparent.
* Conscientious, duteous, strong sense of duty
* High-effort and diligence
* High demands of self
* High ambition
* Perfectionism to the point of being pedantic
* Compuslive and depressive
* Tendency to overextend, overwork, overburden, and exhaust oneself
* Lack of ability to relax, reduce the load of burdens, and regenerate
Most patients say that they can’t “turn off,” that they think constantly, they complain, and are mentally very active. (Note, the German “geistig ständig aktiv” also implies high emotional and spiritual activity along with mental activity).
Rest, relaxation, recuperation, vacations, being lazy, etc. are completely foreign to most tinnitus patients.
Also, the boundaries of one’s own capacity to cope with pressure tend to be either ignored or not honored. As such, the symptoms of tiredness and exhaustion that register themselves to our bodies in the form of temporary tinnitus, dizziness, pressure in the ears, headaches and migraines get ignored. The symptoms are not understood as warning signals anymore, they are dismissed or suppressed with medications.
Dr. med Hans Greuel Die Biomentale Therapie: Ergebnisse eines wissenschaftlichen Forschungsprojektes am Beispiel einer Psychoneruroimmunologischen (PNI- Therapie) des Hörstüres, Morbus Meniere, und Tinnitus, ISBN; 3-9801449-4-1 ,p. 39.
JULIAN COWAN HILL R.C.S.T., TINNITUS, FROM TYRANT TO FRIEND: How to Let Go of Ringing in Your Ears, p. 10.
This show was aired March 2nd, 2009 at 2PM GMT.
Host: Dainis W. Michel
Guest: Julian Cowan Hill
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