Do you struggle with ringing in your ears? Then you may have a disorder known as Tinnitus. In this brief article, we’re going to take a look at how hypnotherapy may be a good option for you to consider if you are struggling with Tinnitus for psychological reasons.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus, which is usually a ringing, high pitched noise, chirping, or hum in the ears, is a disorder that affects thousands of people around the world every single year. Most people will only deal with ringing once in awhile, but for others, it can be a loud and constant issue that doesn’t go away. In extreme cases, this can cause some psychological frustration and damage.
Most people assume that, because it is something that is “heard,” that it is caused by the ear itself. In some cases, this is true, but in others, it’s because the brain is stuck in a “loop” of memory in the conscious.
This is where hypnotherapy may become helpful for those who suffer from tinnitus. It can help to deal with those “stuck memories” and knock the noise level down to a manageable level.
How Could Hypnotherapy Help With Tinnitus?
Hypnotherapy is based on hypnosis, which is a state of heightened awareness. Even those the base of the word is “sleep,” it’s actually a state where the person who is hypnotized is actually keenly aware of what is going on around them.
They are better able to concentrate and pay attention when they are in a hypnotic state. Where this relates to tinnitus is that, because the person has a heightened awareness, they may be able to divert their awareness from the cause of the “ringing”, therefore “turning it down” in volume.
Using hypnotherapy to help with tinnitus is a rather new technique, but several studies are showing it to be effective when used alongside other treatments for the disorder. Those who suffer from tinnitus have more somatics than the general population, which could account for the issue as well.
So why did they start using hypnotherapy to treat tinnitus? It is because most people who suffer from tinnitus (unless there is a physical reason, such as a tumor) actually started having the issue because of a psychological disorder, such as depression or anxiety.
Hypnosis has been known to reduce stress and anxiety, so that’s why people started using hypnotherapy as part of the treatment for tinnitus – it just felt like it made sense. Basically, the stress, anxiety, or depressed caused a memory to get “stuck”. These memories become powerful and have an emotional attachment, which then manifests itself as a repetitive sound, the “ringing.”
The hypnotherapist then has to help get rid of the emotional charge, which will help reduce the anxiety, stress, or depression that the person suffering from tinnitus is feeling. As that charge becomes lessened, the person is better able to heal and focus on other stimuli that are not the constant noise.
Once the person has been detached from the noise, they will be able to “turn it down” and get some relief. Now, this isn’t something a hypnotherapist can do in one session. It normally takes several before progress is truly made. Some hypnotherapist will give their patients audio files for daily self-hypnosis to help move the process along as well.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Using Hypnotherapy For Tinnitus?
Hypnosis, for the most part, is a relatively safe way for you to deal with tinnitus, as long as the tinnitus is related to a psychological issue, such as anxiety or stress. If you have dealt with tinnitus for an extended period of time, make sure that your audiologist and/or doctor has checked for pathological reasons behind your tinnitus (a physical disorder, tumor, etc).
If you have been cleared of any pathological reasons for your tinnitus, there is absolutely no reason for you to be concerned about the safety of hypnotherapy for your tinnitus.
Otherwise, using hypnotherapy for tinnitus is relatively safe. It may seem like a strange way to go about answering the problem, but in general, it can help you to find the source of your stress and solve the issue so that the tinnitus becomes greatly reduced or eliminated.
If you are considering hypnotherapy for your tinnitus, make sure to also be in contact with your audiologist and/or psychologist throughout your therapy. They will be able to help you with other parts of the healing process and may be able to give you advice as to who to seek out as a hypnotherapist.
Although it is a rather new technique for dealing with tinnitus, many people who have sought out hypnotherapy as part of a tinnitus treatment program have seen a lot of success, so it’s definitely worth considering if your audiologist or doctor recommends it.
Last Updated 12 Oct 2013
1. Hypnosis for Tinnitus By Kevin Hogan (Accessed 12 Oct 2013)
2. Tinnitus Reduction Through Hypnosis With Kay Atwood (Accessed 12 Oct 2013)