Hypnotherapy for Tinnitus

What Is Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a condition which causes people to hear sounds in their ears (or in their head) that are not generated by the outside world.  Some people experience tinnitus after exposure to loud noises, as a result of hearing loss, due to certain medical conditions and medications, ear wax, infections or head and neck injuries. However for others, there doesn’t seem to be a clear origin to the problem.

People experience the sounds in various forms including high pitched noises, whirling, whooshing (like a washing machine going around), humming, buzzing, throbbing, hissing or a mixture of these.

For people who suffer with tinnitus, these sounds are real just like any other sounds. They are not ‘made up’ or ‘just’ in the person’s head.

Most people experience mild, temporary tinnitus but for others, it can be a long term, distressing, all-consuming condition that can negatively affect many areas of their life.

You are not alone

Unfortunately, tinnitus is a very common condition affecting people all across the world. In the UK alone it is estimated that about 13% of adults experience prolonged tinnitus   which is equivalent to around 7.1 million people.

The likelihood and prevalence of tinnitus increases as we get older but can occur at any age including as children. Tinnitus seems to affect men and woman equally.

The NHS advises that there are a number of medical conditions which can be associated with tinnitus. It is important therefore to have these checked out by a medical professional.

If you are experiencing tinnitus, you are not alone and there are things that can help.

Is hypnotherapy right for your tinnitus?

Even though your tinnitus may feel overwhelming at times,  hypnothertherapy can often help people who can say yes to any of the following:

1. My tinnitus is not always constant, its intensity changes

2. My tinnitus tends to be worse when I feel anxious and frustrated about it

3. My tinnitus tends to be more manageable when I am distracted or focusing on other things

4. Sometimes, I hardly notice my tinnitus (even for brief moments)

5. I have had my tinnitus checked out by my GP or Health Care Team 

Hypnotherapy for Tinnitus

Hypnotherapy can help with the non-medical, emotional aspects of tinnitus and the aim of therapy is to help you:

  1. Feel supported, understood and hopeful
  2. Understand how our emotions can affect tinnitus
  3. Experience the hypnotic state and a deep sense of calm and relief from the tinnitus
  4. Learn how to consciously relate and even accept the tinnitus
  5. Learn how to notice when the tinnitus is less present in your everyday life
  6. Understand the importance of continuing to live the best life possible, even with the tinnitus

As part of the therapy, you will recieve a guided hypnosis audio to listen to regularly. This provides gentle background music and calming instructions so that you can experience a hypnotic, calm state outside of the therapy sessions. Clients often find it particularly helpful to listen to this at night.

In my hypnotherapy practice I have helped people feel calmer and more in control of their tinnitus, to experience less intensity and preoccupation with tinnitus and for some people, to have their tinnitus disappear completely.

Help for problems associated with tinnitus

Hypnotherapy can also help with problems associated with tinnitus including anxiety, low mood and sleep disturbance. It can also help with problems that are emotionally similar to tinnitus, including hyperacusis (an intolerance to everyday sounds) and sound related phobias like misophonia (very strong reactions to the sound of people eating).

Self care for tinnitus

There are lots of really good resources available about tinnitus on the web and a growing interest in its research. Suggestions about self care often encourage people to prioritise relaxing calming activities, talking therapy and sound therapy. Excellent sources of information are available here:

 

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE)

Tinnitus Guidance NG155

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