Tinnitus is a term that describes any sound a person can hear from inside their body rather than from an outside source. Although tinnitus is described as ‘ringing in the ears’, several different sounds can be heard. These include buzzing, humming, hissing, grinding and whistling.
Sometimes, the noise associated with tinnitus beats in time with a person’s pulse. This is known as pulsatile tinnitus.
Most people learn to live with tinnitus, but it can often have a significant impact on day-to-day life.
For example, it can affect concentration and cause sleeping problems and depression.
The UK health services provider BUPA estimates that one in five people experience some degree of tinnitus occasionally, while one in 200 people suffer from it so severely that it affects their everyday life.
According to the International Tinnitus Journal, the neurophysiology of tinnitus is poorly understood but a psychological approach can be effective.
In an article by TE Cope, ‘Clinical Hypnosis for the Alleviation of Tinnitus’ in the journal, it is stated that a success rate of 70 per cent is ‘commonly quoted’ by hypnotherapy practitioners.
The National Council for Hypnotherapy represents more than 1800 professional hypnotherapists in the UK, all fully insured and trained to the highest standards.
They use hypnotherapy to treat a wide range of issues such as fears and phobias, anxiety and stress, tinnitus, insomnia and a lack of confidence.
How can hypnotherapy for tinnitus work?
Your hypnotherapist will take detailed history and with some conditions may request permission from you to write to their doctor, to let them know you are having hypnotherapy for tinnitus.
They will then discuss you goal and what you would like to see or feel at the end of your sessions. Using a range of different techniques your hypnotherapist will relax you, make you feel comfortable and work with you towards achieving your goal.
After a session you may feel uplifted, lighter and very relaxed. Often change is very subtle, as your hypnotherapist will be working with you subconscious mind, and you may just notice a very positive shift in how you are feeling.
One way in which hypnotherapy for tinnitus can be treated is to let the client realise they can learn not to notice the sound that bothers them as much. As we naturally tune out sounds, so the client can learn to use that ability where needed. They can also learn to manipulate that sound so they can change its pitch, for instance, and thus tone it down. Through hypnotherapy, one can learn to train their mind to focus on something else so the tinnitus becomes nothing more than a background noise.
The NHS says understanding tinnitus is important in helping one cope with it. Tinnitus counselling involves discussing the condition with a specialist counsellor. As well as learning about the condition, the counsellor will be able to suggest ways of dealing with it.
In some cases, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be helpful for tinnitus. This type of therapy aims to change the way you think about your condition so that you’re able to find more effective ways of managing it on a day-to-day basis.