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Brain Plasticity - Tinnitus

Tinnitus Treatment Possibilities

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Article: Brain Plasticity - Tinnitus - Part 1 -

Tinnitus Treatment Considerations - Part 1 -

... therapy strategy including holistic principles, combining treatment modalities.

..... by Dieter Luske N.D.-D.C.H.-D.M.H.-D.H

Holistic Therapy Consultant - Canungra - Gold Coast

Tinnitus Treatment:

Tinnitus affects a lot of people, and it's not even a disease or problem talked about in great detail, even so it can be extremely distressful to the level of utter despair.

Tinnitus comes in various forms, and can be caused by a number of conditions. Some forms of it may be able to be treated successfully. Unfortunately, the more distressing, painful and chronic forms of Tinnitus, seem to evade treatment, and beneficial therapy is still a long way off.

To address all forms of Tinnitus I will address a number of general treatments first, before discussing possible brain plasticity concepts.

What is Tinnitus?

It is a "ringing" or any sound generated from within your skull. You simple can't escape that sound, which is the distressing factor. The sound maybe mild, and seemingly coming only from one ear, or it may be a severe, loud, noisy combination of different sounds, coming from both ears or just seemingly reverberating in your skull. The sound seems worse at night time, when there are no other sounds or noises around. This fact alone has resulted in some type of treatments, not treatments to cure Tinnitus, but to try to "not hear it", by masking it with other sounds from the external environment.

To really appreciate the seriousness of Tinnitus, one needs to know, that even if the "auditory nerve" is cut, the ringing sound still persists. That fact may also be an indication that it is a Brain Plasticity gone wrong phenomenon.

There is very little good news, but going by my experience of guiding Tinnitus sufferers over the years, I had some successes with patients who complaint about ringing in the ears. However, I am the first to admit, that those cases were not what I would consider "Real Chronic Tinnitus".

Often Tinnitus can be caused by other health problems, and when those other health problems are dissolved, the Tinnitus will dissolve itself also.

Here are some examples, and treatment consideration that you definitely should try first, if you suffer from a ringing in the ears.

Ringing of the ears and possible treatments:

  • Head Colds, Sinusitis, Allergies and Food sensitivities, or similar, all can cause Tinnitus. Often this type of Tinnitus can be treated, and consulting a Holistic Natural Type Practitioner usually will be able to help successfully. Sometimes a GP, may prescribe a combination of Antibiotics and Antihistamine, which often clears the excess mucous as well. Most of the time however, that treatment is not enough.
    Here are some more suggestion:

  • A simple ear candle, 2 -3 treatments often clears the ringing of the ears.

  • Chiropractors, Osteopath and Craniosacral Therapy, even massage can be of support as well.

  • Some causes of tinnitus (such as infections, cranial-bone dysfunction and blocked eustachian tubes) often respond well to treatment by an osteopath; some of the other causes, like damage to the hearing mechanism, don't, unfortunately. But if this sort of treatment is going to work for tinnitus you will usually know quite quickly; typically within the course of one treatment. You won't normally need to commit to a series of treatments for this condition."
    If in Sydney, see John Smartt - Osteopath

  • Acupuncture often helps as well.

  • Supplements: Gingko often works, it has actually 2 effects, one is more for circulation, the other is for hyper-sensitivities, may help for general brain function or against brain-fog as well.
    Magnesium often works as well, so does Vit C in combination with Turmeric-Chilli-Ginger and Bio-flavanoids..

  • Hypnosis - NLP - Counselling, all teaching various "skills", to learn to ignore the sound.
    Personally, I frequently renew my self hypnosis to "tell myself" that the noise is harmless, and the brain can ignore it.
    To enforce that, I pretend that the noise is a cicada.
    Most people know the sound of cicadas ( in Australia), but they simply ignore it, and don't really hear it. One can achieve the same with Tinnitus
    where one subconsciously ignores the sound, because one knows it is "harmless".

  • Relaxation - Meditation - Visualisation, depending on your personal level of expertise, jump straight into meditation or visualisation, or start learning relaxation and progress from there. Listening to relaxation music will have t e added benefit, that you may not hear your Tinnitus while listening and doing relaxation exercises at the same time. Free listening Alpha Relaxation Music.

  • Stress Management: Stress will make Tinnitus worse.
    There are other factors that will make Tinnitus worse, such as Noise, Infections and Inflammations, silent surroundings. Knowing that, will naturally lead to avoidance of stress and other factors. For people who suffer from stress, stress management will be an effective treatment.
    Meditation and physical activities like Yoga or Thai Chi will be healthful.

  • Lifestyle Changes in response to Tinnitus.
    The sinuses may be involved in certain types of Tinnitus and other factors that respond to inflammation, and allergies, as well as food hypersensitivity.
    What does that all mean? Nutrition and Diet – there is evidence that suspected foods could make tinnitus worse. Simply try out various food and drink items, or go for a while on a very restricted diet to check if you feel/hear a difference.
    Try cutting out, coffee, black tea, chocolate, as well as alcohol. For sinusitis, cut out dairy, wheat or all gluten products, and have lots of vegetables, quality protein and fruit. NO processed food and sugar at all, and definitely stop smoking.

How can Brain Plasticity help?

Why brain plasticity? It has been proven to help to a certain degree.

  • Brain Plasticity plays an important role in chronic Tinnitus, which is similar to chronic pain, and what is called phantom pain or phantom limb pain. Actually, chronic Tinnitus could be re-named as Chronic Phantom Sound.

  • Brain Plasticity treatment for Tinnitus, Chronic Phantom Sound, is therefore similar to the visualisation techniques used to overcome chronic pain.
    However, whereas chronic pain brain space competitiveness is positively influenced by visualisation on its own, the different nature and brain cortex involved, calls for additional therapy models to influence the sound, frequency and volume directly.

  • Generally speaking, with Brain Plasticity, always remember that we are talking "learnt responses", to unlearn an re-learn will take time. If you investigate Tinnitus, always work on therapy techniques for at least 4 - 6 weeks. Yes, Brain Plasticity takes time, you may feel the effect earlier, but to keep the positive changes you have to practice for about 6 weeks or longer, and you may have to repeat the therapy as well, depending on the chronicity.

Hypnosis and NLP, can to a certain extend expand Brain Plasticity, and support the treatment. It can also enforce the fact that the ringing noise itself is harmless, and therefore will give the brain permission to ignore it.

To support that even more, pretend that the noise is a Cicada. Most people know the sound of Cicadas in summertime, but they simply ignore it, and don't really hear it, which is what we want to achieve with Tinnitus.

The treatment I will discuss here, and which I am researching and working on, involves "sound recordings", and other additional support therapies like possible permanent stimuli with press acupuncture needles or magnets and visualisation exercises.

Treatment Protocol:

The general treatment concept is to combine therapies for a period of 6 weeks or longer.
The following therapy concepts will be employed:

  1. The Ignore Concept: various means to "train the brain " to ignore the sound ...
    Meditation - Visualisation - Sound therapies such as "white noise", relaxation or classical music, and music where the offending sound frequencies are filtered out, re-training the brain to concentrate on other sounds.
    As well as possible counselling, hypnosis, NLP, or self-hypnosis to support to ignore the sound as harmless, and therefore ignore it altogether.

  2. Summary - The Sound Effect Concept:
    a) Train the brain to ignore certain sounds and concentrate on others .
    b) Matching and overriding Tinnitus Sound Frequencies
    c) Using sound to train the brain to turn down the Tinnitus sound volume.
    d) Using filter techniques to filter out the offending sound.
    e) Overwhelm hearing with unusual sounds, therefore ignoring the offending sound.
    f) Sound training, alternating extreme high and low frequency, while omitting the offending frequency.

  3. Stimulation of related brain areas with Acupuncture Concept:
    Acupuncture can be used 2 ways.
    The first way is the traditional way and concentrate on the most accepted Tinnitus Acupuncture points.
    The second way, is similar but with a daily acupuncture stimuli by needle or magnet.

I feel I need to stress the most important point about brain plasticity again. It is not like a normal treatment, which may be applied once a week. Brain Plasticity is to "force the brain" to make changes, which is a learning and unlearning process that needs daily training or stimuli. This simple fact is the reason that this type of treatment is used more for "chronic problems", as most people may not be willing to do 6 weeks of training for a sore thumb.

 

... continue to .... part 2 - Tinnitus Therapy Protocol & Sound Therapy

... or, go back to the main Brain Plasticity Menu

Please contact me directly for more info or Research Participation: Dieter L. - Editor

 

* Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.

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N.D.-D.C.H.-D.M.H.-D.H

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