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What Audios Do You Have to Help with Tinnitus?

31 Jul

Dear Belleruth,

My wife has tinnitus - etiology unknown – which has been declared untreatable by her internist. (I myself am a doctor).

She is very depressed and upset, feeling at the end of her rope. In fact, she has been feeling so beleaguered by this constant ringing in her ears, she won't go outside the house or even spend time with friends.

I'm out of ideas and wondering if you have any suggestions. I'm very worried about her.

Thanks in advance, Henry


Dear Henry,

So sorry you both have to deal with this. People suffering from this frustrating condition have been asking us for recommendations for a long time.

If you take a look at the research findings we've posted before, you'll see that mind-body methods such as relaxation, hypnosis, biofeedback, guided imagery and cognitive behavioral therapy can improve the distress and annoyance associated with tinnitus, and in some cases, even reduce the perceived loudness.

Keep in mind that tinnitus, like pain, is a matter of perception. Because of this, mind-body therapies make good sense, because they train us to consciously and deliberately place our attention elsewhere. And this, of course, means we can to some extent choose what we perceive. We can relegate all that ringing and buzzing to the background and put something far more pleasant in the foreground.

And she needs to focus on doing something proactive and positive, so she can stop thinking about the ringing in her ears and how it won't go away, which, of course, makes it worse.

So, what might that be? I'd coax her to listen to the Relaxation and Wellness and the Ease Depression guided imagery first – have her listen at least a couple times a day to either or both.

These would be distracting, first and foremost; plus the imagery would also be targeting the depression, which, by the way, sounds like it may be getting out of hand. (You might want to encourage her to get an evaluation for anti-depressant meds as well – don't try to do this yourself. Get a more uninvolved head - that preferably belongs to a psychiatrist with a strong specialty in psychotropic medication - to do this.)

I'd also recommend some yoga breathing that targets depression as well. Amy Weintraub's Breathe to Beat the Blues is pretty terrific on that score.

And very soon we'll be serving up an audio specifically developed for tinnitus, created by one of the leading practitioners in the field.  In May we brought in brilliant health psychologist and hypnotherapist Dr. Carol Ginandes to record the audio (plus one for TMJ) and now our sound wizard is busy putting it all together.  So keep an eye out for the fall release date, which will be announced in our eNews as well as on social media.

Good luck and I hope this helps.

All best,

Belleruth

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.