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Earache, tinnitus, tension headache and more, am I having TMS

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by JoySeeker, Jun 30, 2021.

  1. JoySeeker

    JoySeeker Newcomer

    Hi I am new to this forum and the TMS concept and I feel grateful that I have found this place to see some light.

    I entered a dark loop about 2 months ago. I am in my late 30s and have a family with 2 kids(10 and 6) and a good job. Due to the pandemic, I've been working from home with kids doing remote school from home since last spring. That had definitely given me some pressure but by this spring when my symptoms started I thought I've got used to the routine already. I've been doing fitness group training with a group of ladies that I quite enjoy and increased my activity level tremendously since last November. Meanwhile, I've been following a low carb diet and doing 16/8 intermittent fasting. I felt quite happy about my life.
    Until one day in April I felt there is a lump on my neck. I got an appointment with my family doctor within the same week. I am in Canada and during Covid all doctor appointments are provided over phone call only so the doctor cannot do any actual examination. He said it might be a small tumor or something and ordered an ultrasound for me. I felt quite healthy physically but the lump scared me once I started googling about it. Had the ultrasound done the following week, but here in Canada the medical system was so slow that another week later I got a call from doctor's assistant to schedule an appointment to go over the results in another 2 weeks, so 2 weeks after the exam I still didn't know what it was. 2 days later when I was reading the bedtime story to my son, I noticed there was some white noise going in my ear or head. Next day at work I find that noise quite disturbing so went on youtube to search for some background music. I found some good therapy music but unfortunately, I also went on to read the comments and saw many people suffering tinnitus for years and realized there was no easy cure. I was totally freaked out and scheduled an appointment with my family doctor asap. During the phone appointment, the doctor didn't seem to feel my suffering, all he asked was "Do you have hearing loss?" and asked me to book a hearing test on my own as it's not covered by the public health care system. Not sure about other countries but in Canada, any medical appointment is in the term of weeks if you're lucky. So I called to get a hearing test booked in the following week, and meanwhile, I flipped my lifestyle greatly doubting that's to blame. I stopped exercise worrying that might have put too much stress on my neck which triggered the ear issue, stopped drinking coffee, which was a big fun of my life, and stopped intermittent fasting. I was searching crazily online about tinnitus, trying different techniques on Youtube, but only to see my problem getting worse. It went from only noticeable in a quiet environment to high-pitched 24/7, from only my right ear to both ears. And I constantly feel the clogging sensation in my ears. To my "disappointment", the hearing test find my ears quite normal, no hearing loss or ear infection. My doctor prescribed nasal spray and allergy drugs for me, not helping. A month later I got a head MRI, which was my big hope of finding out the cause, but the result came back normal.
    So nothing wrong with all the tests I've done, but I started to have more and more symptoms. Every week I wish I could go back to the week before. Here is a list of my symptoms in the order of they appeared:
    Ears ringing
    Ear fullness
    Occasional numbness in scalp, foot and tongue
    Lots of tension headache, the whole head is so tight that even swallowing is not easy
    TMJ (1 month after my ear issue started, I suddenly found I cannot open my month big and my bites are weird)
    Pain in face and ears, sometimes like big pressure pressing sometimes like someone pulling from different directions
    Burning/cold sensation on lips
    ...
    I'm about 2 months in this endless loop now and don't see the way out. I've been acupuncture, chiropractic and massage, nothing helped. By now tinnitus is no longer bothering me that much as I've got used to it, but the pain in the ear and face, and the headaches are greatly impacting my work, daily life and sleep.
    I have an appointment with TMJ specialist for assessment in August, and on a 12 month waiting list (ridiculous right) to see the ENT specialist .

    I came across the concept of TMS 2 days ago, but feel like a textbook example. Am I having TMS? Anyone has similar symptoms and recovered?
     
    hawaii_five0 likes this.
  2. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Welcome JoySeeker,

    you’ve been going through a lot.

    I used to get TMJ all the time before I learned about TMS.

    About your statement;
    “By now tinnitus is no longer bothering me that much as I've got used to it, but the pain in the ear and face, and the headaches are greatly impacting my work, daily life and sleep.”

    With TMS, once you get used to a symptom it will give you something else to keep you distracted from repressed anger and rage.

    Since all your tests are normal (that’s good news) and your symptoms keep getting worse, tension intensified by your frustration with the medical system can lead to more TMS symptoms.

    Why you hurt where you hurt can be the way your mind perceives your situation and manifests it in the parts of your body the reflects that. So if you want to tell someone what you really think about them but hold back you end up with TMJ

    I explain more in this post
    https://www.fredamir.com/single-post/2016/10/13/why-you-hurt-where-you-hurt

    T
    ake care,
     
  3. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi JoySeeker,

    A warm welcome to the forums!

    I was diagnosed with 'TMJ'. It eventually went away (without any medical intervention) and then I got some tinnitus and other symptoms elsewhere in my body -- typically, TMS moves around.

    I would suggest reading Dr John Sarno's book "The Divided Mind". One of the things that the book explains is that in TMS the brain orders a reduction in blood flow to a specific part of the body, resulting in mild oxygen deprivation, which causes pain and other symptoms -- which would include numbness, tingling etc., -- depending on what tissues have been deprived of the oxygen. The deprivation is mild, but the symptoms can be quite dramatic, alarming and very painful. And the 'specific part of the body' the brain chooses to deprive of oxygen can and often changes.

    Although TMS isn't due to physical/structural abnormalities, what I would also suggest is that you do some things to relax generally and to relax your jaw. (The 'T' in TMS stands for 'Tension'!)

    A normal resting tongue position is key for relaxing your jaw and can be found by placing your tongue against the roof of your mouth as if making a “clucking/clicking” sound. Ideally the front 1/3 of the tongue should rest upwards, just behind the front teeth. This is considered to be the best position for your tongue to help keep the jaw muscles more relaxed.

    I put 'post it' notes around my house which just said 'tongue' on them - to remind me to put my tongue in the correct position to relax my jaw. I also made a point of noticing my tongue position in association with certain daily activities, e.g. after I ate I'd make a point of noticing my tongue position and altering it to the correct position and every time I climbed any stairs etc (just choose your activities). I kept doing this until it became automatic and natural - a new, good habit (by rewiring your brain - through neuroplasticity). Doing this persistently and gently (I didn't mentally beat myself up every time I found my tongue was in the wrong position) worked for me.

    Something else that has helped me immensely recently to release tension (and has greatly lifted my mood) is doing some simple vagus nerve exercises. Sukie Baxter's demonstrates some of these exercises in these two videos www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFV0FfMc_uo and www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1HCG3BGK8I.

    Another thing you can do to relieve tension is to do some deep and low breathing in any spare moments you may have as you go about your day: you just put your attention on your 'out breaths', gently inviting them to lengthen -- it will then follow that the 'in breaths' will deepen with no force or strain.

    I hope that something I've said will be of help to you.

    Best;

    BloodMoon
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021
    Plz568 likes this.
  4. JoySeeker

    JoySeeker Newcomer

    Thanks for your reply Fred. It didn't occur to me that my frustration towards the in sane medical system was the cause of TMJ. But now realize I definitely have lots of anger and anxiety due to not being able to get diagnosed soon enough.
    I've bought your book and in the middle of reading it and see lots of hope for recovery.
    One question is I am not able to find the association between the onset of my symptoms and certain activities as you mentioned in the book. They seem to come and go at non-predictable frequency. What should I do about that?


    Thanks a lot for the information BloodMoon. I feel so welcome in this space. You're right about my jaw is tight. I can literally feel my whole head and face really tight, and I suspect that's the cause for my tension headaches and ear pain. I've tried lots of self-massage and even muscle relaxant medication but that doesn't seem to help. My tongue is not in the correct position as you pointed out and I'll start working on that. Will definitely check out the youtube exercises that you linked.

    It's interesting that from yesterday I started to get pain in my legs as well without doing any specific exercise. Can TMS progress so fast? I just started to think about getting back to my fitness workout as part of my recovery plan and my legs start to hurt even for walking. I'm so scared that before long TMS going to get to every part of my body.
     
    BloodMoon and PainNoMore like this.
  5. PainNoMore

    PainNoMore Peer Supporter

    "i'm so scared". that gets right to the heart of the matter. dive in to Fred's book and you will be fine.
     
    FredAmir likes this.
  6. FredAmir

    FredAmir Well known member

    Glad you made the connection!

    Most people experience worsening of their symptoms or get new ones when the results of an MRI or CT scan show spinal abnormalities. So dealing with the medical system can at times make matters worse.

    Regarding your question:
    “One question is I am not able to find the association between the onset of my symptoms and certain activities as you mentioned in the book. They seem tocome and go at non-predictablefrequency. What should I do about that?”

    You do not need to necessarily make that physical connection or know exactly what are sources of your anger and rage to recover from TMS. And that’s good news.

    As long as you know it’s TMS, then treat it psychologically and you will be pain-free. It may take some effort at first but as you practice the steps I mention in my book and watch the videos I posted here this week, you have the tools to overcome it. Eventually you just tell the pain go away and it will.

    Also regarding your other question:
    “It's interesting that from yesterday I started to get pain in my legs as well without doing any specific exercise. Can TMS progress so fast?”

    Congratulations! Your subconscious mind is now running scared. Your are beginning to see the symptoms for the illusions that they are and it is giving you a new one to scare you.

    It is not that TMS is progressing so fast, this is not like other physical diseases, it’s just that your mind is reducing blood flow and causing pain. Painful yes but harmless.

    So you should celebrate your new symptom and feel more confident about your recovery.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
    TG957 likes this.
  7. Sunrise

    Sunrise New Member

    I also struggle with tinnitus and a host of other symptoms. I am fairly certain the tinnitus is from too much headphone use, but almost impossible to determine. I have hope it's influenced at least partly by TMS, since it "flares up" several times a year and then subsides. It almost always flares up with a fullness feeling in the head/ears. I also get crackling in my ears when swallowing and moving my jaw
     
  8. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    Same here its hard for me not to believe mine is from excessive loud noise over the years.

    I also got diagnosed with tmj not long after and typically every year i get ear wax build up which causes an increase in tinnitus and i do get jaw pain, ear fullness , etc

    I also have unfornatly devolped the fear of loud sounds due to this (called phonopobia)

    Mainly scared of them due to hearing damage and loss and potentially worse tinnitus.

    Is this type of tinnitus tms?
     
  9. Sunrise

    Sunrise New Member

    Honestly, I believe tinnitus is a real condition caused by hearing loss, where your brain loses certain frequencies and replaces them with the EEEE. Now what might be TMS is the severity and fluctuations.
     
  10. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    Thats the thing though there are people who have hearing loss and dont have tinnitus so thats not always the case.

    And there isnt just 1 cause of it either some people are born with it, others just randomly get it, stress, medications, etc.

    There was even a study done where they put people in a -20db room and some of the people devolped tinnotus afterwards.

    So maybe everone has it to some degree its just spme of us who are hyperaware notice it more?

    But then again im not a doctor, scientist , etc so i dont really know what im talking about.

    Its a very misunderstood thing and its diffcult for people who havent had it or experianced it to say "it doesnt sound so bad"

    but again most people think oh its not hurting you pshyically but they dont realize its the mental aspect that can be tough to deal with.

    I know certainly stress induced tinnitus is tms, but what about noise induced, oxotoxic (from drugs),

    people that are born with it, and something rare called visual snow syndrone( whoch i found out i have not sure how long ive had it and its pretty mild I thought it was normal (like eye floaters)
     
  11. Sunrise

    Sunrise New Member

    You're right, 90% of people with hearing loss don't have tinnitus. Maybe tinnitus is hearing DAMAGE rather than LOSS. Who knows?

    But yeah, I reckon there is for sure psychosomatic tinnitus, but mine is blaring like a flashbang the last few weeks, it is definitely NOT caused by TMS or psychosomatic. What might be TMS is the fact that the severity increases/reduces. Who knows. I read Sarno's book and he mentioned something along the lines of tinnitus not being TMS a tthe beginning of the book. I wouldn't mind the tinnitus if the aural/head fullness/pressure didn't come with it when it spikes
     
  12. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    Really? I could have sworn sarno mentions tinnitus as a tms symptom. I know steve ozanich mentions he had it in his book and said it was quite loud if im not mistaken.

    Not to mention (alan gordan did as well as a doctor on here/ the curable app success story dr. Alica batson along with dr. Hanscom.
     
  13. rob89

    rob89 New Member

    I’m quite sure he did too. Or it could be the connection that he has spoken about between areas of ‘something wrong’ and the psychological.

    He mentions that pain can be centered around a bulging disc for example because it’s clever enough to focus on that area and pain as a result of the disc would be ‘acceptable’.

    Is it possible tinnitus could be the same process? Maybe there is slight damage to hearing? Maybe you do get a slight ringing if you’re on the phone/headset all day. Maybe these are givens based on your daily activity. TMS kicks on because ‘surely it would seem acceptable to suffer with tinnitus if I spend all my day with a headset on’. Could be that ‘acceptable’ connection.

    I think it’s the same as RSI problems. Very common in recent years in the workplace. Acceptable as a problem. You link your job, potentially to it, when you hear or feel something. Perfect environment for tinnitus maybe?
     
  14. JoySeeker

    JoySeeker Newcomer

    I'm half way through reading Dr Sarno's book "Healing back pain" and he did mention "Ringing in the ears" is an equivalent of TMS. To my understanding not all tinnitus is related with hearing loss, it's the brain is too sensitive to hear things that normally would be filtered out. You can check out this book about healing tinnitus with neuroplasticity https://www.seekingbalance.com.au/thebook/.
    I've read many stories about people healing from tinnitus, but the ringing is their only symptom, without the earache and fullness in the ears and head. Ringing was quite devastating to me initially, but then the earache and headache has taken over my attention, and recently even into my legs, which has made me believe my case is TMS.
     
  15. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    See where my problem is I know that tinnitus can be a tms symptom but the issue for me in my case is believing mine is.

    Doesn't help that the majority of people that successfully recovered from it typically had stress induced or anxiety induced when I am convinced mine is from loud noise.

    However I've been assured it doesn't matter but when you see people say or I have or had tinnitus it only shows up when I think about it.

    Yes some people have completely gotten rid of it dr. Alica Batson, Steve onzanich, Alan Gordon, etc.

    But I saw a post by Dan bulgio that said he had it after a dental operation and said if he ignores it he doesn't hear it only when he thinks about it.

    But he has completely eliminated his other chronic symptoms it seems ?

    That could have changed now though that was years ago from the Facebook journal speak group.
     
  16. Sunrise

    Sunrise New Member

    I am very suspicious of this woman. Online research on various forums, as well as book reviews claim that this book is used to constantly plug her $2200 course. Not sure.
     
  17. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    I also forgot to mention when my tinnitus started my back pain, pelvic pain resolved.so maybe there is some symptom internative there however it's been 2 and a half years it's still there maybe even louder probably from stress,anxiety etc

    But then again it could be because I'm so focused on it all the time andit bothers me also telling my doctor about didn't help she just said

    " yeah just learn to get used to it" I asked her if she thought I needed a hearing test "no" i don't think you have any hearing loss or damage just protect your ears when at concerts; using power tools etc.

    So maybe my fear of it getting worse and all of this stuff made me latch on to it and keep it around.
     
  18. Plz568

    Plz568 Peer Supporter

     
  19. Plz568

    Plz568 Peer Supporter

    Amazing-I just discovered Sukie last week when I was having ringing in my ears. Today a toothache for the ages! Do I need a root canal? Sinus? This is the worst pain I’ve had ever (besides child birth)…..now I’m recognizing TMS and feel things calming down. It’s hard when the pain is so great. Overwhelming to figure out how to stop it…..
     
  20. JoySeeker

    JoySeeker Newcomer

    I understand that with TMS symptoms may move around, but for me I keep getting more and more discomfort without seeing the existing symptoms being subsided. I start to get weird sensation on my face and head, like there is cold/sometimes warm water flowing. Is my subconscious mind going crazy?
     

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