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Please keep in mind that before treating any condition, including Tinnitus, as TMS or PPD, it is vitally important to consult with your physician in order to rule out any serious medical conditions. To learn more about TMS and PPD, and to help you figure out if you have it, visit our An Introduction to TMS page and watch the video there. Some more guidance in figuring out if this approach is right for you can be found in the video at the top of our So You Think You Might Have TMS page.

To contribute your own story of healing from TMS, please click here to see how to post it on the forum.

Tinnitus and TMS Success Stories

  • Roger's story Psychologist Dr. Jeanette Raymond (Ph.D) has written an excellent article discussing research on the mind-body issues related to tinnitus. There is a strong link between fear of rejection and disapproval and symptoms of chronic tinnitus. Type D or distressed personality is part of the problem. Read Roger's story and learn more about what brought on his symptoms and ways of overcoming it's debilitating effects.
  • This is a lengthy newspaper article about how long time tinnitus sufferer was cured by adopting mindful meditation practises. He describes how the tinnitus took over his life for a number of years - corresponding to a stressful period at work. After starting the mindful meditation he says "'Now I hardly hear it at all. But whenever I get stressed I spend a few minutes doing the meditation to prevent it returning."

Both Scott and FlyByNight only mention tinnitus in passing as one of their many symptoms, but it demonstrates the multi-faceted nature of TMS. It seems common for people with one TMS symptom to have lots of other TMS symptoms as well. If you suffer from tinnitus as well as other chronic pain conditions then there is a good reason to suspect that this is best dealt with as a mindbody condition.

  • TmsAndrew's Story

I haven't written a success story elsewhere for tinnitus (just my RSI), so I'll write it here. I used to play in a band and ended up quitting after getting sharp pains in my ear. About 3 years later I started getting pretty severe tinnitus. There would be a constant pain and discomfort, which made even concentration difficult. I went to various specialists but to no avail. I gradually started to avoid all types of music and loud noise, as this seemed to make the condition worse. Gradually it settled down to the state of just a minor background irritant (soon to be replaced by RSI!) but the stress-response to any type of music/loud noise continued. Following starting the TMS techniques I noticed an improvement in my tinnitus symptoms as well - noise which would have previously set my ears ringing, with persistent pain for days no longer had any effect. Speaking with Georgie Oldfield, she was adamant that my tinnitus had all the characteristics of a TMS symptom. At the time i found this pretty hard to accept - after all i was sure there was a physical cause (my years in a band...). And yet, I'm now sitting here listening to music again full volume - something that would have been inconceivable only a few months ago. So, i have to conclude that my tinnitus probably was just another TMS manifestation. Given as there is little else available for tinnitus sufferers I would strongly recommend this approach to all people with tinnitus - there is nothing to lose and a massive amount to gain.

Tinnitus referenced in TMS Books

"This is a very disturbing syndrome, commonly referred to as "ringing in the ears"...Many patients with TMS have reported having had the symptom at some time in the past and noted that it disappeared when their Back Pain began. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that it is serving the same psychologic purpose as TMS."

Medical Evidence: A Summary

1) There was a recent study published (Tinnitus rehabilitation: a mindfulness meditation cognitive behavioural therapy approach. Abstract) in which Mindfulness Meditation and CBT was investigated for tinnitus sufferers. It concluded that "The positive findings give support for the use of cognitive behavioural therapy/meditation for chronic tinnitus sufferers."

2) Another recent study ('The Distressed (Type D) Personality Is Independently Associated With Tinnitus: A Case–Control Study. Abstract) demonstrated that distressed personality traits "are associated with having tinnitus and might contribute to its perceived severity."

3) There is other good scientific evidence that tinnitus should be treated with CBT, that there is a correlation between tinnitus and depression and that thought processes play an important role in the severity of and continuation of tinnitus pain.

4) There is good evidence that both counselling and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) should be used to treat the condition. A study out recently (March 2011) concluded that " Individuals with moderate to severe tinnitus, without hearing loss in the speech frequency range, benefit from treatment with either TRT or general counseling. The global improvement in tinnitus handicap with TRT accrues over an 18-mo period and seems to be a robust and clinically significant effect."

This all gives credence to the notion that chronic tinnitus should in many cases be treated as a mindbody problem rather than a structural problem.

Tinnitus and TRT (Tinnitus Retraining Therapy)

Someone going by Fox managed to overcome tinnitus using a combination of the TMS approach and an approach called TRT. In response to the question, "Has anyone experienced ear ringing as part of TMS?" he responded,

Yes - my devastating tinnitus - that lasted about 3 years after attending a fireworks display - was totally cured by my using a combination of Sarno and TRT (Tinnitus Retraining Therapy). Don't ask me any questions. Just go to www.tinnitus.org, believe what they are saying, and get to work on your problem. If you need a professional, find a TRT ceritified audiologist - like they have at the Speech and Hearing Clinic at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. But all the info needed is on the web site.

In an earlier thread he provided more detail:

I recovered using TRT (see tinnitus.org) and Sarno. I do have a hearing loss in the ear that was affected by ringing - it doesn't matter - it had nothing to do with the ringing. I also had the feeling of fullness/stuffiness in the ear. It's part of the psychological syndrome. See the TRT audiologist list on the tinnitus.org web site....Actually, I probably didn't need to see the audiologist (in Greensboro NC) because all the info that I received during the visit is on the web site....Sort of like seeing a TMS doc...Getting the diagnosis and the treatment info first hand from the professional helps give the treatment approach validity and gives you encouragement to do the hard work necessary.....If necessary, travel to the Tinnitus Clinic at UNC-Greensboro. It's certainly worth the travel time and expense and the small cost of the visit itself to rid oneself of such an annoying, anxiety-provoking TMS equivalent. The staff is wonderful at this clinic.

TRT is very complicated stuff. You need to read and re-read EVERYTHING on that web site. From what I remember, the main idea is that the ringing is something everyone hears as background noise in their head/ears but certain sensitive, obsessive, fearful individuals (read TMSers) at certain points in their lives start paying more attention to these noises and start perceiving these noises as a threat to their well-being and a distraction. (Plus my personal belief is that the brain is cutting down blood supply to the that region of the ear so that may cause some of the ringing.) Individuals start to think that the ringing is aggravated by exposure to moderate or loud noises so they start wearing ear plugs or doing other stuff to avoid noises that are innocuous and normal to our environment. (Very few noises are loud enough decibel-wise to cause ear damage and these usually must be or a prolonged nature.) Conditioning comes into play so that the ringing comes on after exposure to certain noises because you expect it to happen and you start searching for the ringing in your head until you do perceive it....The basic cure is to realize that, yes, the ringing is a physical phenomenom but your perception of it is and distraction because of it is purely psycological. TRT theory says you must not avoid loud noise (except REAL loud noise like gunshots), and in fact, you must expose yourself to nearly constant noise like a radio or TV left on, fans on, and sleeping with a sound making machine. This is called sound conditioning....Of course, you should throw in a little Sarno and search for any anger....I hope I haven't gotten the TRT and the Sarno stuff too comingled....Read the site, try it, and if it doesn't work, fork out the money to fly to Greensboro.

In both cases, the core of his advice seems to be to read the advice about TRT on www.tinnitus.org and then to find a TRT certified audiologist if the assistance of a professional is required.

Postscript: when Forest contacted Fox to ask if it was okay to add those quotes, Fox emailed back to say,

I am still 100% cured of tinnitus because of TRT and Sarno. The only time I get the ringing is times like just now - the ringing is back - but of course it's only because we are chatting about tinnitusright nowand my mind has just picked this up as a convenientdistraction for the moment. In other words my constant vigilance and search for psychosomaticpain or othersensorydistractions has momentarilyled my brain tojump on the tinnitus bandwagon - I'm now paying attention to the natural ringing in one's ears and either perceiving/noticing it now - whenI did not before -or maybe I am actually turning up the volume of the ringing a bit by unconsciouslydecreasing blood flow in the area....Never fear, it will be gone as always in a few minutes and some other sensation (maybe sciatica) will probably replace it. [Fox also gave permission to use all three quotes.]

The earliest post was made in August of 2006 and the email was received in October of 2009, so apparently the cure stuck!

See Also

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