Tinnitus: It’s Not All in Your Ears!
By Kevin Hogan
What do tinnitus, Meniere’s disease, fibromyalgia, and phantom limb pain have in common? They all challenge our belief system that pain starts in the body. Scientists are discovering that pain that shows up in the body may actually start in the brain!
Twelve years ago, I woke up with tinnitus. Talking with a dozen doctors and reading the medical literature all led to one thing: You are stuck with it. Get used to it.
Not possible. There was NO way I could live with the jet engine 24/7. In addition to medications and lifestyle changes, I started studying the brain. I bought every textbook I could find on neurology, psychobiology and neurobiology.
I'll tell you one thing: We know 100 times more about the brain today than we did 12 years ago, and yet the doctors still tell people there is nothing that can be done.
They tell that to people who taste metal, experience extreme dizziness, feel chronic pain and have the nightmare of them all: tinnitus. And they are wrong.
I learned that the brain has ”plasticity". No, you can't reshape it like a piece of clay or silly putty, but the analogy was useful as I fought through the daily listening to the Emergency Broadcasting System in my head.
The fact that the brain has this ability to change at the cellular level was useful in constructing ideas to get rid of the tinnitus. Lots of the ideas failed. Some helped. Eventually, it worked.
The research that is now out confirms that most people's tinnitus is generated and "heard" in the brain, not the ear. Chronic pain doesn't need to be chronic, because the cells that store the chronic pain can be changed. None of this is easy or even simple. It takes a pretty complex set of changes to get the brain to not pay attention to tinnitus and then to simply not remember it. It takes time.
I've helped thousands of people who suffer with tinnitus. None of the standard methods of psychotherapy, hypnotherapy or any therapies worked. Yet making changes to what actually determines what cells record does work!
Recently released research on phantom limb pain experiences helps to explain in a logical fashion what I discovered 10 years ago, but could only guess as to why.
Scientists have made the first recordings of the human brain's awareness of its own body, using the illusion of a strategically-placed rubber hand to trick the brain. Their findings shed light on disorders of self-perception such as schizophrenia, stroke and phantom limb syndrome.
Phantom limb syndrome is a disorder which can arise after amputation, where sufferers may no longer recognize their own limbs or may experience pain from missing ones. Remedies that trick the brain into believing the limb has been replaced, for example by using a mirror to reflect the opposite healthy limb onto the amputated limb, exploit the brain's mechanism of self-perception.
In a study published recently in Science Express online, University College London's (UCL) Dr Henrik Ehrsson, working with Oxford University psychologists, manipulated volunteers' perceptions of their own body via three different senses - vision, touch and proprioception (position sense).
They found that one area of the brain, the premotor cortex, integrates information from these different senses to recognize the body. However, because vision tends to dominate, if information from the senses is inconsistent, the brain "believes" the visual information over the proprioceptive. Thus, someone immersed in an illusion would feel, for example, that a fake limb was part of their own body.
In the study, each volunteer hid their right hand beneath a table while a rubber hand was placed in front of them at an angle suggesting the fake hand was part of their body. Both the rubber hand and hidden hand were simultaneously stroked with a paintbrush while the volunteer's brain was scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging.
On average, it took volunteers 11 seconds to start experiencing that the rubber hand was their own. The stronger this feeling, the greater the activity recorded in the premotor cortex.
After the experiment, volunteers were asked to point towards their right hand. Most reached in the wrong direction, pointing towards the rubber hand instead of the real hidden one, providing further evidence of the brain's re-adjustment.
Dr. Henrik Ehrsson says: "The feeling that our bodies belong to ourselves is a fundamental part of human consciousness, yet there are surprisingly few studies of awareness of one's own body."
"Distinguishing oneself from the environment is a critical, everyday problem that has to be solved by the central nervous system of all animals. If the distinction fails, the animal might try to feed on itself and will not be able to plan actions that involve both body parts and external objects, such as a monkey reaching for a banana.
“This study shows that the brain distinguishes the self from the non-self by comparing information from the different senses. In a way you could argue that the bodily self is an illusion being constructed in the brain."
My Tinnitus Reduction Program
I took all the information I gathered about tinnitus and integrated it with the modalities in which I was already working, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy, to create a program for myself that eliminated my tinnitus! What a relief, to be free of the non-stop ringing in my ears!
The Tinnitus Reduction CD Program has helped thousands of individuals reduce the distress associated with tinnitus. In most cases, when individuals utilize the Tinnitus Reduction Program as part of a multi-modality approach to tinnitus reduction they experience long term improvement.
"I had meant to write before as I have had your tapes since July. They have been wonderful and saved my sanity. My tinnitus is greatly reduced and my Meniere's under control. I return to your tapes as I find them excellent and I use them every night to go to sleep with. Thank you." – Anne Clarke
A multimodal approach is the only way to assure your success in reducing your tinnitus volume and the intense emotional distress that comes from the tinnitus. If you are sick of hearing that "nothing can be done" and "you'll have to learn to live with it," this is the starting point.
Who Should Own This Program?
Anyone with tinnitus who would like to reduce the volume of their tinnitus through the use of self-hypnosis CDs, along with other strategies presented in the program.
Your CD program includes three hours of up to date information about how to reduce the volume and distress of your tinnitus. This portion of the program is updated regularly.
In addition to the reporting you will receive of what is working in the area of medicine, tinnitus retraining therapy, and other modalities, you will receive self hypnosis CD's specifically designed by me which assisted me in the elimination of my tinnitus. The first two CD's in the program are the most up to date information about tinnitus relief you can get. Now, you can utilize the same program as part of a multi-modal effort in reducing your tinnitus volume.
TINNITUS REDUCTION PROGRAM
Tinnitus Reduction CD Program and the 260 page book, Tinnitus: Turning Down the Volume
The program includes the brand new revised edition of the 260 page book Tinnitus: Turning the Volume Down which includes the latest developments in reducing tinnitus and hundreds of citations for further research. You also will receive the eight disc CD program.
100% Lifetime Money Back Guarantee. After you have used this program and the information in it for six months, you will have a record of specifically how much quieter you are then than now. If you don't think this program lived up to its billing, return it for a full refund. And, if a CD ever skips or breaks, we will replace it FREE!
by Kevin Hogan, Psy.D.
Kevin Hogan is a psychotherapist specializing in hypnosis, who didn't stop with just one possible way to experience silence.
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