Welcome to my blog—a free-spirited exploration of spirituality, mindfulness, philosophy and literature. A member of the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association, I lectured at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry (now the Health Education and Training Institute) for 14 years and at the University of Technology, Sydney for 16 years. I am now a freelance lecturer, speaker and facilitator, presenting classes at Sydney's Wellness Empowerment and Training Institute, Sydney U3A and elsewhere.
Tinnitus is a physical condition
experienced as noises or ringing in the ears or head when no such external
physical noise is present. The condition, which can result from a wide range of underlying causes, is usually caused by a fault
in the hearing system itself, and is a symptom, not a disease
in itself. At present there is no actual 'cure' for tinnitus.
However, many of the causes of tinnitus are treatable.
It is an extremely distressing,
even disabling, condition in and of itself. Worse, the condition is associated
with many other problems such as emotional stress, insomnia, auditory
perceptual problems and concentration problems. Tinnitus afflicts a significant
percentage of the population—about ten to twenty per cent of the population. Some
people are more at risk for the condition—musicians, military personnel, people
who otherwise work in loud environments, and seniors.
Regrettably, there is at
present no treatment to stop the
noise of tinnitus. That’s where mindfulness comes in. The essence of
mindfulness is—acceptance and non-reaction. It’s like the
old-fashioned tape recorder or the modern-day video surveillance camera; the
equipment records but does not react to what it hears or sees. So it is with
The research team found that mindfulness-based
cognitive therapy (MBCT) helps to significantly reduce the severity of
tinnitus compared to relaxation-based treatments, an approach recommended by
many tinnitus clinics.
For the study,
which has been published in the journal Ear and Hearing, seventy-five
patients took part in a trial at UCLH’s Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear
Hospital, receiving either MBCT or relaxation therapy. The research team found
that both treatments led to a reduction in tinnitus severity, psychological
but the MBCT treatment led to significantly greater reductions in tinnitus
severity than the relaxation treatment, and this improvement lasted for longer.
‘MBCT turns traditional
tinnitus treatment on its head — so rather than trying to avoid or mask the
noise, it teaches people to stop the battle with tinnitus,’ Dr Marks said. In other words, people
learn how to 'allow'and 'accept' tinnitus rather than fighting it
or trying to push it away. This is the practice of non-resistance: what you resist, persists. How true that is!
L, Marks E, & Vogt F. (2018) ‘Mindfulness based cognitive therapy for
chronic tinnitus: evaluation of benefits in a large sample of patients
attending a tinnitus clinic.’ Ear and Hearing, 39(2), 359 - 366.
Disclaimer. The information providedon this blog is not a substitute for professional medical
advice, diagnosisor treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking
professional medical advice from your medical practitioner or other qualified
health provider because of something you have read on this blog.