Is hypnosis/hypnotherapy a good way to treat tinnitus?

The most common form of tinnitus (subjective tinnitus) is where only the sufferer can hear the noise – i.e. there is no noise being produced by the physical body, it’s all the mind. Common suggestions to alleviate tinnitus include TRT, de-stressing, noise therapy and relaxation techniques like yoga.

Most of the recommended treatments for tinnitus involve the brain. TRT involves training the brain to stop perceiving the noise, noise therapy creates a distraction from the tinnitus and the other de-stressing techniques like yoga are trying to get your brain into a state or relaxation because it has been shown that stress worsens tinnitus.

Given that there is a strong link between the brain and tinnitus I am surprised that hypnosis/hypnotherapy isn’t suggested more often as a way to reduce the symptoms. The NHS don’t mention it, the BTA don’t mention it and the ATA mention it very briefly in their alternative treatments section.

I Googled for studies into hypnosis and tinnitus and found this, this and this – all of those a controlled studies and they all concluded that hypnosis was beneficial to those tinnitus sufferers in the study. Of course, I’m sure there are also studies where the outcome was negative and the conclusion was that hypnosis didn’t work, but I couldn’t find them – to be honest, it was hard enough finding the three above when I had to sift through a million-and-one hypnosis services offering treatments.

I’m not for a second suggesting that you should rush straight out and get hypnotised, I am merely wondering why it is not being put forward more often as a possible cure.

I have been hypnotised once myself, many years ago, I basically asked if there was anything the hypnotherapist could do to improve my hearing. Although the hypnosis session didn’t actually improve my hearing (surprise!) it certainly did change my attitude towards it, I was more at ease with it and happier to let people know about it afterwards. Being hypnotised was certainly a positive thing for me and I’m definitely considering it to help with my own tinnitus.

What’s your opinion? Do you have tinnitus? Would you consider hypnosis or have you already tried it?

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