Tinnitus (pronounced TIN-ih-tus or tih-NITE-us) is when you experience soft or loud noise disturbances such as ringing, clicking, whistling, Swooshing or other phantom tones in one or both ears — that no one else hears. The sound may be constant or intermittent, seem to originate from a distance or perhaps from inside your head. Tinnitus, whether acute or chronic, is common and affects 15% – 20% of us at some point, particularly as we get older.
Many of us have actually experienced what is called short-term or temporary tinnitus, that lasts less than a day or two, after being abruptly exposed to extremely loud noise. For example, being near loud construction or attending a loud music concert can trigger temporary tinnitus. Various medications, particularly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, taken in high doses can actually trigger temporary tinnitus.
Tinnitus affects people and their quality of life differently and sufferers may experience headaches, fatigue, stress, depression, anxiety, memory loss, sleeping problems or other issues. People commonly fear tinnitus is a sign that they are losing their hearing but rarely if ever is this the case. Tinnitus is more accurately a symptom as opposed to a true medical condition and its precise cause is unknown.
Nonetheless one of the underlying causes of tinnitus is understood to be conditions associated with the circulatory system and lack of Cerebro Spinal Fluid flow, it usually improves with treatment of the underlying causes.
Tinnitus can emerge or be impacted by the musculoskeletal system (ie. muscle tension). A neck or head injury can affect structures within the ear, the nerve that sends sound signals to the brain, or sound processing areas of the brain, resulting in tinnitus. Even your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) that connect your lower jaw to your skull, since it’s close to the ear, through clenching or night time tooth grinding can compromise surrounding tissue, causing tinnitus.
It’s also common for tinnitus to emerge after stress accumulates or a sudden onrush of stress sets in wherein the central nervous system becomes overwhelmed. An overwhelmed central nervous system triggers the adrenal glands to flood the body with hormones, adrenaline and cortisol surging the body into a state of red alert or “fight or flight.” The body’s “Fight or flight” mode can trigger hypersensitivity and the ear’s auditory nerves pick up nervous system impulses or phantom tones. Simply put, our body’s response to stress, overstimulation, can cause a cascade of electrical and chemical communication imbalance producing an internal noise perceived by our central nervous system within the ear.
Given the complex nature of Tinnitus and the involvement of our central nervous system, a multifaceted approach to treatment is sensible and Craniosacral Therapy is uniquely positioned to treat the range of tinnitus underlying causes because it can:
- Improve blood flow, CSF flow and circulatory system
- Improve head/neck/skull musculoskeletal issues
- Calm stress and establish homeostasis to the central nervous system
Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle hands-on treatment applying light touch to facilitate movement of the fluids and shift membranes in and around the central nervous system – followed by targeted, gentle manual therapy to ‘kick start’ the body’s natural and innate healing processes.
It can resolve adrenal symptoms, assisting the body to transition out of a state of “fight or flight,” to allow the nervous system to recover and function in a state of homeostasis to eliminate tinnitus. Through CranioSacral Therapy tension and strain patterns in the body can be released and eliminated to improve structure and bony alignment, and to assist in releasing emotional trauma stored in the body to allow for healing and improved wellness.
Craniosacral therapy to treat tinnitus aims for the body releasing chronic patterns; such as muscle tension and spasms, decreasing compression of cranial and spinal nerves, improving bony alignment, and improving postural alignment. Through a delicate and precise manual techniques, craniosacral therapy can unlock the power of the nervous system through vagus nerve stimulation to release trauma, reduce the sense of threat and stress, and transition the body away from a state of flight or flight and toward homeostasis.
It’s common for tinnitus sufferers to have their auditory nerve system stuck at some level of stress driven “red-alert”, hypersensitive, and tuned into the nervous system’s impulses or phantom tones. Craniosacral therapy is effective in guiding you away from the adrenal rush state of fight or flight and realigning you to what is referred to as a “relaxation” or “rest and digest” response state. The calm and relaxed ‘rest or digest response’ allows your body’s systems to function properly ensuring your long-term emotional and physical health.
Studies have shown that people with jaw joint pain (temporo-mandibular joint or TMJ) and or have suffered neck injuries are more likely to suffer from tinnitus. When people are able to change the intensity of their tinnitus by moving their neck, jaw, mouth or face it’s called somatosensory tinnitus. For this reason relaxing muscle tension in the jaw and neck the first aim of treatment for somatosensory tinnitus is the reduction of such muscular tension.
Craniosacral therapy gently works with restoring normal fluid dynamics throughout the body, removes physiological stress and strain patterns and improves vibrational frequency of the whole body.
Craniosacral therapy fine tunes the interaction between structure and function of the body thereby reducing the constant tone.