TinuCare Day 2

Welcome in day 2 of the TinuCare online course. Yesterday we've learned the 3 main pillars + the 4 main types of tinnitus.

Today we will go deeper into the main pillar Relaxation. You will be guided with various relaxation techniques and methodes that will help you get rid of your tinnitus related stress and anxiety.

We'll also have a look at some known remedies against tinnitus.

Good luck!

Main pillar: Relaxation

Introduction

Introduction

Welcome to the TinuCare 5 day online course. You've come to this place to get rid of that annoying tinnitus sound. In the next week we will do this step by step.

To make this work it is really important to take your time, and do not try to rush things. Learn day by day on how you will controle your life with tinnitus.

When you hear your tinnitus, and it brings stress or anxiety, you should apply our 3 main pillars:

  • Avoid Silence

  • Change your state of mind

  • Relaxation

Today we will dive deeper into the relaxation pillar.

 

Before we start

During the course it is important that you avoid:

  • Nicotine
  • Alcohol
  • Too much salt

I know that will be hard for some people using them. But if you want this to succeed at least try to get them to a minimum for the next 7 days. Look for professional help if you can't stop on your own. Not only will it benefit your overal health, it will help in reducing your tinnitus.

The reason for this is that nicotine, alcohol and salt influence your blood flow. A bad blood flood also means that blood doens't flow optimal in your brain and ears. This will have a negative effect on your tinnitus in the short and long term.

 

The 3 main pillars: Relaxation

You should be relaxed and stress free.

I know it will be hard for some people to be relaxed and avoid stress. But stress is one of the main drivers of negative tinnitus expierence. Stress will not only make your tinnitus more present, you will also be less tolerant to it. This will create a vicious circle.

You will learn a lot of useful relaxation techniques during this course. So you will learn in depth on how to de-stress when tension gets high. But try to avoid as many situation as possible that gives you stress.

We'll start with basic relaxation tips and tricks today. Understand the fundamants and know what different types of antistress methodes there .

Relaxation part 1

Stress is one of the main drives to increase tinnitus. It is really improtant that you learn to relax in order to get tinnitus relief. In this lesson we will have general and basic overview of all the tinnitus stress methodes, from yoga to tai chi, from message to breathing techniques.

For the next 4 weeks you should try these relaxation tips and exercises to find out what works best for you. You should make 15 to 30 minutes of time to really destress and relax every single day.

Relaxation Exercises to Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Tinnitus

The body’s natural relaxation response is a powerful antidote to stress. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and yoga can help you activate this relaxation response. When practiced regularly, these activities lead to a reduction in your everyday stress levels and a boost in your feelings of joy and serenity. What’s more, they also serve a protective quality by teaching you how to stay calm and collected in the face of life’s curveballs.

The relaxation response

You can’t avoid all stress, but you can counteract its negative effects by learning how to evoke the relaxation response, a state of deep rest that is the polar opposite of the stress response. The stress response floods your body with chemicals that prepare you for “fight or flight.” But while the stress response is helpful in true emergency situations where you must be alert, it wears your body down when constantly activated. The relaxation response brings your system back into balance: deepening your breathing, reducing stress hormones, slowing down your heart rate and blood pressure, and relaxing your muscles. In addition to its calming physical effects, research shows that the relaxation response also increases energy and focus, combats illness, relieves aches and pains, heightens problem-solving abilities, and boosts motivation and productivity. Best of all – with a little practice – anyone can reap these benefits. 

Relaxation part 2

Starting a relaxation practice

A variety of relaxation techniques help you achieve the relaxation response. Those whose stress-busting benefits have been widely studied include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, visualization, yoga, and tai chi. Learning the basics of these relaxation techniques isn’t difficult. But it takes practice to truly harness their stress-relieving power: daily practice, in fact. Most stress experts recommend setting aside at least 10 to 20 minutes a day for your relaxation practice. If you’d like to get even more stress relief, aim for 30 minutes to an hour.

Getting the most out of your relaxation practice

  • Set aside time in your daily schedule. The best way to start and maintain a relaxation practice is by incorporating it into your daily routine. Schedule a set time either once or twice a day for your practice. You may find that it’s easier to stick with your practice if you do it first thing in the morning, before other tasks and responsibilities get in the way.
  • Don’t practice when you’re sleepy. These techniques can relax you so much that they can make you very sleepy, especially if it’s close to bedtime. You will get the most out of these techniques if you practice when you’re fully awake and alert.
  • Choose a technique that appeals to you. There is no single relaxation technique that is best. When choosing a relaxation technique, consider your specific needs, preferences, and fitness level. The right relaxation technique is the one that resonates with you and fits your lifestyle.

Do you need alone time or social stimulation?

If you crave solitude, solo relaxation techniques such as meditation or progressive muscle relaxation will give you the ok to quiet your mind and recharge your batteries. If you crave social interaction, a class setting will give you the stimulation and support you’re looking for. Practicing with others may also help you stay motivated. 

 

Deep Breathing

Deep breathing for tinnitus reliefWith its focus on full, cleansing breaths, deep breathing is a simple, yet powerful, relaxation technique. It’s easy to learn, can be practiced almost anywhere, and provides a quick way to get your stress levels in check. Deep breathing is the cornerstone of many other relaxation practices, too, and can be combined with other relaxing elements such as aromatherapy and music. All you really need is a few minutes and a place to stretch out.

How to practice deep breathing

The key to deep breathing is to breathe deeply from the abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible in your lungs. When you take deep breaths from the abdomen, rather than shallow breaths from your upper chest, you inhale more oxygen. The more oxygen you get, the less tense, short of breath, and anxious you feel.

So the next time you feel stressed, take a minute to slow down and breathe deeply:

  • Sit comfortably with your back straight.

    Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.

     

  • Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise.

    The hand on your chest should move very little.

     

  • Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.

     

  • Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.

If you have a hard time breathing from your abdomen while sitting up, try lying on the floor. Put a small book on your stomach, and try to breathe so that the book rises as you inhale and falls as you exhale. 

Progressive muscle

Progressive muscle relaxation for tinnitus relief

Progressive muscle relaxation is another effective and widely used strategy for stress relief. It involves a two-step process in which you systematically tense and relax different muscle groups in the body. With regular practice, progressive muscle relaxation gives you an intimate familiarity with what tension—as well as complete relaxation—feels like in different parts of the body. This awareness helps you spot and counteract the first signs of the muscular tension that accompanies stress. And as your body relaxes, so will your mind. You can combine deep breathing with progressive muscle relaxation for an additional level of relief from stress.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Sequence

  • Right foot

  • Left foot

  • Right calf

  • Left calf

  • Right thigh

  • Left thigh

  • Hips and buttocks

  • Stomach

  • Chest

  • Back

  • Right arm and hand

  • Left arm and hand

  • Neck and shoulders

  • Face

Most progressive muscle relaxation practitioners start at the feet and work their way up to the face. Also:

 

  • Loosen your clothing, take off your shoes, and get comfortable.

  • Take a few minutes to relax, breathing in and out in slow, deep breaths.

  • When you’re relaxed and ready to start, shift your attention to your right foot. Take a moment to focus on the way it feels.

  • Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10.

  • Relax your right foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and the way your foot feels as it becomes limp and loose.

  • Stay in this relaxed state for a moment, breathing deeply and slowly.

  • When you’re ready, shift your attention to your left foot. Follow the same sequence of muscle tension and release.

  • Move slowly up through your body — legs, abdomen, back, neck, face — contracting and relaxing the muscle groups as you go. 

Mindfulness meditation

Meditation that cultivates mindfulness is particularly effective at reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions. Mindfulness is the quality of being fully engaged in the present moment, without analyzing or otherwise “over-thinking” the experience. Rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, mindfulness meditation switches the focus to what’s happening right now.

For stress relief, try the following mindfulness meditation techniques:

  • Body scan – Body scanning cultivates mindfulness by focusing your attention on various parts of your body. Like progressive muscle relaxation, you start with your feet and work your way up. However, instead of tensing and relaxing your muscles, you simply focus on the way each part of your body feels without labeling the sensations as either “good” or “bad”.

     

  • Walking meditation - You don’t have to be seated or still to meditate. In walking meditation, mindfulness involves being focused on the physicality of each step — the sensation of your feet touching the ground, the rhythm of your breath while moving, and feeling the wind against your face.

     

  • Mindful eating – If you reach for food when you’re under stress or gulp your meals down in a rush, try eating mindfully. Sit down at the table and focus your full attention on the meal (no TV, newspapers, or eating on the run). Eat slowly, taking the time to fully enjoy and concentrate on each bite.

     

Mindfulness meditation is not equal to zoning out. It takes effort to maintain your concentration and to bring it back to the present moment when your mind wanders or you start to drift off. But with regular practice, mindfulness meditation actually changes the brain – strengthening the areas associated with joy and relaxation, and weakening those involved in negativity and stress.

Starting a meditation practice

All you need to start meditating are:

  • A quiet environment. Choose a secluded place in your home, office, garden, place of worship, or in the great outdoors where you can relax without distractions or interruptions.

     

  • A comfortable position. Get comfortable, but avoid lying down as this may lead to you falling asleep. Sit up with your spine straight, either in a chair or on the floor. You can also try a crosslegged or lotus position.

     

  • A point of focus. Pick a meaningful word or phrase and repeat it throughout your session. You may also choose to focus on an object in your surroundings to enhance your concentration, or alternately, you can close your eyes.

     

  • An observant, non-critical attitude. Don’t worry about distracting thoughts that go through your mind or about how well you’re doing. If thoughts intrude during your relaxation session, don’t fight them. Instead, gently turn your attention back to your point of focus.

 

Guided imagery

Visualization, or guided imagery, is a variation on traditional meditation that can help relieve stress. When used as a relaxation technique, guided imagery involves imagining a scene in which you feel at peace, free to let go of all tension and anxiety. Choose whatever setting is most calming to you, whether a tropical beach, a favorite childhood spot, or a quiet wooded glen. You can do this visualization exercise on your own, with a therapist’s help, or using an audio recording.

Close your eyes and let your worries drift away. Imagine your restful place. Picture it as vividly as you can—everything you can see, hear, smell, and feel. Guided imagery works best if you incorporate as many sensory details as possible.

For example, if you are thinking about a dock on a quiet lake:

 

  • See the sun setting over the water

  • Hear the birds singing

  • Smell the pine trees

  • Feel the cool water on your bare feet

  • Taste the fresh, clean air 

Yoga

Yoga is an excellent stress relief technique. It involves a series of both moving and stationary poses, combined with deep breathing. The physical and mental benefits of yoga provide a natural counterbalance to stress, and strengthen the relaxation response in your daily life.

What type of yoga is best for stress?

Although almost all yoga classes end in a relaxation pose, classes that emphasize slow, steady movement and gentle stretching are best for stress relief. Look for labels like gentle, for stress relief, or for beginners. Power yoga, with its intense poses and focus on fitness, is not the best choice. If you’re unsure whether a specific yoga class is appropriate for stress relief, call the studio or ask the teacher.

Since injuries can happen when yoga is practiced incorrectly, it’s best to learn by attending group classes or hiring a private teacher. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can practice alone or with others, tailoring your practice as you see fit.

Tips for starting a yoga practice:

  • Consider your fitness level and any medical issues before joining a yoga class. There are many yoga classes for different needs, such as prenatal yoga, yoga for seniors, and adaptive yoga (modified yoga for disabilities). “Hot” or Bikram yoga, which is practiced in a heated environment, might be too much if you are just starting out.

     

  • Look for a low-pressure environment where you can learn at your own pace. Don’t extend yourself beyond what feels comfortable, and always back off of a pose at the first sign of pain. A good teacher can show you alternate poses for ones that are too challenging for your health or fitness level. 

Tai Chi

If you’ve ever seen a group of people in the park slowly moving in synch, you’ve probably witnessed tai chi. Tai chi is a self-paced, non-competitive series of slow, flowing body movements. These movements emphasize concentration, relaxation, and the conscious circulation of vital energy throughout the body. Though tai chi has its roots in martial arts, today it is primarily practiced as a way of calming the mind, conditioning the body, and reducing stress. As in meditation, tai chi practitioners focus on their breathing and keeping their attention in the present moment.

Tai chi is a safe, low-impact option for people of all ages and levels of fitness, including older adults and those recovering from injuries. Once you’ve learned the moves, you can practice it anywhere, at any time, by yourself, or with others.

Making tai chi work for you

 

  • As with yoga, tai chi is best learned in a class or from a private instructor.

  • Although tai chi is normally very safe and gentle, be sure to discuss any health or mobility concerns with your instructor.

  • Tai chi classes are often offered in community centers, senior centers, or local community colleges. 

Massage

Getting a massage provides deep relaxation, and as the muscles in your body relax, so does your overstressed mind. And you don’t have to visit the spa to enjoy the benefits of massage. There are many simple self-massage techniques you can use to relax and release stress.

Self-Massage Techniques:

  • Scalp Soother – Place your thumbs behind your ears while spreading your fingers on top of your head. Move your scalp back and forth slightly by making circles with your fingertips for 15-20 seconds.

     

  • Easy on the Eyes – Close your eyes and place your ring fingers directly under your eyebrows, near the bridge of your nose. Slowly increase the pressure for 5-10 seconds, then gently release. Repeat 2-3 times.

     

  • Sinus Pressure Relief – Place your fingertips at the bridge of your nose. Slowly slide your fingers down your nose and across the top of your cheekbones to the outside of your eyes.

     

  • Shoulder Tension Relief – Reach one arm across the front of your body to your opposite shoulder. Using a circular motion, press firmly on the muscle above your shoulder blade. Repeat on the other side.

     

The most common type of massage is Swedish massage, a soothing technique specifically designed to relax and energize. Another common type of massage is Shiatsu, also known as acupressure. In Shiatsu massage, therapists use their fingers to manipulate the body’s pressure points. Although self-massage is good for stress relief, getting a massage from a professional massage therapist can be tremendously relaxing and more through then what you can do yourself.

When booking a massage, try types like Swedish or Shiatsu, which promote overall relaxation. Deep tissue and sports massages are more aggressive. They often target specific areas and may leave you sore for a couple of days, making them less effective for relaxation and stress relief. 

Summary

You've know had an introduction in different forms of relaxation. Try all of them to see what works best for you. It is really important that you find a relaxation style that fits you. Make sure you found it fun and relaxing.

Try to take 30 min each day to relax. Not only will your overall health improve, it will have a positive effect on your tinnitus in the short and long term.

When being relaxed the tinnitus will be less present, and you will be much better equipped to restain it.

In the next 5 days you will recieve relaxating exercises you can use when you feel stress or anxiety from your tinnitus. 

For know try to find the right relaxation style for you. Take your time. It can take a couple of week before you found out.

Take care

 

10 second exercise

Taking small steps in accepting your tinnitus

10 second exercise

This is an exercise that confronts you with the dissatisfaction of your tinnitus.

It is a mental approach. It is important at first to not do this to exercise too much. You might get overwhelmed with too many unpleasant experiences when you react oversensitive, making the tinnitus worse.

Allow each day repeatedly reflect on your reaction to tinnitus, for short periods. Ten seconds is long enough. Meanwhile, do relaxation exercises to reduce tension in the muscles and / or increase in heart rate and breathing and / or stop the sweating. These reactions result from the activation of the autonomic nervous system. Try to reduce your frustration, irritation or anxiety.

The feelings comes from the limbic system. Do this by approaching the tinnitus in a mental healthy way. Do not worry if you cannot reduce many of the negative feelings and increased tension at first. Every bit counts. You will find that this exercise gets easier with each new attempt.

Do this exercise at a time when you are calm. Ten seconds, may initially be sufficient. Do the exercise about ten times per day. The rest of the day maybe you will react like before, namely irritated. Reduce the impact of tinnitus by sound enrichment.

Try to recognize your emotional and physical reaction to tinnitus or hyperacusis. Then try to reduce the reaction each time in small quantities. It is a learned, instinctive reaction. It takes some time to retrain these conditioned responses. Just think how difficult it would be to change your handwriting or the way you drive the car. Be patient!

Think positive about the true meaning of tinnitus. Let gradually increase the duration of the exercise, first with a few seconds and then perhaps with minutes. Go very slowly, in small steps, but taking care of regularity.

The outcome of this exercise is that you are experiencing more periods where you are aware of the tinnitus WITHOUT irritation. This will lead to major progress in the future. Ultimately, this leads to the habituation of the reaction. You accept and tolerate gradually tinnitus or hyperacusis.

 

Protecting your ears

Protect your ears

PROTECT YOUR EARS

Nothing nicer than parties where you can go wild securely. Have a great time on the music, but also protect your ears. Too much and too loud music can cause hearing damage such as tinnitus, hearing a constant ringing in your ears. Always protect your ears when you are in loud music or noise.

We will give you some tips you should remember.

Earplugs

Earplugs

Wear earplugs if you are moving to a party or festival. So you can dance all night without waking up the next day with a high pitched ringing in your ears. With proper earplugs in your ears, you can continue to enjoy the music without the worries that your tinnitus will get worse the next day.

Even more : quality earphones ensure you hear the music pure and that you understand the people around you better. Only advantages!

Avoid disposable earplugs, but use universal earplugs or custom earplugs , which offer the best protection and quality music.

Other tips to avoid tinnitus

Forgotten your earplugs at home?

No worries! At most parties or concerts you can get it free at the bar. In some places you'll even find vending machines where you can buy earplugs .

Treat your ears well 

Even if you have ear plugs , do not stay up all night hanging out in a loud environment. Take an occasional break and let your ears rest. A ' ear break" will significantly reduce the risk of hearing damage and tinnitus.

Do not stand too close to the speakers .

Close to the speakers you can feel the music at its best, but the high decibels will hurt and damage you ears. Therefore stand further away from the speakers. Your ears will be very grateful !

Do not listen to headphones or any loud music the day after 

Let your ears take that day to relax and avoid loud music. It is the best way to prevent hearing damage and tinnitus.

Headphones / earphones

Not only loud music at parties can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus, also your headphones or earphone can permanently damage your ears. Because make no mistake : listening too long to loud music through your earphones or your headset is very harmful to your ears

 

Tinnitus Acupuncture Treatment

Tinnitus acupuncture treatment

Tinnitus acupuncture treatment has been used by a lot of tinnitus patients across the globe to manage and improve tinnitus symptoms. Since this condition is considered as a symptom of other underlying lifestyle and health issues, it is said to be incurable. Alternative health practitioners and doctors believe that time is the main factor to treat it rather than through medicines or other treatment methods.

A lot of tinnitus patients opt to use alternative remedies to deal with their tinnitus condition. Alternative remedies and homeopathic treatments are seen as an effective method for treating different diseases and illnesses. Subsequently, a lot of people explore these methods and use them in conjunction with other common remedies. The same thing applies for tinnitus and one of the most effective alternative methods used to treat tinnitus is the tinnitus acupuncture treatment. Before we proceed to discussing about how effective tinnitus acupuncture treatment is in treating tinnitus, let us discuss about tinnitus.

What is Tinnitus?

The word tinnitus comes from the same Latin word which means “ringing”. This is an ear condition characterized by hearing sounds without the presence of external sound that matches the inner sound. Tinnitus is not a disease itself. It is actually a sign that indicates other conditions and issues including wax buildup, foreign items being stuck in the ear, ear infections, and others. Natural hearing impairment can also cause tinnitus. This condition may also be medication side effect or a side effect of genetic hearing loss.

Treating Tinnitus through Tinnitus Acupuncture Treatment

Without a doubt, tinnitus acupuncture treatment is known to relieve pain and discomfort caused by tinnitus. However, it must be remembered that only through treating the underlying condition will a person obtain permanent relief. It is necessary to undergo a medical examination to achieve long-lasting relief through acupuncture and other treatment methods. Acupuncture involves the method of inserting filiform needles and controlling them to minimize pain and acquire relief.

If you are contemplating on using the acupuncture method, you first have to visit a doctor or health clinic offering the acupuncture treatment service. This is particularly necessary if the patient has already tried other homeopathic and alternative methods that didn’t work to manage the symptoms of tinnitus. One must also remember that acupuncture is not a one-time procedure as it requires several sessions to provide the patient with substantial relief. Also, patients with excessive tinnitus condition can greatly benefit from this treatment.

When receiving acupuncture treatment, be as open-minded as possible as this is the exact attitude you need while undergoing the acupuncture treatment. Don’t expect to receive substantial relief as this is a process that must be taken easily without a rush. Some patients who tried the acupuncture method and massage therapy at the same time say the method is really effective. Additionally, you should expect that plenty of needles will be inserted to varying points in your ears while you are undergoing the treatment.

Finally, you should be aware that tinnitus acupuncture treatment does not always offer permanent tinnitus relief. The level or degree of relief this treatment method can offer depends mainly on the patient as well as the symptoms he suffers from.

Tinnitus Dairy

How would you rate your tinnitus today?

It is important that you keep track of the progress you make in getting you tinnitus free. You should also try to find patterns why and on which days you have good days and why you are having bad days.

How much would you rate your tinnitus on a scale from 0 to 10 today?

  • 0 = I didn't had any trouble with my tinnitus today
  • 10 = My tinnitus gave me the maximum stress and anxiety today.

How much time today did your tinnitus gave you stress or anxiety?

Try to put a percentage of time your tinnitus caused you stress and anxiety today.

  • Was it 20% of the time?
  • Was it more like 60% of the time?

Of course this number is individual and wil vary from day to day.