Hypnosis for Tinnitus


At ChangeWorks we see people with tinnitus quite frequently. We can help you escape the tyranny of tinnitus.

Tinnitus really is like tyranny.  The more you focus on it the worse it gets until it seems like there’s no way to escape the sound. If you’re like most of the people we’ve worked with who have tinnitus, you’ve probably tried it all — sound masking, herbal supplements, and more.  But have you tried hypnosis?

Hypnosis can be effective for tinnitus in a variety of ways:

  1. For the type of tinnitus that is stress induced or stress-worsened, hypnosis helps to relieve tinnitus by creating a new way to cope with stress and a way to release stress.  People with tinnitus in this category find that the volume, frequency and severity of their tinnitus reduces and sometimes goes away entirely.
  2. For those whose tinnitus varies in pitch, volume or tone, hypnosis can reduce all of those aspects of tinnitus.
  3. For those whose cause of tinnitus is unknown (idiopathic), hypnotherapy can frequently uncover and release the underlying subconscious cause of the tinnitus, which may result in a reduction or cessation of the tinnitus.

Advances in tinnitus research have brought about several new kinds of tinnitus therapy. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is one of them. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT) is a process of learning to cope with your tinnitus on a conscious and subconscious level. This technique has helped a lot of people and is incorporated in the approach we use here at ChangeWorks Hypnosis Center.

If you suffer from tinnitus, come in for a free consultation to see if hypnosis can help you.  Call 952-356-0010 and ask for a consultation with Jeff Bellis or Cindy Locher.

Research on Hypnosis for Tinnitus

We’ve gathered a number of studies showing the efficacy of hypnosis for tinnitus.

Study 1: Self-Hypnosis for Tinnitus

Comparison between Self-Hypnosis, Masking and Attentiveness for Alleviation of Chronic Tinnitus
http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/00206099309072936?journalCode=ija

Results: Self-hypnosis significantly reduced the tinnitus severity; attentiveness to patient’s complaints partially relieved the tinnitus; masking (using something that produces sounds that “mask,” or cover up, the tinnitus) did not have any significant effect.

Notes: The efficacy of self-hypnosis (SH), masking (MA) and attentiveness to the patient’s complaints (AT) in the alleviation of tinnitus was evaluated. Forty-five male patients close in age with chronic tinnitus related to acoustic trauma were assigned to three matched subgroups: SH, AT or MA. The therapeutic stimuli in the SH and MA sessions, recorded on audiocassettes, were given to the patients for use when needed.

International Journal of Audiology, 1993, Vol. 32, No. 3, pages 205-212
By: Joseph Attias, Zecharya Shemesh, Haim Sohmer, Shlomit Gold, Chaya Shoham and David Faraggi, Institute for Noise Hazards Research and Evoked Potentials Laboratory, IDF, Department of Psychiatry, Chaim-Sheba Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Department of Physiology, Hebrew University – Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Department of Statistics, Haifa University, Israel Correspondence to Joseph Attias, Institute for Noise Hazards Research and Evoked Potentials Laboratory TDF Chaim-Sheba Medical Center Tel Aviv, 52621 Israel

Study 2: Ericksonian Hypnosis for Tinnitus

Ericksonian hypnosis in tinnitus therapy.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18225612

Results: To evaluate the effect of the treatment, tinnitus was assessed with the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory questionnaire before and after the therapy. After 5 to 10 sessions (mean: 8.09 + -1.92) of Ericksonian hypnosis therapy, the 35 patients were capable of self-hypnosis with the aim of modulating their tinnitus, and the measured THI score fell for all patients. The global score improved significantly from 60:23 before EH therapy to 16.9 at discharge. Within the group, the initial score was distributed as follows: 0% slight, 14% mild, 31% moderate, 31% severe and 23% catastrophic. The t-test for dependent variables revealed significant improvements in all subgroups (p < or = 0.005). The results of this clinical trial demonstrate that Ericksonian hypnosis, in particular using self-hypnosis, is a promising technique for treating patients with tinnitus.

Notes: The goal was to evaluate the effect of Ericksonian therapy on tinnitus in a non-randomised, prospective longitudinal study. A total of 49 patients underwent hypnosis therapy. Fourteen patients failed to finish the therapy (drop-out rate: 35%). Of the 35 patients who completed the therapy, 20 were male and 15 female. The average age was 46.3 years (range 17-78). The hypnotic treatment was based on the principles and approaches of Ericksonian hypnosis. The first session was mainly dedicated to the evaluation of the impact of tinnitus on the patient’s life and to an explanation of hypnosis therapy. The next sessions were “learning sessions” based on relaxation and mental imaging. Exercises were first based on all senses other than hearing. Then they focused on hearing, teaching patients how to modulate sound intensity, and finally how to modulate tinnitus intensity. Patients also learned self-hypnosis.

B-ENT. 2007;3 Suppl 7:75-7
By: A. Maudoux, S. Bonnet, F. Lhonneux-Ledoux, P. Lefebvre, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Liège, Belgium

Study 3: More Hypnosis for Tinnitus

The Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy In The Treatment Of Subjective Tinnitus.
http://journals.tums.ac.ir/upload_files/pdf/_/23014.pdf

Results: The results showed that hypnotherapy could effectively reduce the severity of tinnitus in patients in the experimental hypnosis group.

Notes: This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in the treatment of subjective tinnitus. Twenty people suffering from tinnitus were divided equally into two groups. They completed tinnitus clinical questionnaires before and after the test — and the severity of their tinnitus was recorded by a number from one to ten. One experimental group had 10 sessions of hypnotherapy. The control group did not receive hypnosis or any other psychological treatment.

Audiol. 2012: 21(4): 60-67
By: Shirin Moghtaderi and Hadi Bahrami, Dept. of Psychology, Isamlic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran, Seyed-Mahmoud Mirzamani, Dept. of Counseling, Educaiton and Counseling Faculty, Islanic Azad University, Islamshshahr Branch, Iran

Study 4: More Ericksonian Hypnosis for Tinnitus Quality of Life

Effectiveness of Ericksonian hypnosis in tinnitus therapy: preliminary results.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22545384

Results: Mean THI (Tinnitus Handicap Inventory – a score of the severity of tinnitus) scores assessed at the beginning and 4 times after commencement of hypnosis therapy were evaluated. The changes in THI scores were significant. Health Survey SF-36 was assessed separately. The greatest increases were seen in physical role followed by emotional role difficulty. The preliminary results of the study demonstrated the effectiveness of Ericksonian hypnosis for tinnitus.

Notes: The present study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of Ericksonian hypnosis in reducing the impact of tinnitus on patients’ quality of life. A controlled prospective longitudinal study was designed. The severity of tinnitus was assessed with Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI) before hypnotherapy and then 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months after therapy. Health Survey SF-36 was used to assess health-related quality of life before and after hypnotherapy. Thirty-nine patients with severe idiopathic subjective tinnitus were enrolled in the study.

B-ENT. 2012;8(1):7-12
By: Z. M. Yazici, I. Sayin, G. Gökkus, E. Alatas, H. Kaya, Kayhan, Bakirköy Education and Training Hospital, Clinic of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Istanbul, Turkey

Study 5: Recorded Hypnotherapy for Tinnitus

An Alternative Method of Treating Tinnitus: Relaxation-Hypnotherapy Primarily Through the Home Use of a Recorded Audio Cassette
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207148308406596?journalCode=nhyp20#preview

Results: 22 of the 32 patients treated with the recorded hypnotherapy learned in 1 month to disregard the disturbing noise.

Notes: 32 patients, variously diagnosed as suffering from tinnitus, were treated with hypnosis. Treatment consisted of a 1-hour consultation with the physician followed by 4 weeks of daily home practice while listening to an audio-tape recording of approximately 15 minutes duration.

International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Volume 31, Issue 2, 1983, pages 90-97
By: Gunilla Brattberga, Sandvikens Hospital, Sandviken, Sweden

Study 6: Hypnosis for Tinnitus More Beneficial for Those Without Significant Hearing Loss

Client-centered hypnotherapy for tinnitus: who is likely to benefit?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7741085

Results: Of these 41 tinnitus patients who were treated with hypnotherapy, 28 (68%) showed some benefit for their tinnitus 3 months after completing their hypnosis, and 13 (32%) showed no evidence of improvement for their tinnitus. Hearing loss was associated with a nonbeneficial outcome for tinnitus treated with hypnotherapy. Of the nonbeneficial group, 46% had a hearing loss of 30 db or more in their better-hearing ear compared to less than 15% in the beneficial group, a significant difference (X2 = 6.34, df = 1, p < 0.02). Client-centered hypnotherapy can be offered to anyone who wants to have therapy for their tinnitus; in those with significant hearing loss the benefit may be less.

Notes: This study analyzed 41 patients, 15 females and 26 males with a mean age of 54, who underwent three sessions of client-centered hypnotherapy for their tinnitus.

Am J Clin Hypn. 1995 Apr;37(4):294-9
By: J. Mason, D. Rogerson, Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, United Kingdom

Study 7: Hypnosis for Tinnitus Related Psychological Distress

Role of hypnotherapy in the treatment of debilitating tinnitus (article in French)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22533067

Results: 65 follow-up questionnaires from those who were treated with hypnotherapy were received and used in this study. Before hypnotherapy treatment, the mean value of the Wilson score on psychological distress was 54 (28-104). After treatment, it was: 31 (0-86). 69% of the patients felt an improvement > or = 5 points Wilson score. These results were compared with the evaluation carried out by the practitioner at the end of the sessions of hypnosis. There was a “significant correlation” between the evaluation of the felt benefit, analyzed by the practitioner at the end of the sessions of hypnosis, and by the patient questioned long after the treatment. These results had significant correlation with the evaluation made by the therapist at the end of the five sessions of hypnotherapy. They show, how effective (68% improvement) this therapeutic approach can be. The authors conclude hypnotherapy can be regarded as an effective treatment against distressing tinnitus.

Notes: Hypnotherapy is currently used for tinnitus therapy in the researchers’ university hospital. The aim of this study was to evaluate its efficacy. This study was performed on 110 patients suffering from distressing tinnitus. They were treated during five sessions with hypnotherapy, supplemented by instruction on self-hypnotherapy. A subjective evaluation was done by the practitioner at the end of the sessions of hypnotherapy. Then a questionnaire on psychological distress (Wilson 1991) was sent retrospectively to the patients.

Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol (Bord). 2011;132(3):147-51.
By: F. Gajan, B. Pannetier, A. Cordier, I. Amstutz-Montadert, D. Dehesdin, J. P. Marie, CHU Rouen, Hôpital Charles Nicolle, Service ORL, 1 rue Germont, 76031 Rouen cedex, France

Study 8: Hypnotic Induction Helps Tolerance of Tinnitus

A controlled trial of hypnotherapy in tinnitus.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3891159

Results: Five of the 14 patients (36%) found the induction of a hypnotic state of value. This seemed to help them tolerate their tinnitus better, although its loudness and quality were unaltered. One of the 14 patients showed a highly significant response to the latter treatment (this seems to mean the “active suppression of tinnitus while in a trance”) as judged by visual analogue scales.

Notes: A group of 14 patients with unilateral tinnitus were selected because of the constant nature of their tinnitus, and its resistance to all other forms of therapy. They were subjected to hypnosis in three forms in random order. The induction of a trance state alone formed the control arm of the trial. Compared to this were the effects of ‘ego boosting’ and active suppression of tinnitus whilst in a trance state.

Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 1985 Feb;10(1):43-6
By: N. J. Marks, H. Karl, C. Onisiphorou, ENT Department, Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading and Departments of Guy’s Hospital, London, UK, ENT Department, Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading and Departments of Psychology, Guy’s Hospital, London, UK, ENT Department, Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading and Departments of Audiology, Guy’s Hospital, London, UK

If you suffer from tinnitus, come in for a free consultation to see if hypnosis can help you.  Call 952-356-0010 and ask for a consultation with Jeff Bellis or Cindy Locher.

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