Tinnitus, often described as a ringing, buzzing, or hissing sound in the ears can be a challenging condition to manage. While traditional medical approaches focus on symptom relief, alternative therapies like craniosacral therapy have gained attention for their potential healing benefits in addressing tinnitus. In this blog, we will delve into the principles of craniosacral therapy and its potential role in providing relief for individuals experiencing tinnitus.
An elderly client shared with me that when he was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room area waiting for his wife, he was listening to meditation music with earphones on. He was enjoying the quietness of the waiting room area and the soothing sound of his iPhone music. A few minutes into his bliss, a group of people entered the waiting room and were engaging in quite a loud conversation that had an irritating effect on my client. He started to feel his annoyance grow and with it the buzzing in his ears.
Another, female, client hears the buzzing, sometimes ringing sounds more when she is trying to go to sleep. The quieter she gets, the louder the sound in her ears, and as she gets irritated by it, the ringing/buzzing sound becomes louder.
Understanding Craniosacral Therapy:
Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on approach that aims to enhance the body’s natural healing abilities. Developed by osteopathic physician Dr. John E. Upledger, this therapy focuses on the craniosacral system, which includes the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
Principles of Craniosacral Therapy:
Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhythm: Central to craniosacral therapy is Dr Upledger’s discovery that the cerebrospinal fluid has a rhythmic pulse that can be detected and regulated. Practitioners use subtle movements and gentle touch to assess and address any restrictions or imbalances in this rhythm.
Here are some ways in which craniosacral therapy may benefit those with tinnitus:
Fascial Release: The therapy involves releasing tension in the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds muscles and organs. By applying gentle pressure and guidance, practitioners aim to alleviate restrictions and promote better fluid flow.
Whole-Body Approach: Craniosacral therapy considers the body as a whole, emphasizing the interconnectedness of different bodily systems. Because of the single organ called fascia, CST is not only focused on the site where the symptoms are present, but also on addressing the underlying issues of the symptoms due to fascia that have become scar tissue. Addressing underlying factors may include issues with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), neck tension, or other musculoskeletal imbalances related but not limited to physical or emotional trauma.
“Where your attention goes, energy flows and results show.” – James Redfield.
This idea ties in with our Reticular Alarm System (RAS) of our Central Nervous System (CNS). I will write about RAS and CST in a separate article. For now, the reason it is important to mention is because our craniosacral system is part of our CNS, hence when we pay attention to something that we find irritating, that something that irritates us will grow/gain more momentum – becomes louder and stronger. Tinnitus symptoms can be exacerbated by stress and tension. Craniosacral therapy’s gentle approach help induce a state of relaxation, reducing stress levels and improving tinnitus symptoms.
Improving Fluid Dynamics: The gentle, non-invasive regulation of the craniosacral system enhances the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. This improved fluid dynamics may positively impact the auditory system and contribute to alleviating tinnitus symptoms.
This is a review from a client:
“I developed tinnitus from loud noise exposure in October. It started at a very low level and was fairly easy to ignore. After visiting with the ENT and finding no hearing loss with my ears and no damage I was told that I would learn to live with the tinnitus/ringing. That was the worst thing I could have heard, and my body and mind went into full flight or fight / freeze mode for several months. The tinnitus got gradually worse, became reactive, had noise distortions running through my head, and became scared of sound exposure. I was to the point where I wasn’t sure if I was able to live like this – like most tinnitus people feel. I did not find relief from ear maskers etc and I figured I had tried everything. I found out about CST from a random YouTube video I saw. Knowing nothing about it I booked a session and when laying on the table to my surprise my tinnitus was changing thru the session. When I got up from my first session my body and mind had found relaxation it hadn’t felt in months. I couldn’t believe it – my nervous system was settled even though I had no idea what was going on. Fast forward a few months of consistent CST and working on myself with Kathy I am finding more and more times of quiet in my life and even when it’s ringing it is completely manageable.
This is a nervous system disorder no matter what you are hearing in your head and your nervous system can learn to filter out noises just like it always has. I’ve learned to become a much more body orientated person in my life too and have learned to deal away with stress and anxiety which is crucial in terms of getting below the hearing threshold of tinnitus. My recovery with tinnitus is like a bouncing ball and now the ball is barely bouncing up and down. There is no doubt in my mind that keeping at the lifestyle I have developed and continuing CST that I will be back in silence 100% of the time. Kathy has become one of my good friends and I could not do it without her and her guidance.”
While craniosacral therapy shows promise as a complementary approach to managing tinnitus, it’s essential to approach it with an open mind. Individual responses to this therapy may vary. Those who seek alternative methods to alleviate tinnitus symptoms, craniosacral therapy could be worth exploring in conjunction with conventional medical advice and treatment. Always consult with qualified healthcare professionals before starting any new therapeutic approach.