No-Drug Cure for Tinnitus

In march 1991 already HEALTH CONFIDENTIAL interviewed Hans Greuel, MD, a physician who specializes in both psychology and otolaryngology in Düsseldorf, Germany. Dr. Greuel is the author of Up to the ears: Sudden deafness, Vertigo, Tinnitus, published by VDG.
Tinnitus-chronic, disabling ringing in the ear-afflicts one in five people in the US at one time or another. It disrupts their ability to converse, concentrate and sleep. Because today`s standard medical treatments-drugs, sometimes surgery-for tinnitus address its "symptoms" but not its "causes", they are usually highly ineffective. My new treatment approach works very differently. And, as studies on 2,000 patients have shown, it provides a lasting cure 90% of the time.
• The sick-ear personality
Conscientious, driven people who exhaust themselves by setting very high standards for themselves are more likely than others to suffer fom tinnitus and related problems.
Included: Sudden deafness-usually in one ear-and Menière`s disease...vertigo and dizziness, often accompanied by vomiting.
Ear disease often sets in when the fatigue and constant inner stress these people create is further aggravated by a sudden outside stress-a death, divorce or career setback. By falling ill, the body forces the patient to attend to his/her body and its need for rest.
Ironic: For work-centered people, vacations, with all their unstructered time, can be highly stressful. Many people first experience ear disease during such holidays.
• Today`s Treatment
Doctors usually seek some measurable symptom-such as a circulatory problem in the ear-and then treat it as the cause of the illness. They prescribe drugs or, in extreme cases, perform surgery.
But such methods seldom provide relief. In fact, the cause of the illness usually lies much deeper-in life-style and personality problems.
• Breakthrough Treatment
I do not try to change the patient`s personality-that is too slow and difficult. Instead, I ...
• Make patients aware of dangers. I explain how inner and outer stressor affect the body to cause the hearing problem. I help patients learn to relax.
• Teach patients to reorder their lives. They need a healthy balance between work and leisure.
• Introduce biofeedback methods. These teach patients to become conscious of how the ear is functioning and how the blood circulates there. They can learn to control these processes.
• Employ healing hypnosis. Suggestions of heaviness and warmth induce feelings of wellness and relaxation in most patients. I also teach my patients to use self-hypnosis.
• Introduce progressive relaxation techniques. These include tensing and relaxation all of the body`s muscles from the toes up.
• Prescribe breaks. For the first six months of treatment, I have my patients take at least one 20-minute break for biofeedback practice or deep relaxation during the workday.
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