Do you hear buzzing, humming, or whistling when others hear absolutely nothing? Are you desperately searching for a solution to this insufferable noise? If so, you’re not alone. You may be suffering from tinnitus. On the bright side, there may be a simple solution you haven’t considered yet: yoga!
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a common, chronic condition where people hear repetitive sounds that don’t come from the world around them but are instead created by their ears. It can show up in one or both ears, and the symptoms can be mild, only showing up sometimes, or debilitating, showing up all the time. Tinnitus is found to affect fifteen percent of the adult population, so it’s clearly a big problem for a lot of the population. However, there are lots of ways to reduce your symptoms. Yoga might not be the first solution you think of to help with your tinnitus symptoms, but depending on why you have tinnitus, it could be hugely helpful.
‘How long does tinnitus last?’, you might be wondering. Unfortunately, the condition itself is semi-permanent or permanent. That is to say, you’ll probably have to pursue treatment for the rest of your life. However, the good news is that there are plenty of treatments available, and many of them can reduce your symptoms to the point where you won’t even notice them anymore. Both conventional medical treatments and alternative treatments can help you. Hypnosis for tinnitus, herbal tea for tinnitus, and neck exercises for tinnitus are just some of the alternative treatments being discussed at the moment. Some other examples of alternative treatments include acupuncture, essential oils, vitamin B12, neck exercises for tinnitus, and of course yoga.
How Does Yoga Help With Tinnitus?
So how does yoga work to help tinnitus? An ancient practice designed to stretch both the body and the mind, it’s been used for millennia to help all kinds of complaints. When it comes to tinnitus, though, science backs the yogis up. A 2018 study found that “yoga practices may reduce life stress and symptoms of subjective tinnitus.” Using simple yoga practices such as asana, or body exercises, pranayama, or breathing, shavasana and yoga nidra, or forms of meditation, the twelve research participants found that their tinnitus symptoms lessened over a number of months. Since tinnitus and anxiety are so closely linked, it makes a lot of sense that engaging with an activity designed to reduce stress will reduce your tinnitus symptoms.
A follow-up study in 2019 created by Polish researchers found similar results. In this study, twenty-five participants with chronic tinnitus were studied as they undertook a twelve-week yoga course. In order to figure out how they were doing both before and after the yoga course, research participants did MRI scans and measured their tinnitus symptoms with the tinnitus functional index assessment. The results of this were an improved sense of control over tinnitus, lessened intrusiveness, and enhanced sleep and quality of life. Meanwhile, a third study, looking at brain receptors and tinnitus, also found that yoga was helpful for tinnitus. In this study, researchers found that a single sixty-minute session of yoga increased GABA in the brain, a receptor that helps lessen stress, anxiety, and tinnitus symptoms. This increase was significant, and because of the way the experiment was designed, was directly connected to yoga. That means that yoga has been proven to help tinnitus. Yoga is also helpful because it’s one of the most easily accessible treatments out there. If you want to go to a class, you can. But there’s plenty of free tutorials across the internet that will show you the basics of all the most helpful exercises.
Finding The Right Yoga To Help With Tinnitus
Yoga is a massive web of practices, though. If you don’t know anything about yoga, how do you know which practices will best help your tinnitus? Of course, seeking out an expert yogi and asking for their advice could be helpful. However, we’ve done the research and have collated the exercises that many experts agree are the keys to treating tinnitus. These poses target specific, underlying causes of tinnitus, such as poor circulation, stress, and neck exercises for tinnitus to target neck stiffness.
For circulation, trikonasana or triangle pose is ideal. It gets fresh blood into your head and neck and helps your ears ‘pop’. The adho mukha svanasana, or downward-facing dog also helps with circulation, by lengthening the body to bring more oxygen to your head. Gomukhasana, or cow face pose, is designed to be held for a long time. This means that it can both improve circulation and reduce the pain associated with tinnitus. Matsyasana, or fish pose, combines both improvements of circulation and stress relief to target two sources of tinnitus at once. Meanwhile, Bhujangasana, or cobra pose, opens your chest and throat areas, meaning that your concentration levels are improved and that the noise levels of tinnitus are reduced. Padangusthasana, or hand-to-big toe pose, is another yoga pose that promotes good circulation while redirecting the fluids in your ears. Ustrasana, or camel pose, like the others here, helps your circulation, particularly in the head and neck. It also helps promote good ear health. Viparita karani, or the legs up the wall pose, helps your circulation all around the body. The yoga community also agrees it’s a great practice to relieve chronic stress.
It’s clear that a yoga cure for tinnitus, while not completely getting rid of the condition, can make it much easier to live with. Of course, it’s vitally important to always do your own research before pursuing treatment for tinnitus. Consult with medical professionals before trying any medication or alternative treatment. But yoga is a great option to consider if you’re looking for a way to help yourself live with tinnitus. Look into it today, and learn about what these stretches can do for you.
- “Yoga for Tinnitus: How Yoga Can Be Used To Help Treat Tinnitus”, Sound Relief Hearing Center, accessed 23rd March 2021, https://www.soundrelief.com/yoga-for-tinnitus/.
- “Can Yoga Treat Tinnitus?”, Pinnacle ENT, accessed 23rd March 2021, https://pentadocs.com/can-yoga-treat-tinnitus/.
- “How Yoga Increases GABA and Improves Tinnitus”, Arches Natural Products, accessed 23rd March 2021, https://www.tinnitusformula.com/library/how-yoga-increases-gaba-and-improves-tinnitus/
- “Yoga Can Help Treat Tinnitus”, Gulf Coast Audiology, accessed 23rd March 2021, https://gulfcoastaudiology.com/yoga-can-help-treat-tinnitus/#:~:text=Recent%20studies%20have%20found%20that,options%20for%20helping%20reduce%20symptoms.