resources to share

from our

Support group

afternoon tea gatherings

Resources from the October '22 meeting:

Stories: Harnessing the power of the stories we tell

Your story matters, and …..

you are the hero and main character in your story

We all love a good story … and stories are powerful. The stories we tell and the stories we live, for good or bad, are everything. The stories we tell about ourselves and our experiences make a difference. I invite you to be mindful of the stories you are telling about yourself and the world. We can choose our stories, more so than we often think.

Today we looked at whether the language we used to tell our tinnitus story was aligned with our quest. You might like to draft the next chapter of your story: what will your next empowering step be on this journey, a personal quest that can be challenging but, like all heroes in stories, make us somehow a better, stronger and more resilient person.

 

Bookshelf

"We can’t always choose the stories we have in our lives, but if we take a risk and show that we are human and vulnerable, then that is where the best stories lie.” Andrea Gibbs TED TALK The power of story telling

Resources from the August '22 meeting:

Tinnitus Treatments: What is the current best practice for treating tinnitus distress, and what emerging treatments have potential?

CURRENT TINNITUS TREATMENTS

The intention of these resources is to provide the evidence-base for common tinnitus treatments, and help you know where to go if you want to find out about the evidence behind a treatment that you have heard about, read about or have been recommended. 

CURRENT TINNITUS TREATMENTS

The intention of these resources is to provide the evidence-base for common tinnitus treatments, and help you know where to go if you want to find out about the evidence behind a treatment that you have heard about, read about or have been recommended. 

Click on this link to find a table of current tinnitus treatment options that have a sound evidence base:

https://www.tinnitus.org.uk/decision-aid

 

Click on this link to go to the British Tinnitus Association's webpage that provides information about each currently available tinnitus treatment, using a traffic light system to rate the safety and efficacy of each treatment:

https://www.tinnitus.org.uk/tinnitus-treatments

FUTURE TREATMENTS WITH POTENTIAL

The intention of these resources is to highlight some of the current scientific research that is showing potential to be of help to tinnitus sufferers. There is no cure yet, but let's thank our scientists and researchers for their work and encourage them to keep going!

Click on this link to see a short video on exciting hair cell regeneration to address the cause of tinnitus for many people:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Q7ZZWES8Xw

Click on this link to see a short video on a drug treatment to reduce the sound of tinnitus itself:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psiqExK1LOI

Click on this link to see a short video on a new technology using bi-modal stimulation to support people to habituate to tinnitus:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCN7UmsvlNU&t=64s

WANT TO BE INVOLVED IN FUTURE RESEARCH? 

Donate: Tinnitus Australia advocates for tinnitus research

https://www.tinnitusaustralia.org.au/donate/

Participate: British Tinnitus Association links participants with researchers

https://www.tinnitus.org.uk/Listing/Category/taking-part-in-a-research-trial

Keep up-to-date: Australia New Zealand Monthly Research Webinars 

Email emcentre@auckland.ac.nz to join in.

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Resources from the June '22 meeting:

"Neural Plasticity: how we can create neural maps for ease in the presence of sound (or dizziness)"

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Neuroplasticity Gospel:

Short practices

Repeated often

So, it’s far better to do two or three 8-miniute practices every day, rather than a one-hour practice once a week.

It can take 8-12 weeks of daily practice to create a new neural pathway that is strong enough to become more automatic.

"For better or for worse, how we consistently think and behave will ‘wire’ itself into the brain. We now understand that the brain is constantly rewiring itself right throughout our lives. From a therapeutic perspective, it also means that we can ‘unwire’ unhelpful patterns of thought and behaviour and wire in helpful ones. This has significant implications for the development and management of [chronic health conditions like tinnitus, sound sensitivity and chronic vertigo]."

Dr Craig Hassed MBBS, FRACGP, Senior Lecturer Monash University, Department of General Practice

 

What are your thoughts and behaviours in response to tinnitus / trigger sounds / dizziness?
Are you hardwiring in frustration, avoidance and fear?
Or are you hardwiring in calm, joy and steadiness?

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Further reading:

Joey Remenyi, "Rock Steady: Healing Vertigo and Tinnitus with Neuroplasticity"

Norman Doidge, "The Brain That Changes Itself."

Norman Doidge, "The Brain's Way of Healing".

Julian Cowen-Hill, "Tinnitus: From Tyrant to Friend".

Individual support: Please get in touch! Inner Ease Tinnitus Centre can help support you through the neuroplasticity process.

Resources from the April '22 meeting:

"How our subconscious drives decisions about what sounds we hear and how loudly we hear them."

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Our ears hear sounds all around us (and within in) all the time. To stop us being bombarded by sound, there is a filtering system in the brainstem that categorises sounds into important or not-important, safe or unsafe. This filtering system brings unsafe or important sounds into our awareness by increasing their perceived volume, while non-important or safe sounds are filtered out of our awareness by decreasing their perceived volume. 

Your trigger sounds or tinnitus sounds have been miscategorised by your subconscious as being important or unsafe, and therefore you need to be made aware of them.

Strategies you can use to help your subconscious recategorise sounds as being safe and not important ...

Vagal toning practice

Here is a link to a vagal toning practice called Bumblebee Breathing. This breath practice has the potential to shift your autonomous nervous system (ANS) out of fight/flight mode and into the relaxation response,. When we feel relaxation in our body in the presence of tinnitus or trigger sounds, we are messaging to our subconscious that we are safe, and this is a safe sound that can be filtered out of our awareness. 

Reframing your tinnitus

Here is a part of a poem by Antonio Machado with the lovely image of bees making sweet golden honey ...... perhaps you'd like to re-frame your tinnitus so you are imagining the golden honey instead of the buzzing bee. Notice how this subtle shift in how you think about your tinnitus can take the 'danger' message out of the sound.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Resources from the February '22 meeting:

Tinnitus Awareness Week

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Our Support Group afternoon tea this month was aligned with Tinnitus Awareness Week 2022. While most of us are seeking a greater degree of tinnitus UNawareness, this is the one week in the year where we make a noise for tinnitus to raise awareness and compassion in the community, including in the healthcare and political arenas, through sharing your story and lived experience of this invisible auditory stimulus. ​

Our agenda aligned with the great work being done during Tinnitus Awareness Week by Tinnitus Australia, a arm of the not-for-profit hearing advocacy organisation, Soundfair. We shared poems, playlists, videos, questions and answers, and political letter-writing skills as some of the many ways we can express what it is for each of us to live with tinnitus. You can go to Tinnitus Australia's website or Facebook page to access realms of information from Tinnitus Awareness Week and more.

 

Here are a few samples of what we shared at our afternoon tea:

Victoria's Story

Click the red heart icon on the left to watch a subtitled short video from one of Soundfair's Yarn Nights, where Victoria Didenko, Chair of the Tinnitus Australia Advisory Committee, shares her memories when tinnitus first arrived in her head. 

The Tinnitus Playlist

Click the red heart icon on the left to listen to the playlist that was collated during Tinnitus Awareness Week.

#mytinnitus

We've been together

many years, inseparable.

Life's barometer.  by JC (Netty)

#mytinnitus

Soundscape of my life -

My buzzing, hissing screeching

Friend who never leaves. by JC (Netty)

#mytinnitus

Even when at peace

you provide a reminder 

that I am present. by JC (Netty)

Resources from the December '21 meeting:

Appreciating beauty: how beauty and creativity can uplift us when ear symptoms are tough

An effective approach to reducing the bother of persistent ear symptoms is to focus on what you like doing, rather than focusing on what you don't like (i.e., your ear symptoms). In this way, we get the neural pathways of enjoyment and contentment firing, rather than the neural pathways of frustration and worry.  Being mindful about where you place your attention/focus and making choices that support your wellbeing is the pathway to recovery through neural plasticity.

 

You might like to try these activities, either online or with your own hard-copy resources at home:

1. Mindful colouring

http://www.supercoloring.com/collections/coloring-pages-for-adults

 

2. Poetry

Haiku poetry link:

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-write-a-haiku-in-4-easy-steps#how-to-write-a-haiku-poem-in-4-easy-steps

Some inspiring poetry links:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/mary-oliver

https://www.best-poems.net/danna-faulds/poems.html

 

3. Construction

Mindfulness with Lego

https://www.lego.com/en-au/categories/adults-welcome/article/mindfulness

 

4. Art Appreciation

Painting/artwork link:

https://www.hannahblackmore.com/portfolio

 

5. Jigsaws

Online Jigsaw puzzles link:

https://www.jigsawexplorer.com/

School Supply
Poems
Pencil and Notebook
Missing Piece
Painting on Canvas
Kids Playing with Lego
Row of Colored Pencils

Resources from the October '21 meeting:

"Vagal Toning: how building agility in your nervous system can ease your distress"

The Polyvagal Theory...

Click the red heart icon on the left to listen to an educational video on Polyvagal Theory. This describes new understanding of the huge role our nervous system plays in how we might respond to our ear sounds or trigger sounds.

How does your nervous system respond to tinnitus/external sounds? What do you notice physically in your body that tells you whether your nervous system is feeling safe or unsafe in the presence of these sounds? How can you re-message to your nervous system that you are actually safe?

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One way to let your ANS know that you safe in the presence of tinnitus sounds or other external sounds, is to emulate the breathing rhythm your body naturally adopts in relaxation - a long, slow and steady breath in and out.

Down load this free App to follow a simple breathing rhythm. Read the information on the App about resonance breathing and how this builds nervous system tone. 

Resources from the August '21 meeting:

"The power of smiling: how your own smile can reduce the impact of tinnitus symptoms."

The hidden power of smiling...

Click the red heart icon on the left to listen to a Ted Talk by Ron Gutman on the science behind why and how smiling can impact your wellbeing.

Smiling Child
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Look at this graph on the left, by the IDA Institute. It forecasts how the tinnitus signal begins to change (dotted yellow line) after we have lessened our distress (blue line). For those of you who are waiting for tinnitus to ease before you can be happy, perhaps you might like to experiment with intentionally bringing a smile into your day right now, despite the presence of any persistent symptoms, and then see what happens to your tinnitus?

"When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change." Richard Miller

Smiling Meditation

Click the red heart icon on the left to listen to a 10 min guided meditation by Tara Brach.....

Sit, Breathe, Smile

CDB Gummies

Click the red heart icon on the left to read some information published by the British Tinnitus Association discussing the evidence and cautions around these gummies as a tinnitus treatment.. 

Resources from the June '21 meeting:

"Nourishing yourself: 
how making healthy choices can impact tinnitus symptoms" 
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Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Click the red heart icon on the left to read a checklist of ideas you can implement to nourish yourself each day. This has been kindly shared with our group by The Healthy Artist, a Tasmanian based artist and nutritionist,

Hannah Blackmore.

hannahblackmore.com

Does diet play a role in tinnitus?

Click the red heart icon on the left to listen to a podcast published by the American Tinnitus Association discussing the connection between diet and tinnitus. 

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Tinnitus and Diet

Click the red heart icon on the left to read or download an information leaflet published by the British Tinnitus Association discussing the impact of diet on tinnitus. 

Resources from the March '21 meeting:

"Befriending Sleep: 
how good sleep habits can ease tinnitus symptoms" 
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6 Tips for better sleep 

Click the blue heart icon on the left to listen to a 5 min TED TALK by sleep scientist, Matthew Walker. Matt has published a 'Sleeping with Science' series, and this talk is one of the series. 

Tinnitus and Sleep

Click the red heart icon on the left to read or download an information leaflet published by the British Tinnitus Association discussing ways to reduce the impact of tinnitus on your sleep. 

Resources from the February '21 meeting:

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Capturing Our Tinnitus Stories:
how our stories can empower others and ourselves
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Use these hashtags to read other's experiences of living with tinnitus:
#ThisIsMySilence #TinnitusAwarenessWeek


Add your own tinnitus story to Tinnitus Australia's socials:


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tinnitusaustralia
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/tinnitusaustralia/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tinnitusaustralia/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tinnitusaus/


Let's make some noise for tinnitus to raise awareness of this debilitating ear symptom and inform care and health pathways for medical professionals.

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Click the blue heart icon on the left to listen to a 15 min TED TALK about how changing our stories can change our lives.

Resources from the December meeting:

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Stress and Tinnitus: How finding tone and agility in the nervous system can help ease tinnitus symptoms.

Click the blue heart icon on the left to listen to a 4min TED TALK about how stress effects our brain, and how there are strategies we can use to minimise  the negative impact of chronic stress.

Click the red heart icon on the left to download the British Tinnitus Association information sheet on Stress and Tinnitus. 

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A 5 min vagal toning exercise to practice everyday: 
Follow these steps, spend 30 seconds at each stage, with mindful awareness on your breath as you practice....
1. Hand on heart; 2. Hands over eyes (rest head on hands); 3. Hands on belly; 4. Cross arms and pat upper arms with opposite hands - slow and rhythmic; 5. Stand up, mountain pose; 6. Shake body all over - stand on right leg - shake body all over - stand on left leg - shake body all over; 7. Hand on heart - notice how you feel.

Resources from the October meeting:

What is sound? Sound is vibration, and everything that vibrates within 20-20,000Hz makes a sound that is audible to the human ear. Click the tea cup to link to an 11 minute TED-talk about sound, and a chance to listen to what our solar-system sounds like.

Surprise alert: Outer space may sound awfully similar to your tinnitus! You may even see a possibility here to reframe any limiting thoughts you may have about your tinnitus from listening to this expansive presentation.

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Bliss Ball / Slice Recipe

If you enjoyed the treats on Sunday, here is the recipe to make more for yourself at home, whenever you need to give yourself and those around you a big serve of love!

Blend together:

1 cup of dates

1/2 cup of cashews

1/2 cup of slithered almonds

1/3 cup of shredded coconut

1/3 cup of cocoa powder

1/3 cup of coconut oil (melted)

Use your hands to roll into balls and coat with shredded coconut; or spread out on a tray to make a slice. Put in freezer for one hour.

What is silence? Is silence simply the absence of sound? Is that even possible to really achieve in this world? Or is silence when we feel still, calm, peaceful and quiet? We can do things that make us feel silent. Click the tea cup to link to a 13 minute TED-talk about silence, and a chance to experience it, even in the presence of tinnitus.

"How long does the bee buzz about? As long as it is not sitting on a flower. No sooner does it rest on a flower than it keeps quiet." Ramakrishna

Tips and ideas from the August meeting:

Tips and ideas from our friends at the July meeting:

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By John O'Donahue:

This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.

​1. Go for a bushwalk, dig in your garden, have a dip in the ocean - research shows that spending just 5 mins a day in nature has a positive impact on your mental wellbeing. All these nature-based activities suggested in our group this month invite you to feel with your body and perceive with your senses, short-circuiting the unhelpful thought-loops in your head.
 
2. Try a somatics class online with Wai Ying Tham of Reconnect Yoga in Melbourne, and enjoy being guided through simple and slow movements - so nourishing for your nervous system.
3. "Quieten" App by Julian Cowan-Hill - here is a little bit of info taken from the advertising material: 
 
Julian Cowan Hill got back to silence after twenty years of tinnitus. A combination of body-based therapies and practices to settle the nervous system, developing a clear understanding of how this symptom works and finding solid reassurance and advice on what helps let go of tinnitus gets you firmly onto the path to recovery. Quieten is packed full of practical advice, understanding, comforting information and many tips that will benefit you.
4. Do a daily mindfulness practice (here is one for you to try below):
Click here to read more about the health benefits of Mindfulness Meditation and why it is recommended for those living with chronic conditions such as tinnitus (by researcher Dr Craig Hassed at Monash University) 

Tips and ideas from our friends at the June meeting:

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The Invitation

 

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn't interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

 

Keep a gratitude journal
Reduce salt in your diet
Self neck massage (squeeze and release back of neck with a cupped hand)
Do a daily breath practice (here is one for you to try below)
Breath awareness practice: Resting in the gaps between breathsDani Fox
00:00 / 08:18

Tips and ideas from our friends at the May meeting:

Hand on heart

Linda Graham, author in positive psychology, shares this simple but highly effective "Hand on Heart" exercise that encourages the release of oxytocin, the brain's hormone of safety and trust, love and belonging, calm and connect - feelings that support healing and growth.