If you suffer from tinnitus, or a constant "ringing in your ears", this bizarre trick you do with your hands might offer some small respite.
As psychotherapist Stephen Geller Katz, founder of the Tinnitus Cognitive Center, explains in a video from the YouTube series Blissful Thinking (unfortunately unavailable in Australia), tinnitus is the perception of sound when no real external sound is present. This noise can take many different forms for the 17 to 20 per cent of Australians who suffer from it, like ringing, buzzing, hissing and even clicking. It can be caused by many things, including obstructions of the ear, head or neck trauma, sinus pressure, brain injuries, drugs, and even disorders. But the most common cause is hearing loss.
I personally suffer from hearing loss, so this tip caught my eye. I'm mostly deaf in my left ear due to an accident in my teens and it rings quite often. I was curious to try it for myself, but also very sceptical. Here's how it works:
- Place the palms of your hands over your ears so your fingers wrap around the back of your head.
- Set your middle fingers on the top of your neck right at the base of your skull.
- Put your index fingers on top of your middle fingers and apply pressure.
- Now snap them on the back of your head over and over like you're drumming.
- Repeat it about 50 times.
Ideally, when you pull your hands away, you won't hear any ringing, hissing or buzzing any more. When I tried it, there was definitely a change. I wouldn't say it's a miracle trick or anything, but it did seem to make the ringing go away for a little while — which was pleasant. After a few minutes, though, everything returned to normal.
The video says the trick comes from a reddit post, but it's actually been around for a while. You can find the trick all over the place in tinnitus forums, from online doctors, and other various YouTube channels. This video in particular calls it a "cure", but there is no actual cure for tinnitus, unfortunately. That said, maybe this trick can at least offer you some brief relief when you need some silence in your life. Perhaps right before you try to go to sleep at night. Just keep in mind your mileage may vary with it, as it doesn't seem to work for everyone. The video above even mentions that it only worked for half of the people they tested it on. So give it a shot and see what happens.