Progressive muscle relaxation has been shown to be effective for not only stress relief, but symptom management of acute and chronic illness. I most recently discussed the use of progressive muscle relaxation for stress-related skin disorders such as atoptic dermatitis. As a low-cost and low-risk treatment, this complementary and alternative therapy is also useful for tinnitus.
Research into the effectiveness of progressive muscle relaxation for tinnitus is fairly new. Subjective feedback from patients are positive and tinnitus groups such as Tinnitus South Australia recommend PMR to manage symptoms, stating:
“Many people with tinnitus report that their tinnitus is louder, more intrusive or more annoying when they are feeling tired, worried or anxious for other reasons and that these feelings interact with their tinnitus annoyance.”
The effect of stress on the body is systemic – a cascade of hormones floods the body during the Stress Response. It is no wonder that symptoms of any chronic illness are exacerbated during times of stress. For people with tinnitus, the ring that might usually be quiet may suddenly become deafening.
Progressive muscle relaxation helps by triggering the Relaxation Response, the direct counter to the Stress Response. The results might be instant for many patients or take some practice for others. One session is not intended to be a cure all; patients learn to become independent practitioners and establish a regular practice.
The doorway to other relaxation and meditation therapies can be opened with progressive muscle relaxation. Patients should be encouraged to find other practices that encourage relaxation, stress and symptom management. In time, I hope that each patient can develop a mediation and relaxation repertoire that is individual, enjoyable and effective.
If you are interested in utilising progressive muscle relaxation therapy to manage tinnitus, which will complement your medical treatment with us, book in for a 30 minute session with our nurse Alex Matkevich. Contact us today!