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EFT Success with Pulsatile Tinnitus

The EFT Manual by Dawson Church

Dear EFT Community

Tinnitus, a ringing in the ears, is a condition that usually appears in late adulthood and can cause a lot of distress to sufferers. It’s thought to be due to nerve damage from sources such as loud noises. There are several stories of success with tinnitus, though also quite a few with modest results. Here psychotherapist John Bullough finds a key to working on the condition with his client.

– EFT Universe


By John Bullough

I recently worked with a client in her 60s, referred to me by a local doctor. She had had severe pulsatile tinnitus for 7 months since a bout of sinusitis over Christmas. It was always worse when she lay down at night, creating a “banging” with an intensity of 12(!) out of 10, making sleep virtually impossible. She was feeling pretty desperate, as she hadn’t had more than 2 hours sleep at a stretch since the onset.

We have had four sessions so far and we were always able to reduce the tinnitus to 1 or 0 in each session simply by tapping on the tinnitus itself, and on any ongoing emotional issues or anxiety. The trouble was that the tinnitus always came back at night, and at full strength, and her own efforts to tap on it were not at all successful.

Quite naturally, she became dispirited by this, and in fact she wrote to me at one point, cancelling her next appointment, concluding like many others that she just had to “put up with it.” By coincidence, I happened to be reading Rue Hass’s excellent book The 8 Master Keys to Healing What Hurts, in which she describes how she dealt with a similar appointment cancellation. So I wrote to my client, taking my inspiration from Rue’s experience, and she agreed to have another try.

I think the real breakthrough came after reading David Lake’s excellent paper on Acceptance Tapping. It occurred to me that if she started to tap on accepting the tinnitus rather than fighting it (ironically, a stance not completely dissimilar from “putting up with it”!), her own tapping might be more successful. This proved to be the case, and I’m very happy to say that her tinnitus no longer has any pulsatile elements, and that she is always able (so far at least) to reduce it to 0 simply by following David Lake’s procedure.

She likens her tinnitus to a panic attack and, as every therapist knows, fighting panic is like throwing fuel on a fire–you only make it worse. We have agreed to suspend our sessions for a week or two while she gains experience of this. In the meantime, she is now managing to sleep soundly through the night, which is a huge relief for her.

I’m not sure whether it was the experience with this client, or something I took in at the recent EFT Masters Boot Camp in Denver, or a combination of both, but I’m coming to feel more and more that it is “Fighting, or not accepting, what is” that is the key contributor to the disruption in the body’s energy system, which in turn then causes the negative emotion. No surprise perhaps that acceptance is at the core of all the great religions!

One cautionary note: Each time I have worked with a client with tinnitus, I have developed minor pulsatile tinnitus of my own. Physician, heal thyself?