Get Rid of Tinnitus and TMJ: Your Body Believes Every Word You Say

For all of you with intractable problems like tinnitus (ringing in your ears) or TMJ (your jaw joint pops and gets stuck) I recommend reading Barbara Levine’s Your Body Believes Every Work You Say: The Language of the Body/Mind Connection.

Ms Levine has done a lot of research with a variety of doctors.

. . . Bob [Bob’s jaw locked up] told me that he frequently had the thought, “I gotta stop talking.” To those people suffering from TMJ—temporomandibular joint dysfunction of the jaw—have you ever berated yourself for talking or eating too much? Have you ever wished you had “kept you big mouth shut?”

The body does not distinguish between our figurative and our literal language; instead it seems to mirror that which we think or speak. page 81

Tinnitus sufferers: Do you wish someone would shut up because you don’t want to hear them? You don’t want to do what they’re telling you to do?

I’ve never made that connection for myself, but I can imagine I would if, say, my mother or my boss were yelling at me all the time!

Why We Have TMJ (jaw joint) Disorder: A Darwinian View

Why do people have TMJ disorder? In Why We Get Sick, the New Science of Darwinian Medicine, Authors Randolph Nesse and George Williams explain.

Cave people had to eat all kinds of tough stuff and spent a good part of the day chewing. The foods that were available during most of human history are not the soft fruits and vegetables, meats and breads we have today. Everything was wild until the dawn of agriculture—not long ago in the grand scheme of things—and even then, food was rough by today’s standards. The human body has not had a chance to evolve.

People raised on fish sticks and boiled broccoli do not develop the jaw muscles of our ancestors whose chew-chew-chewing of real food from an early age helped the teeth align themselves for an effective bite.

This so explains why I get relief from my TMJ when I chew on the chew pad that my dentist provided me. He said it was to strengthen my jaw muscles, but it also seems to align my teeth. It doesn’t take much, just 30 seconds a few times a day.

The key to the chew pad is that it is horseshoe shaped—both sides of the jaw are working equally. Chewing gum makes things worse, and, I speculate, may be part of our problem.

Avoid Tinnitus: Measure Your iPod Volume for Safe Listening

measuring iPod volumeAvoid tinnitus: Measure your iPod volume so the music rings, not your ears.

Here’s Tabitha, measuring the volume in my iPod. Notice the volume is below 80 decibels. That’s where you’re aiming. 85 decibels is the level at which our Occupational Safety and Health Administration starts to regulate. Don’t go there.

Click on Tabitha’s photo for a close up of the metering device. Use your browser’s Back Button to return to the tinnitus-free website.

You Tubers: Two Things Toward Curing your Tinnitus

Hey, You Tube Viewers of my video!

Here are two things for you to do toward curing your tinnitus.

1) Give your ears a rest. If you broke your arm, you’d let it heal resting in a sling, wouldn’t you? If your ears are ringing, they need to heal, so give them a rest.

a) Put away your iPod for at least three days. (Listen to the birds. They make lovely music.)

b) Get some earplugs. (You should be able to find them at the hardware store or at the drugstore.) Use them if you’re going to be around excess noise, like you have to mow the law or go to a party or a club.

c) Turn away or plug your ears with your fingers if you’re confronted with sudden noises like lockers slamming or people yelling, including your mother. (Mom, please, you’re plenty loud enough!)

2) Living on Doritos and Big Macs? You need some vitamins. Your ears are delicate instruments and they need micro-nutrients.

a) Get a multi-vitamin that includes zinc and B12. (This is easy; most of them do.)

b) Add raw vegetables and fruit to your diet. Trail mix and apples are a start. Vegetables are best. (Vitamin pills do not contain all your necessary micro-nutrients.)

The Weird Lady

Tinnitus-Inducing Sound Levels at Hip Hop Class

sound-level-device.jpgExcess noise is the easiest-to-pinpoint cause of tinnitus. A sound-level measurement device will help you figure out if you’re being subjected to too much noise.

I bought this device on eBay for about $20. (You can see from the photo, it’s about 7.5 inches long. It takes a 9v battery.)

I took my device to hip-hop class at the gym. My ears tell me it’s too loud and the device confirmed it. I did my measurements before class, so as not to be disruptive. The device showed an average of 95 decibels with the music alone.

I showed it to the teacher and told her she should keep it down to 85 decibels—85 is the level at which the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) starts regulating. See “How Much Noise Is too Much?

She argued that we needed to feel the music. Not at the expense of our ears, I countered. (I think I made her feel bad and for that I am sorry, but our ears have to last for the rest of our lives. She wasn’t very happy.)

She did turn it down a bit, but as soon as she started barking orders, her voice over the microphone became much too loud—over 100 decibels, I’m sure, although I’d put the device away and I didn’t want to be rude and make a show of getting another measurement.

What to do? Next time I went to hip-hop I wore ear plugs.

The music and instructor were still plenty loud enough AND I could feel the music in my chest. Now that for me is a win-win. For the sake of everyone else, I only hope they don’t spend much time listening to music at that level. An hour or two a week should not be too much.

Remember, if you do encounter excess noise from whatever source, give your ears a break so they can recover.

Sun is Insufficient for Vitamin D at Latitude 38 in the Wintertime

Getting vitamin D from the sun is the most efficient source, but now that winter is upon us, it’s pretty hard to do.

The Medical College of Wisconsin gives a nice summary of vitamin D requirements, how-to and what-happens-if-you-don’t. Included in their list of symptoms of a lack of vitamin D is numbness around the mouth and abnormal heart rhythms.

Experts recommend sunning yourself for 10 to 15 minutes several times a week between the hours of 10am and 2pm. However, at the latitude of Boston (42), between November and February, this will not be enough. Besides, most days it’s too darn cold.

This would explain my erratic heart and my numb lips! I’ve been sunning myself religiously but I haven’t been taking my vitamins or eating my sardines!

I’m at latitude 38. It’s well into December. The sun is just not cutting it.

The Alexander Technique: Think Your Way to Good Posture

baby posture
I’ve just begun my study of the Alexander Technique.

A primary tenet is to think your muscles into good posture, not to move them, as most of us would have thought. For example, instead of pulling your shoulders back, think broaden chest. It’s subtle.

It is suggested that you pause before moving and think about what your body is doing. The Alexander Technique is a re-education in using your body—it teaches you how to use your body in a more ergonomic way.

If you’re like me, you “know” a lot of things about posture that are not true. For example, you probably think of your hips as an extension of your legs. Look at a skeleton and you’ll see that your hips are attached to your spine and are an extension of your torso. Just this piece of knowledge about your anatomy can help you move more fluidly and with less effort.
Learning the Alexander Technique helps you become aware of tensions in your body and helps you figure out how to release those tensions.

Sounds good to me!

Health Tip
People with tinnitus are found to have lower levels of zinc and B-12. Get yours in a B-Complex plus Zinc and Vitamin C
Health Tip
Hyper-thyroid can cause tinnitus, even before a hormone imbalance is detected. Vitamin D helps your body regulate thyroid. Get it naturally from
Cod Liver Oil

Information in these pages is not a substitute for visiting your doctor
and is not intended as medical advice.

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