The TIM approach uses the auditory (hearing) system, which is itself closely connected to the centre of emotions, and is hence preferred for addressing hearing difficulties caused by tinnitus, hyperacusis (hearing pain threshold rapidly reached) or phonophobia (some sounds are unbearable).
Tinnitus Centered Music therapy (Tinnitus Integrierte Musiktherapie TIM, according to Dr Annette Cramer, Germany)
Through specific exercises, the same mechanisms of the auditory (hearing) system, which produce tinnitus, can be used to defuse it and relegate it to the background.
Since stress has a huge influence on auditory perception, part of the treatment will also consist of overall awareness connected with auditory impairment and the stress level experienced.
Tinnitus Centered Music Therapy (TIM) is built on several modules:
Tinnitus is not a disease but a symptom!
The origin of tinnitus can vary: disease, exposure to very loud sounds, major or repeated stress, depression… This is why it is essential to consult an ENT doctor for an accurate diagnosis before starting auditory training.
Tinnitus is often associated with partial hearing loss and can be present even in a person who is very hard of hearing or deaf. An audiogram performed by an ENT doctor or specialist in hearing aids (free of charge most of the time) is important to locate the possible loss.
Tinnitus is not located in the ear (as it exists outside of any external noise) but in the auditory centre of the brain, which is directly connected to the reticular formation (brain structure at the interface between the autonomous, motor and sensory systems) and to the limbic system (emotional brain). Through an inadequate feedback loop phenomenon due to stress, tinnitus can be increasingly amplified by the brain, sometimes to the point of becoming unbearable and severely restricting the quality of life of the person suffering from it.
Indeed, the more one concentrates on tinnitus, the more our subjective perception reinforces it, setting in motion a vicious circle. If we are to "not think about it", advice unfortunately given too often, our concentration on it is paradoxically reinforced, since we inevitably check whether it is still there. For example, if someone says to us: "Don't you see before you an elephant in pink pyjamas" … we would inevitably imagine it not to see it is impossible for our brains! Treatment will then also consist of gradually tapping into the tinnitus (instead of rejecting it) through habituation techniques.
Hyperacusis is often the result of an intense or chronic state of stress, which causes a rise in the hearing pain threshold. Finding oneself in a noisy environment then becomes unbearable (meetings, restaurants, public transport, etc.), and the person suffering from hyperacusis must often abandon situations or drop out of social gatherings.
Treatment of hyperacusis, like that of tinnitus (to which it is often linked), will include learning deep relaxation and retraining of the auditory (hearing) system, with creation of adapted ranges of music. Revisiting situations in the past through music therapy or other adapted techniques may be necessary in order to defuse latent stress.
Phonophobia (certain types of sounds are unbearable to listen to) often stems from intense or chronic stress linked to situations associated with a person's life history.
The treatment of photophobia, as in the case of tinnitus and hyperacusis, will consist first of all of learning deep relaxation and retraining of the auditory (hearing) system. Moreover, revisiting a person's life history will often thwart the stressful situation causing phonophobia. Broadly speaking, music therapy and other techniques adapted to the problems will then be helpful.
"Sound massage" according to Hans de Back is a treatment technique that uses the vibration of singing bowls. Through contact with the vibrating bowl on all or part of the body, the vibrations penetrate the body, spread through the bones and flesh (consisting largely of water and hence an excellent conductor of vibrations) and trigger internal stimulation and deep relaxation. A unique sensory experience, an indescribable journey per se and into a world of vibration!
The state of relaxation, anchoring, physical and psychological rooting that results from such a massage may bring feelings to the surface which contribute something new to the paths of development for the person being massaged, or even better integration of their therapeutic process.
The full treatment can last up to 1 hour 30 minutes.
Indications: states of stress, insomnia, anxiety, depression... before exams (academic, driving licence, for example) or just simply for well-being!
Contraindications: the wearing of a pacemaker, pregnancy.
Hans de Back, Dutch psychotherapist, masseur and musician has been developing the sound massage technique since 1974. He has perfected precise protocols of sound accompaniments, which are methodically taught worldwide with humanism, which characterises it.
We issue gift vouchers for a sound massage session with the Tibetan singing bowls. Contact us to order a gift voucher.
French-speaking practitioners licensed by Hans de Back for sound massage:
In Geneva: Anne Bolli
In Bienne: Marianne Grasselli Meier