For a while I have been wanting to write to you about Yin Yoga, Acupressure, Acupuncture and Neurofeedback in relationship to Selective Sound Sensitivity (Misophonia). After having received the question: “Have you had any success helping people who suffer from Misophonia?” I decided it is time to share my answers with you. The success comes mainly from my own experiments and experiences in daily life on what supports me and what doesn’t work at all. I’ll share my most recent findings with you in this blog. I hope you will find this useful and I am very interested in learning from you too. Let me know what worked, what didn’t work and how I can perhaps help out.
Allergic to sound
You can find my personal ‘How to cope with …?’ answers on Tom’s website Allergictosound.com and you can find interesting information on their research page. It is a wonderful website to follow as they share stories from people with Misophonia from all around the world and I find Tom’s website trigger-neutral. Would you like to know more about what helps me cope with Misophonia and what my Misophonia Super Powers are? Check my blog on Allergic to Sound. My most important tip is: ADAPT your life. Like now, I currently (June 2018) live on the Spanish countryside and I work as location independent as possible and in a freelance job that allows me a lot of independence, freedom and solitude.
Fight, Flight or Freeze
So … how to cope with Misophonia? What I believe is that the Amygdala in the brain keeps on firing whenever it hears triggering sounds. Now that means that the response of Fight, Flight or Freeze comes from the Automatic Nervous System. This means even though we ‘Misophonia people’ (sorry for the term) don’t want to respond as strongly as we do, we can’t stop ourselves as it as an automatic (learnt) response from the Amygdala. It has been conditioned to do so in relationship to certain sounds!
Where neurons fire, they wire.
I therefore believe that the only true way on how to ease the Amygdala is by following Neurofeedback. I have also heard from a dear friend that it helped him with easing the pain of softer sounds, only unfortunately not yet from sudden louder sounds. In his case the louder sounds trouble him due to (war) trauma. Now Neurofeedback is relatively expensive, but definitely worth the investment as we will have to ‘rewire’ our brain so to speak in response to sounds. It is like they say ‘Where neurons fire, they wire’. In our ‘Misophonia brain’ they unfortunately fire the ‘wrong’ way. I would say find a Neuropsychologist near you and ask for support or find at least a psychologist for weekly supportive chats.
Another solution that helped me a lot is: Acupuncture. I tried it in Cape Town at the House of Holistic Health and I was treated by Doctor Thomas. It definitely helped me ease the pain by what I call ‘emptying the bucket’. My system is already agitated when I wake up in the morning due to all sounds from the previous day and from sounds during the night. That means when I have to deal with even more sounds during the day, it is like a bucket that is filling up with water and eventually overflows. This is the point where I feel like hitting people and screaming ;)!
Dealing with sound sensitivity
Now I asked Doctor Thomas to ease that discomfort and he treated me with Acupuncture to ease the sound sensitivity by letting go of built-up tension in my system. Acupuncture works wonders for me and I can recommend it to everybody as a weekly medication free and holistic treatment. Yin Yoga is my personal version of Acupuncture as it is sometimes also referred to as ‘Acupressure’ and it calms me down, makes me feel grounded and balanced. It is my way for dealing with sound sensitivity.
It is just a sound, not a threat.
Finally, another thing that helps the Amygdala to quiet down when it hears a triggering sound is to quietly say: “It is just a sound, not a threat”. The Amygdala sees certain sounds as a threat and it is like a parent might say to an upset child: “It is okay, it is okay … nothing happened!”. So whenever you hear a triggering sounds, say: “It is just a sound, not a threat”. Perhaps this is for me Neurofeedback in the easiest form ;)!
Selective Sound Sensitivity
I can imagine you might also be looking into all kinds of options that could ease your pain of having to deal with Selective Sound Sensitivity. I’ll also be happy to hear more about your struggle & challenges and who knows I can give you some interesting clues on what to adapt and change in your life to ease the discomfort of triggering sounds and on how to make life more enjoyable. Please feel invited to connect with me via my e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
How to slow down? Simply take a break and do Yin Yoga.
Sit still. Stretch. Breathe. Continue.
Yin Yoga with Marianne
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