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Head Noises

Tinnitus

What and Why?

Unless ear wax is pressing on your ear-drum and distorting it, or inflammation in your throat has swollen to audible proportions the torrent of blood circulating past your ear, persistent head noises indicate some interference in the workings of your inner ear. This is a tiny but complicated cave deep in your skull on each side, lined with delicate sensors to detect vibration and rotary movement in the watery fluid that fills the cave. It converts these mechanical movements into nervous impulses to your brain by which you are able to appreciate sound and control your balance.

The cause of the problem

In the past, damage to your inner ear could often be traced to severe boils or chronic destructive infection of your middle ear. These problems are now much less common, partly thanks to antibiotic treatment. Dietary imbalance and chemical pollution of foodstuffs are much more likely nowadays to congest and irritate delicate sensory organs, silting up your circulation and lymph drainage channels just as they do in rheumatism and arthritis. Because the inner ear tissues are micro-engineered they cannot tolerate pollution nearly as long as your joints can before their function breaks down. Tinnitus, or disturbance of your balance with a false sense of rotation (vertigo), or any combination of earache and deafness with these (Menire’s Syndrome) are the misleading sensations you start to suffer as a result.

Physiology of the middle ear

Your inner ear has one major advantage over your joints, a direct and relatively rich circulation. Its blood and lymph vessels are small to correspond with its size, which has further functional advantages — by the time blood reaches your ear, its pulsations and turbulence are smoothed out and cannot cause movement or vibration to mislead your sense organs. Though fine blood vessels silt up more easily, their presence at all makes restoration of their health and correction of your symptoms a much more hopeful prospect.

Medical treatment of this condition is confined to controlling the false sensations, and is rather limited in scope. Destructive surgery is only contemplated rarely, and as a last resort. Yet naturopaths have for a century taught the connection between inner ear problems and catarrh or degeneration elsewhere; you can only benefit by exploring this approach alongside any treatment your doctor can offer.

What can I do?

Advice to maintain and maximise health

1. Getting rid of middle ear degeneration requires sustained and energetic measures but corrects all manner of other maladies along the way — some of which you may not yet know you have.

2. Diet: Adopt the diet and supplements for cleansing for six weeks at a time. Alternate these with a healthy diet reinforced only with mineral recipes — Egg Nog, home-made Lemon Barley Water, and Honey-Cider-Vinegar. Cut out all sugars, white bread and other refined flour products, animal fats and chemically processed foods; use ‘Organic’ produce whenever you can.

3. Improve circulation: Check the advice on hardening of the arteries. A twice daily supplement of Nicotinamide BP 50mg gently opens your peripheral circulation and may improve blood flow to your ear. Alcohol will not improve circulation through damaged blood vessels and impairs your balance anyway. Smoking directly hinders blood flow in small vessels.

4. Alternate hot and cold: After bathing sluice your head with cold water at mains temperature, more and more boldly as you become accustomed to it. You will feel the passages in your head clearing as you do it; the tonic effect on your blood vessels is less obvious but just as pronounced. Reinforce this internally by gargling every morning with hot and cold water alternately for half a minute each, for up to three cycles, always finishing with cold.

Each evening for ten minutes apply hot and cold packs alternately to each side of your neck just below the ears. Hot packs last one minute, cold only thirty seconds; finish with cold. Then (four or five nights a week) apply to your neck a strip of linen 8cm wide, damp with cold water and fastened fairly tightly with a pin; cover it with a dry woollen scarf. Apply an exactly similar compress around your waist, like a cummerbund 20cm wide. After the initial chill these heat up inside. If this is not obvious within ten minutes take them off, otherwise wear them all night. Their effect is to draw nervous energy to your abdomen and neck, dynamizing circulation and drainage of the area — including your inner ear.

5. Employ good breathing technique: Breathe deeply and efficiently through your nose, at least five times on several separate occasions daily. Exercise in the open air vigorously enough to prevent conversation for ten minutes each day or at least three times each week.

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