The science isn’t conclusive, but case studies show that hypnosis treatments have helped provide relief for some people.

If you’ve ever been sitting in silence and noticed the faint (or loud) sound of ringing or buzzing in your ears, you’ve probably experienced tinnitus.

Tinnitus describes the presence of sounds, like ringing, buzzing, and roaring, that happen in the absence of external sound.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, roughly 25 million Americans experience episodes of tinnitus every year.

But for some individuals, tinnitus isn’t just a passing symptom ― it can become chronic, causing long lasting, debilitating episodes. And for these people, treatment is essential in helping reduce the severity of their tinnitus and improve their overall quality of life.

Ahead, we’ll share what the research says about using hypnosis to treat tinnitus and cover some other alternative treatment options for this symptom.

Hypnosis, sometimes called hypnotherapy, is a therapeutic approach that involves entering into a trance-like state of relaxation. When someone is under hypnosis, they can receive suggestions that may help them improve their thoughts, feelings, emotions, or even behaviors.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the effectiveness of hypnosis is still being studied ― and current literature on the use of hypnosis for tinnitus is incredibly limited.

One of the earliest case studies of using hypnosis for tinnitus, published in 1958, found that hypnosis was effective at temporarily reducing tinnitus severity in a 35-year-old woman.

Another early study from 1990 found that self-hypnosis was effective at reducing tinnitus — both short-term and over a period of months — in the majority of participants.

But even though initial research suggests that hypnosis may have potential benefits for tinnitus in some people, most of the evidence is weak.

For example, many of the early studies have limited participants and use different hypnosis approaches. And even the more recent research is sparse, with barely any studies available on the subject.

Ultimately, the current consensus on the benefits of hypnosis for chronic tinnitus is that more research is still needed.

Even though the evidence for hypnosis and tinnitus is limited, you may still decide that you want to give hypnotherapy a try. If it’s your first time undergoing hypnosis with a hypnotherapist, here’s what you can expect to happen during your session:

  • Induction: During the induction stage, you focus on completely relaxing your body and your mind so that you can enter a state of hypnosis.
  • Deepener: During the deepener stage of hypnosis, you move “deeper” into your relaxation and hypnosis using a variety of mental imagery techniques.
  • Suggestions: In the suggestions stage, you’re officially under hypnosis and can begin to receive suggestions that may help address your thoughts, behaviors, symptoms, and more.
  • Emergence: Emergence is the final stage of a hypnosis session, in which you slowly come back out of the hypnosis.

When you undergo a hypnotherapy session to treat tinnitus, your hypnotherapist will likely explore suggestions related to your tinnitus.

So, this may look like addressing the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors associated with tinnitus in an effort to ease the severity and impact it has on your life.

There’s no specific higher education degree that leads to a career in hypnotherapy, but there are multiple organizations that offer certified hypnotherapist credentials.

For example, both the American College of Hypnotherapy and the National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists offer certificates in hypnotherapy.

One important thing to remember is that some credentialing programs have limited requirements, which means that almost anyone with a degree can become a certified hypnotherapist.

If at all possible, it’s best to find a certified hypnotherapist who is already a licensed healthcare professional, like a doctor or therapist.

If you’re looking for a certified hypnotherapist to help you manage your chronic tinnitus, you might check out:

Alternative tinnitus treatments

Traditionally, tinnitus is treated using approaches like sound therapy, behavioral therapy, and medication ― and these treatment approaches are often used together to help manage the symptoms and severity of tinnitus.

But research suggests that there are a handful of alternative approaches that may also be helpful in treating tinnitus. According to a 2020 review, potential alternative treatments for managing tinnitus include:

Learn more about other treatments for tinnitus.

Was this helpful?

Various treatment approaches exist for tinnitus. This includes hypnosis, which some studies suggest may help provide relief for some people living with chronic tinnitus.

But the research on the effectiveness of hypnosis for tinnitus is still quite limited, with very few modern studies showing the effectiveness of this treatment. Much larger studies are needed to see just how beneficial hypnosis can be for chronic tinnitus.