If you suffer from tinnitus, or a constant “ringing in your ears,” this bizarre trick you do with your hands might offer some small respite.
As psychotherapist Stephen Geller Katz, founder of the Tinnitus Cognitive Center, explains in this video from the YouTube series Blissful Thinking, tinnitus is the perception of sound when no real external sound is present. This noise can take many different forms for the 50 million Americans who suffer from it, like ringing, buzzing, hissing, and even clicking. It can be caused by many things, including obstructions of the ear, head or neck trauma, sinus pressure, brain injuries, drugs, and even disorders. But the most common cause is hearing loss.
I personally suffer from hearing loss, so this tip caught my eye. I’m mostly deaf in my left ear due to an accident in my teens and it rings quite often. I was curious to try it for myself, but also very skeptical. Here’s how it works:
- Place the palms of your hands over your ears so your fingers wrap around the back of your head.
- Set your middle fingers on the top of your neck right at the base of your skull.
- Put your index fingers on top of your middle fingers and apply pressure.
- Now snap them on the back of your head over and over like you’re drumming.
- Repeat it about 50 times.
Ideally, when you pull your hands away, you won’t hear any ringing, hissing, or buzzing anymore. When I tried it, there was definitely a change. I wouldn’t say it’s a miracle trick or anything, but it did seem to make the ringing go away for a little while—which was pleasant. After a few minutes, though, everything returned to normal.