Hypersensitive hearing or is it all in my head?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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jenny375
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Hypersensitive hearing or is it all in my head?

Post by jenny375 »

Hi all,

After my second vipassana retreat I started feeling pressure in my head, mostly above and behind my right ear. it felt like something was squeezing my head or like wearing a headband with emphasis on the right side. It started during meditation but then I started getting the same sensation from other visual or auditory stimuli during the day, especially form certain sounds or electronics (like working on my laptop). I mediate daily for about 45 min. Now I get this sensation pretty much all the time when I focus my attention on that area. Sometimes it expands beyond that particular spot around my right ear and I can feel it all over my head. It comes and goes throughout the day. I have explored this forum and found a few mentions of tense muscles (face or 3rd eye mostly), but not exactly the same...Sometimes I think it's all in my head and there's really nothing going on and sometimes I feel like it's not related to meditation at all and I have some kind of medical condition and such thoughts kind of freak me out...I feel like it's getting worse after practice so I seems like I'm developing aversion towards meditation which makes me sad :( I'm trying to lean into the feeling of discomfort the tension in my head is causing me and accept it s a part of my me for now but I don't know if I should do anything about it and, as with any other unknown, it scares me and hence aversion and the viscous circle continues...please advise, I'm a little lost
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mikenz66
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Re: Hypersensitive hearing or is it all in my head?

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Jenny,
jenny375 wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 2:23 am After my second vipassana retreat I started feeling pressure in my head, mostly above and behind my right ear. ...
Some meditation approaches can occasionally produce odd impressions, but from what I can tell, they can manifest differently in different people so finding someone with exactly the same problem may be difficult. I don't have experience with anything that persisted like you describe, so I don't have any concrete suggestions. From what I recall hearing and reading, though, I would avoid focusing on an area of your head that brings up such feelings, as in some cases that can apparently make it worse. Perhaps take a break for a few days, or try switching to something different that doesn't involve examining feelings in the head, such as metta (loving kindness) meditation, until you find someone knowledgeable to talk to.

Can you contact the teachers who led the retreats? Since they will have talked with many students who used the same approach, they should have knowledge of the sorts of problems that have arisen, and how to help with them. Otherwise look for someone teaching the same or a similar approach.

:heart:
Mike
santa100
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Re: Hypersensitive hearing or is it all in my head?

Post by santa100 »

jenny375 wrote:I'm trying to lean into the feeling of discomfort the tension in my head is causing me and accept it s a part of my me for now but I don't know if I should do anything about it..
Don't forget to balance your meditation routine with outdoor exercises. Make sure to also set a daily routine to exercise outdoor beside your meditation routine. Cardios are the best: hiking, jogging, biking, etc.. If the problem persists after trying the exercies, then it might be time to see a doctor.
2600htz
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Re: Hypersensitive hearing or is it all in my head?

Post by 2600htz »

Hi:

Its just tension.
But you should see it as a lesion, sadly probably if you keep your practice it will get worst.
My advice would be to stop all practice for at least 1 month.

Regards
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Pondera
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Re: Hypersensitive hearing or is it all in my head?

Post by Pondera »

What kind of breathing methods did you use? If you’re practicing the wrong way, it would lead to pressure build ups in the temporal lobes, the middle, and fore of the head.
jenny375
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Re: Hypersensitive hearing or is it all in my head?

Post by jenny375 »

Thank you all for your ideas. Appreciate it!
Pondera wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 1:38 pm What kind of breathing methods did you use? If you’re practicing the wrong way, it would lead to pressure build ups in the temporal lobes, the middle, and fore of the head.
Could you please elaborate on this? I did not use any particular breathing methods for meditation, but I do practice various breathing techniques daily. I'm curious you meant by "the wrong way"...Thx!
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mikenz66
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Re: Hypersensitive hearing or is it all in my head?

Post by mikenz66 »

jenny375 wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 4:33 pm Thank you all for your ideas. Appreciate it!
Pondera wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 1:38 pm What kind of breathing methods did you use? If you’re practicing the wrong way, it would lead to pressure build ups in the temporal lobes, the middle, and fore of the head.
Could you please elaborate on this? I did not use any particular breathing methods for meditation, but I do practice various breathing techniques daily. I'm curious you meant by "the wrong way"...Thx!
A very simple example, would be trying to focus on the touch of the breath at the nostrils and in trying to "see" it, inadvertently going cross-eyed and getting eye strain.

:heart:
Mike
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Pondera
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Re: Hypersensitive hearing or is it all in my head?

Post by Pondera »

jenny375 wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 4:33 pm Thank you all for your ideas. Appreciate it!
Pondera wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 1:38 pm What kind of breathing methods did you use? If you’re practicing the wrong way, it would lead to pressure build ups in the temporal lobes, the middle, and fore of the head.
Could you please elaborate on this? I did not use any particular breathing methods for meditation, but I do practice various breathing techniques daily. I'm curious you meant by "the wrong way"...Thx!
By wrong, I mean focusing on the breath without transitioning from the breath to the body, feelings, the mind, and dhamma.

It’s not a big deal tho. I wrongly assumed that you used breath as a meditation object.

But hey. Maybe you could switch? Or rather, I suppose I should ask what your meditation object is to start?

In general, I think people are happy to sit down, notice the breath, and never really draw the line between the feelings at the nostril and certain stress factors in the mind that are directly linked to the nostrils.

I’ve said before elsewhere that the nostrils are so intimately connected with the welfare of the mind and body that a thousands year old tradition of meditation has grown and continues to prosper around them.

Cheers!
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tharpa
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Re: Hypersensitive hearing or is it all in my head?

Post by tharpa »

I remember hearing many years ago that Bhikkhu Bodhi didn't meditate because it would give him migraines. Apparently he eventually resolved this problem, because I heard that he later had started meditating.
May all beings, in or out of the womb, be well, happy and peaceful.
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mikenz66
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Re: Hypersensitive hearing or is it all in my head?

Post by mikenz66 »

mikenz66 wrote: Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:40 am This is a very interesting talk. Bhikkhu Bodhi discusses the constant pain problems he has had since the 1970s, and some of the techniques he has used to make it possible to have a meditation practice in the face of these problems.

http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/19/

Mike
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