by Kath

Multi-sensory ApproachSince 1970 I’ve experienced episodes of hot, red ears for no apparent reason. Sometimes both ears turn red, while more frequently, only the left (most often) or right ear turns red. Applying cold cloths never helped; my only recourse was to wait for my ears to cool down on their own. I’d never seen anyone else with this problem. The closest I’d come to believing others experienced it was from having friends and family constantly remind me of the old wives tale that my ears were burning because someone was talking about me.

Over the years I had tried everything I could think of to understand what was causing this problem. In my case it wasn’t an allergy to any type of food or drink. I know this because I had systematically removed individual items from my diet in order to observe the results. I seriously thought it was red wine but that turned out not to be the case. Its removal made no difference to whether my ears turned red or not. Merely thinking about red wine could turn my ears hot and red. As a child I had blushed easily so I thought perhaps it was a “different” way of showing embarrassment but even that wasn’t right because my ears would turn red while sitting by myself watching TV. Most recently both ears turned hot and red while in front of my doctor. This alarmed her so much that she immediately took my blood pressure only to find it a normal reading.

Early in March, 2012 a fortuitous web search proved eye opening. An array of sites regarding single red ear/hot red ears showed up. I discovered that I was not alone and that the problem was called Hot Ear Syndrome (HES) or Red Ear Syndrome (RES). The existence of Red Ear Syndrome was only made public in 1994 by the Australian Neurologist J W Lance.

I discovered that like Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), those with RES had key points in common including “their sense of smell is extremely strong, and can smell even the slightest of odor” while their stories concerning when and what happens varied.

Some with RES had pain in their ears which could extend down their neck or from their jaw; others experienced headaches or migraines, while those like me, only experienced a burning feeling while the ear(s) was red.  We all had one thing in common though, which was, we had no control over it happening.

Currently, relief from this syndrome runs the gamut from avoiding triggers, dietary restrictions, alternative/allopathic medications and treatments, to surgery. To date there is no known cure for RES. I found the suggestions which came up the most often were to either grow your hair long or wear a hat. All of this reminded me of how those with unexplainable physical ailments are unsympathetically treated by a large portion of society (e.g, You’re trying to get attention; it’s not that important; learn to live with it; as well as being stared at or made fun of whenever anything out of the norm happened).

I’d had so much success using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to figure out what was causing me to have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity that I decided to use it again. At first I focused on external stimuli for triggering my RES. As the weeks passed I fine-tuned my original script, adding and subtracting from it as new revelations presented themselves. I ended up with a highly personalized script which helped tremendously to “collapse” specific memories of when I’d experienced RES, but I still had no relief from my daily hot, red ear. Since addressing those issues had proven fruitless in stopping the RES I began exploring other avenues.

Not only did I blush easily as a child but I’d also been told that I took things too much to heart. Pursuing the idea of emotional sensitivity seemed as though it might be worth investigating.

It’s hypothesized that uncontrollable, overly sensitive behaviour happens because the brain is locked in a perceptual state of “on.” EFT coach Noreen Barron, MA, says that “My belief is that being highly sensitive, as it is generally understood, is, in fact, an overloaded and overwhelmed nervous system…It is this frozen energy or imprint that causes these symptoms and that gives rise to people being called highly sensitive.”

I choose to believe that it is easy to change a thought or a pattern” Louise L. Hay

Even though I’d found RES extremely resistant to change I was determined to figure out a way in which my brain could accept the request I was giving it. The fact that either one or the other ear turned red or both ears turned red seemed to be happening based on how thoughts were being processed. Left/Right brain retraining felt as though it was the missing component in my quest to heal. I created a RES script specifically targeting hot, red ears using a free script by Natalie Hill as a template. To make the script more effective I added imagery creating a hybrid method of tapping using both words and pictures.

Note: Even though intellectually I knew that pinching my ears/wine/stuffy rooms didn’t give me hot, red ears I included them in my tapping script because I emotionally believed them to be triggers. If you have triggers or concerns besides the ones I’ve presented feel free to substitute them while tapping.

Supply the subconscious with pictures of what you want to achieve…of what you want to experience.” Paul Naras

What normally happened when my ear(s) turned red:

I could always tell it was about to happen before any change in colour. It took less than 30 seconds for the upper portion of my ear to become hot and red. It stayed hot and red for 2 hours. It usually happened at night around 8 pm. It normally happened only once a day but very infrequently happened twice.

Examples of what happened to me after starting this program:

Days 1-5: There was a daily reduction in the time my left ear stayed hot and red from 2 hours down to 30 minutes. My ear changed colour at its normal evening time and I could always tell it was about to happen. The intensity of colour varied on individual days from red to medium pink. The location went from covering my entire upper ear to only happening on the rim. Temperature change on individual days varied between hot, warm or cold. I thought…”this is going to be a breeze; I’m getting control over this fast” but the following days made it evident that wasn’t going to be the case.

Days 6-11: The red ear reactions were erratic, with me unable to tell when the transformation was about to happen. On two separate days my left ear turned stone cold for 2 hours, with no colour change, only to instantly turn hot and red for 1 hour. Another time my ear stayed stone cold for 3 hours with no colour change and yet another time both of my ears turned hot and red staying that way for 2 hours. Amazingly, the same week this was happening I experienced a day when my ears remained cool and natural in appearance all day.

Day 14: I experienced the oddest reaction so far when all of a sudden I felt extremely hot followed by the sensation of prickly heat running up the back of my neck and over the top of my shoulders. A feeling of nausea swept over me which lasted approximately 1 minute. My entire left ear then turned extremely hot and very bright red. The heat radiated from my ear into my left cheek. My left cheek stayed bright red for 1 hour and my left ear stayed burning hot and bright red for 2 ½ hours.

read Part 2 | Part 3

About Kath
Kath first shared her MCS recovery story in the now defunct Dtox Radio community, and later on this website. She finds great enjoyment in tending her backyard garden; she and her husband always look forward to eating the fresh, organic vegetables and fruits which it offers.