Hypnotherapy / Hypnosis for Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Alternative Treatments and Research' started by LondonGirl, Apr 18, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. LondonGirl

      LondonGirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Hi, has anyone tried this? I have searched the forum and couldn't find anything so apologies if it's come up before. I know it can't 'cure', but was hoping it could reduce the emotional reaction to the tinnitus and therefore aid habituation ....
      Probably wishful thinking :)
       
    2. LondonGirl

      LondonGirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Oops sorry, should have put this in Alternative Treatments - and have found some old posts on hypnotherapy in there.
      Still, any accounts of personal experience would be appreciated, thanks
       
    3. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Yes. I have tried it. I know/believe hypnotherapy to be useful. But not for tinnitus.

      I have done hypnotherapy in the past and I am also able to practice self-hypnosis. However, I have not found any relief when it comes to tinnitus. Last year when I saw the famous (to some, infamous) tinnitus specialist, dr. Wilden, I learnt his overall opinion is the same (and he meets as many tinnitus patients in a year as the average GP sees in a lifetime). Dr. Wilden is an opponent of psychological therapies when it comes to "treating" tinnitus. His justification is that tinnitus is such specific disorder that no amount psychological therapy will have any effect. I agree with his views (unfortunately). It is for this reason that I am not a believer in TRT, either. And it is for that reason I have turned to "hardcore" medicine in order to get better.

      If you do want to try it, you need to seek out a "hypnotherapist" and not a "hypnotist". You also need to be willing to give it a few tries. Hypnotherapists make use of two tools: suggestive techniques and regression techniques. But again, these techniques are extremely useful for anxiety and phobias (much more so than psychotherapy is) - but not for tinnitus.

      If you do want to go the psychological route: TRT is only way forward (even though I am not a believer). Dr. Nagel on this forum is, and he can obviously give you better information than I can.
       
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    4. LondonGirl

      LondonGirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thank you, that's extremely useful.
      I wish I could believe in TRT and have my tinnitus become 'like a pair of pants' but at the moment they would be an extremely uncomfortable pair of pants that I can't help but be aware of!
       
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    5. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Correction: Dr. Nagler... of course.
       
    6. Sound Wave
      Curious

      Sound Wave Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Probably headphones
    7. LondonGirl

      LondonGirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thank you - sounds like I should keep my money for something else :)
       
    8. LondonGirl

      LondonGirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Forgive me for going somewhat off topic, but I know you have done a tremendous amount of research and undergone some medical-based tinnitus treatments so I wanted to ask your opinion. My audiograms have shown my hearing to be well within the 'normal' range and my tinnitus is around 6 KHz. I was not exposed to any loud sound prior to it starting. When I first heard it, it distressed me immensely and triggered very high levels of anxiety. So, would you say that psychological factors can contribute to the embedding of tinnitus, making it chronic? But once it's there, psychological therapies will not work to remove it? In the absence of any obvious physical damage I'm not sure what options are open to me if psychological therapy won't have any effect? My anxiety has been successfully treated medically, but I still want to treat the tinnitus. I appreciate you're not a medical doctor but would value your thoughts.
       
    9. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Your questions:

      "Psychological factors" cannot make your tinnitus chronic. It can - in some people - make your tinnitus more noticeable or louder when/if experiencing anxiety. That is temporary, and will not lead to your tinnitus becoming "more chronic".

      Stress or psychological factors cannot cause tinnitus. Some doctors would argue otherwise. But that is only because they don't know what else to say. Blaming things on stress is a nice convenient way for a doctor to make a diagnosis (without having to do a proper diagnosis). The reason doctors are sometimes forced to blame tinnitus on stress is because they will look at the patient's audiogram and say "you have normal hearing!"; unfortunately there is no real way to link an audiogram with tinnitus (an audiogram was not invented for that).

      You can read more about audiograms and tinnitus in one of my posts here:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...ng-loss-how-is-this-possible.4116/#post-39397

      +90% of all tinnitus cases are due to damage to the inner ear (even if the audiogram looks normal). That is most likely the case with you as well, therefore. If you strongly suspect that there must be another reason due to no prior noise exposure or ear infections, or anything else, then you can of course ask a neurologist for a more thorough examination which would typically include neurological tests, neck blood flow tests, and an MRI (I am assuming you have already been seen by an ENT). However, rarely is anything found in tinnitus patients. I specifically advise the MRI option - and not the CAT scan option - as there is no radiation involved (CAT scan = approximately 200 times the radiation level of a normal x-ray); if examination of the airways is required, then a CAT scan is necessary however (but this would be ordered by an ENT and not a neurologist).

      I always advise people with a recent onset of tinnitus to go immediately to see an ENT as there is a window of opportunity where one can possibly influence the outcome via steroids (oral, intravenous, or intratympanic). But this must be done soon after onset. It is too late in your case (for sure) - since you have had it for 4 months(?).

      Psychological "treatments" - if you want to call it that - can at best make you able to ignore the tinnitus to a greater extent. Your tinnitus volume will stay the same, however. It is only the perception of it that TRT might be able to change. But, as I have already indicated - I have my doubts...
       
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    10. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Depending on how aggressively you want to approach your tinnitus situation, you could consider enrolling in the AM101 clinical study. You may not be a candidate however - as your cause does not seem to be noise- or otitis media-related. But you could speak to an ENT about that. At least - it would seem - that you have the possibility of enrolling in the study - which requires you to be a citizen in the country where the study is taking place (ie. the UK):

      http://www.tinnitus-study.info/

      My suggestion.
       
    11. LondonGirl

      LondonGirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Thanks for replying. I did see an ENT who specialises in steroid injections a few days after my tinnitus started. But there was no sign of any infection or inflammation so he saw no reason to use steroids. I know it's too late but is there a school of thought that steroids could be beneficial when no obvious damage?
      I understand from a previous post you had laser treatment with Dr Wilden and that your audiometry is improved to normal levels, indicating that the inner ear has healed? Therefore, if you don't mind my asking about your personal situation, why do you think that you still have tinnitus?
      I did consider the AM101 study but unfortunately concluded I would be ruled out by their criteria. I am hoping phase 2 of Autifony might be feasible if/when that happens, though I might be ruled out by being on other medication.
      I am following with interest your conversations and potential treatment of HIFU... so yes, I am prepared to approach my tinnitus situation aggressively, and aggressively empty my bank account if necessary!
       
    12. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Steroids are most beneficial when the following three criteria are met:

      1. Tinntus due to acoustic trauma, and
      2. associated hearing loss, and
      3. recent onset (24/48 hours)

      Some doctors will provide steroids regardless of the above criteria. Others won't. Here is one clinic that will do pretty much anything to help you:

      www.acquaklinik.de

      As for your question "why do you think that you still have tinnitus?". Well... Because I can hear it... :)

      Whether my ear has healed or not, is difficult to answer. But, certainly my audiometry is better, and as far as we know, audiometry is an indication of the general state of health of the inner ear.
       
    13. LondonGirl

      LondonGirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I guess I asked for that :)
      Well, ear, brain, whatever I hope someone comes up with something that works soon.
      Please do keep us posted on your HIFU experience, thank you
       
    14. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Here are my thoughts behind cochlear tinnitus, and hence the justification for the actions I have taken in experimental medicine (= non-proven medicine).

      The auditory system consists of the (inner) ear, auditory nerve, and brain. It is an electric circuit. When tinnitus occurs, there is a pathology in that electric circuit. Something in the inner ear is sending a false signal to the brain. There are therefore two ways to deal with the situation: fix the transmitter of the signal (ie. the inner ear) or destory the receiver (ie. the brain). Either solution should fix the problem. At least partially.

      With the above in mind, it becomes obvious why I have taken the steps I have. Stem cells and low level laser therapy are part of the field of regenerative medicine. Both "medicines" are aimed at repairing the damage to the inner ear. HIFU, on the other hand, is aimed at the other end of the electric circuit (= destroying the receiver, or over-activity).

      Experimental medicine is - as stated - unproven. Essentially it is a bit like throwing mud at a wall, and hoping that some of it will stick. It's a dirty job. And indeed it did get messy with my second stem cell treatment in China. When I had my 3rd round of injections, I had apparently developed antigens against the stem cells. When that happens and you inject something directly into the blood circulatory system, the result will not go un-noticed. Within 30 seconds, my pulse went off-the-chart and I was sweating like someone with a 40 degree fever. I was "sick as a dog". The nurse did not understand what was happening. I knew exactly what was happening. I therefore squeezed the transfusion tube to prevent any more flow of stem cells. And sounded the alarm. Within 15 seconds, there were 4 nurses and 3 doctors in my room trying to figure out "what to do". I was on a regular ward, but fortunately the chief nurse from the advanced surgery ward also responded to the alarm. Coming from the 7th floor, she arrived 15 seconds after the first set of staff, pushed them aside, and started to "work on me". I was in intensive care for 3 hours.

      I spoke with Professor Jeanmonod for 20 minutes on Thursday. He made it clear - in a polite way - that HIFU is only to be considered when all other options are exhausted. And only if symptoms are severe and persistent.

      So to answer your question (the same which others also undoubtedly have): no, a solution is not just around the corner. And with tinnitus being a neurological pathology, I don't think there will be a fix-all cure any time soon. When "cures" do emerge, they will only be partial cures and/or cures that work for specific instances of tinnitus.

      The good news is that I truly have made progress. But it is a slow, difficult, expensive - and at times - dangerous process.

      I had a review of the AM101 phase II trial results with a senior ENT physician this week. The results were not good enough for him to even consider using the drug "off-label". However, I am still optimistic that the phase III trial result will be better and good enough for approval.

      So there you have it: the latest from the frontlines of experimental tinnitus medicine.
       
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    15. LondonGirl

      LondonGirl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Well to use a very British phrase - "Crikey". That intensive care episode sounds awful, a great relief you came through it ok.
      Would you still want to try the HIFU given the opportunity? Would Prof J be prepared to accept you? Will he insist you try TRT first? :)
      Do you know anything about Autifony's product? I understand that company has big money behind it, I guess an effective pill would be the pharma company's profit dream (and ours too)
       
    16. Mpt

      Mpt Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2014
      At-the-age-of-science... My tinnitus came a few hours after having my ears syringed while taking azithromycin, I have the chance to take part in the am-101 trial, I have studied the am-101 phase 2 results, and it is my feeling that the drug probably does have efficacy in lowering the volume for a subset of patients - did this ent doubt efficacy altogether, what are your thoughts on the drugs mechanism, etc?... They really should be doing MRI studies in this trial, they'll do them on rats but not on humans

      You seem knowledgable and I have one other question about my onset... I got on a course Of prednisone 96 hours after my onset, I was on it for 10 days, then two weeks later I did another 20 day taper, interestingly originally my tinnitus was in my left ear, during the 20 day taper my tinnitus in the left ear completely disappeared, that was about a month and a half ago and it has been gone since, my right ear started ringing about 2 weeks after onset and it is still ringing but for the past week I have been having silent periods for the first time, I know the original tinnitus in my left ear was probably due to trauma since it began right after the ear syringing, the t in my right ear is much more reactive and I was wondering if you think the t in that ear is more likely idiopathic... Maybe caused from a limbic system on high alert, etc... Do you think t that is straight tonal has a different etiology than reactive t?
       
    17. jchinnis

      jchinnis Member

      Location:
      USA: Northern Virginia and Seattle area
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/1989
      I don't agree with this characterization of the (neuro-)auditory system. For starters, I wouldn't characterize it as an electric circuit. It is not electric and it is not a circuit. I read another post somewhere here the other day in which the poster felt that a loud sound had sent an electrical overload up the auditory wiring and damaged his brain. This is just not right.

      Cellular connections in the auditory system are chemical. There is only so much stored chemical (neurotransmitter) at any connection. Unlike the case in an electric circuit, a damaging sound or a massive erroneous signal cannot pass from cell to cell. Only signals within a normal range can pass.

      Further, there is information being transmitted both upward from ear to brain and downward from brain to ear. There are multiple pathways for each direction of flow and multiple levels of "up" and "down." There are also both excitatory and inhibitory chemical connections.

      A major reason for interest in the brain as the cause of tinnitus is that it constantly reorganizes, dropping some cell-to-cell connections and forming new ones. It reorganizes according to global needs (what is being stimulated by other parts of the brain) and by what is not being used. It reorganizes as well in response to stimulation by other cells that lead to the cochlea in the inner ear.

      It is certainly possible that a "rebuilt" cochlea would end tinnitus for some people. I think it will, and I think we will have that technology one day if research continues. But I suspect that for many people the issue will prove to be changes that have occurred in the auditory brain, and in those cases, repairing the cochlea may not cure tinnitus or may result in its resolving after a period of time due to brain reorganization ("plasticity").

      I also think that--probably for most of us--changes have occurred in brain areas related to attention, and those areas may or may not be problematic after a cochlear repair. Will we simply continue to hear the noise we have become so good at unconsciously monitoring? No one knows.

      One thing I do know is that there is enormous power in the brain to shift its way of attending to stimuli. We do not passively receive the sounds and sights of the external world; we build them. And there is good evidence from many different directions that we can shift the way we build our perceptual experience.

      But this is psychology and not electrical engineering or medicine.

      Jim
       
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    18. jchinnis

      jchinnis Member

      Location:
      USA: Northern Virginia and Seattle area
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/1989
      Oops. I think this thread got moved to "Alternative Treatments" while I was writing my post!
       
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    19. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Well, "first things first", as they say. And first I need to have a full day review with scans of my brain. It is those scans which determine whether I am a candidate for treatment. And, as I mentioned in another thread, there is a waiting list. Professor Jeanmonod is a surgeon. And the good thing about surgeons is that they are plain spoken people: either he can help me or he cannot. We shall see. He will insist that people make a dedicated effort before seeing him. And he will want to postpone HIFU treatment as much as possible before performing it (to see if current treatments undertaken by the patient are having an effect).

      Autifony is only vaguely on "my radar". You will need to get help from other people on this board or do your own research. Sorry - I wish I could help... :)

      EDIT:

      And yes, I would go for the treatment "any day of the week" if given the opportunity. There are risks with the treatment (low possibility of brain bleed). But such is life - and experimental medicine...
       
    20. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      First of all, you do not have to "believe in" TRT in order for TRT to be successful. If you think otherwise, you have bought into a myth.

      And second, of course right at this moment your tinnitus would be an extremely uncomfortable pair of pants. Why wouldn't it be? The goal of TRT is to make your tinnitus into a comfortable pair of pants. If your tinnitus were a comfortable pair of pants today, you would not even be on this board!

      Stephen Nagler
       
    21. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Any antibiotic with the product name ending in -mycin is amongst the most ototoxic antibiotics available. These drugs really are ototoxic (unlike eg. Aspirin).

      I consulted with a senior physician at the University Hospital of Leipzig (I will not name him). The reason for doing so is because I have been trying to get hold of AM101, off-label for the last month. I initially suceeded with another clinic, but "some things" went wrong. Here is what the physician had to say: the results from the phase II trial were "not that good" and for that reason "off-label use will not even be considered". I received a copy of the phase II trial results which is 9 pages long. The frontpage conclusion reads as follows:

      "Results: The study overall failed to demonstrate a treatment benefit based on the change in MML*. However, AM-101 0.81 mg/ml showed statistically significantly better improvement for tinnitus loudness, annoyance, sleep difficulties, and tinnitus impact in patients with tinnitus after noise trauma or otitis media. The subgroup of ISSNHL-related tinnitus patients did not show conclusive results. The study drug and I.T. injections were well tolerated."

      MML = Minimum masking level.

      Here's how I make decisions: if there is a chance that it could work and if the drug is relatively safe, then I would go for it.

      Sorry, but I really can't comment on your tinnitus onset. I would have no way of knowing. You did the right thing by taking swift action and seeing a doctor for steroids 96 hours after onset. Personally, I would not have gone on a second taper for 20 days due to the side effects that can/will appear after long term use of steroids. But, I am glad it worked for you.
       
    22. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      I agree with everything you say.

      However: as right as you may be, it is all just theory and "talk". And talk will get me/us nowhere. Only actions will. And I am a "man of action" (as I am sure you know by now).

      Also, you have to remember that I need to use terminology at a level so that even simple minded individuals like myself can understand what I am saying. Hence the use of the term, electric circuit... :)
       
    23. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
      LondonGirl
      When my T first came on I was so desperate to try anything; so went outside my conventional-conservative upbringing and downloaded some self-hypnosis programs (eeeek! hypnosis). Like @attheedgeofscience says, it is not a cure (by any stretch of the word); however, it relaxed me -- and that helped quite a bit. I found there is absolutely nothing wrong with deep relaxation; in fact, there is a lot right with it.

      I'm really sorry, but I wish I could recall the research I did (at that time) about a couple of psychologists that do, in fact, claim they can bring patients to a point where they are able to block out their T (via hypnotherapy). It was very expensive and it took a few weeks of the patient's time, and it did not come with a guarantee (there's a clue). Obviously I never pursued it; maybe @attheedgeofscience has more insight (he seems better informed about the topic).

      here's to relaxation :beeranimation:

      Mark:)
       
    24. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      The following youtube video is a starting point. But self hypnosis works best if a person has been brought to a state of hypnosis beforehand (ie. at some point in the past).

      Rob's Hypnosis Session for...


      It has been a while since I have done some "serious" research on hypnosis (for tinnitus). There are a few highly skilled hypnotists out there who believe they can help reduce the symptoms of tinnitus. I will need to do some more research on this topic before I have an "answer".

      There are different states of hypnosis that hypnotists work with. And there is a difference in the skill level among hypnotists. There are hypnotists out there who truly are very, very good. But again, focus areas for hypnotherapy is: phobias, anxiety, lack of self confidence - that sort of thing.
       
    25. Mark McDill
      Curious

      Mark McDill Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Papillion, NE
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Likely stress, anxiety, an antibiotic and nsaids
    26. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      @LondonGirl Whether or not TRT is the right option, I cannot tell you. But the following quote is definitely true:

      "If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got".
      --Albert Einstein, physicist

      In other words: do something different from your current situation, otherwise you will get nowhere.

      And right now - besides experimental medicine - there is only TRT that has some evidence of success. And in fairness to TRT, all the doctors I have seen over the past year (about 30-35), have all suggested psychotherapy or TRT. I just haven't listened because "I am hard to reach".

      I can also mention that it is possible to habituate 100%. Having had tinnitus since childhood, I have grown up just fine. However, in my (biased) opinion, the kind of habituation that occurs when one has a condition since birth/childhood is unique (and cannot be replicated via other methods).

      EDIT:

      I am, however, surprised that there aren't more people on this board who come forward with TRT experiences. If it really works, there should at least be some...?
       
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    27. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      I'm just curious so even though the high dose group showed a statistically significant improvement your doctor wasn't impressed with this? I think it was almost twice as many people who reported a significant measurable improvement?
       
    28. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      That's one way to look at it, @attheedgeofscience.

      On the other hand, the fact that there are so few TRT successes on this board might be viewed as a tribute to TRT's efficacy. Why would somebody who is doing well thanks to TRT seek out a tinnitus support site on the Internet? After all, this is a board primarily for folks who are not doing well with their tinnitus - or they wouldn't be here in the first place!

      Maybe you're thinking that if that's true, why aren't all those TRT successes right here yelling from the rooftops about what TRT did for them? Well, for most folks who have finally managed to escape from the depths of a rattlesnake pit, I suspect the last place they want to hang out is the reptile exhibit at the zoo.

      That's how I see it anyway.

      Stephen Nagler
       
    29. attheedgeofscience
      Uninvolved

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Denmark
      Tinnitus Since:
      Childhood
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      I am not really comfortable answering your question in a public forum even though I have the report in front of me (because I need to make sure that I am right). In any event, I saw the ENT in question for other reasons (as mentioned) - and got a report which I have then looked through since.

      I need to refer you to this post which is probably the most reliable summary:

      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/threads/am-101-tactt1-results-released.1994/page-22#post-39475

      The reason I am conflicted is because if patients report an improvement in their tinnitus and their ability to function, then why wouldn't the objective measure of MML also show an improvement? It doesn't make sense to me. But again, I am not comfortable drawing conclusions.
       
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    30. cullenbohannon
      Thinking

      cullenbohannon Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2014
      That is something I think I willingly overlooked when I read the results. But yes I think it would make sense for the mml to reduce accordingly.
       

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