Hypnotherapy for IBS
Table of Contents
‘Sick to the stomach’, ‘kicked in the guts’, ‘sh** scared’. These are some of the very graphic ways of describing gut reactions to emotional distress.
Our digestive system is sometimes described as the ‘second brain’ because it’s so sensitive to how we feel. For example, fear or excitement can trigger an instantaneous urge to rush to the loo which can lead to a fear of not making it. This, in turn, can trigger the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Hypnotherapy for IBS can help to reduce the frequency and power of the triggers.
Scientists have found that gut bacteria produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA, all of which play a key role in mood. This complex relationship between mind and body creates symptoms that can be difficult to treat clinically. Hypnotherapy is a gentle, non-invasive, drug-free way of taking back control over these symptoms
The gut-brain connection
The fact that the brain affects our digestive system and can create such physical distress is hard to swallow for some sufferers. Dietary changes or medical treatment are the obvious solutions for many. When these strategies don’t work, have unpleasant side effects or restrict quality of life then hypnotherapy can be the last resort which makes all the difference.
A common issue for IBS sufferers is how anxious they become about ‘trigger foods’. This can lead to them having an unnecessarily restricted diet because the anxiety about food eaten when they had IBS is seen as the cause when, in fact, the anxiety about eating that food causes the flare-up of symptoms.
Using Hypnotherapy for IBS
IBS is diagnosed by elimination when investigations have ruled out physical causes.
Hypnotherapy for IBS can help in the following ways:
- easing stress triggered symptoms with simple hypnotic relaxation techniques.
- teaching powerful creative visualisation strategies to relieve symptoms.
- Programming new ways of handling anxiety and emotional distress
Inflammation of the gut
The biochemistry of stress and anxiety is inflammatory, accelerating bodily functions and causing muscle tension. This can disrupt the gut biome by increasing acid production and affecting the delicate balance of healthy bacteria. Acid reflux, nausea and bloating are common symptoms. When the muscles supporting the digestive system spasm or cramp, they can speed up or slow down bowel function, causing constipation or diarrhoea.
Anxiety and IBS
Many of those seeking hypnotherapy for anxiety have IBS symptoms which improve with treatment of the emotional issues they have. This is a life changing surprise for some who have perhaps suffered in silence for many years. Those who have IBS may experience bloating, nausea, trapped wind, acid reflux, constipation, loose bowel movements and tummy pain.
Irritable bowel can contribute towards various health concerns and difficulties and can lead to depression symptoms in some sufferers. The ailment is commonplace and has a significant impact on the wellbeing of those dealing with it on a day to day basis.
Some people spend their life crippled with discomfort and anxiety, putting up with pain each and every day. Emotional stress and panic are some of the psychological factors thought to make IBS symptoms worse. At times the symptoms start off being moderate but anxious feelings and anticipation of them ensures they get gradually worse.
Other common triggers for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Nausea has a similar effect with the fear of vomiting in public making the sufferer more likely to feel sick. The obvious and necessary thing to do with these very physical symptoms is to go and get them medically checked out. Sometimes, there is a problem that needs medical treatment. Dietary intolerances and sensitivities are another obvious cause that sufferers look for solutions for. Medication or a restricted diet can help.
What therapy is best for IBS?
A hypnotic approach for irritable bowel syndrome can help sufferers manage stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle, enabling them to feel more in charge of their problems. A lot of the stress associated with the pain is the reason for most of the problems suffered. This means that without this particular factor the symptoms may very well be significantly diminished.
The conscious and subconscious mind are both engaged in the process of hypnosis. Our physical health impinges on our psychological health and vice versa. Hypnotherapy helps IBS sufferers to perceive a greater deal of control over their emotional and physical state, leading to a potentially radical improvement in quality of life. If you think that you’ve got irritable bowel syndrome or you are worried that you could have something more severe you should visit your GP in the first instance. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is known as a medical condition and your doctor can confirm a diagnosis.
Thanks largely to the research of Professor Peter Whorwell of Wythenshawe University Hospital, Manchester, hypnotherapy is now acknowledged by the medical profession as an effective treatment for IBS. Our hypnotherapy treatment is based on his work.
Gut-directed hypnotherapy at home
We have gut-directed hypnotherapy mp3’s that you can use at home. They are available in our audio store.