Managing IBS with Hypnotherapy
If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) it can be a pretty dispiriting experience.
IBS is a complex condition with a wide range of symptoms that can vary greatly from person to person. It has some similarities to a number of other conditions affecting the gut, so a formal diagnosis by an appropriately-qualified medical practitioner is essential before any type of treatment plan can be developed.
Completely tailored hypnotherapy support programmes can be designed for people with IBS to help them manage their symptoms. Experiencing significant relief over the long-term is likely to be an attractive goal for many IBS sufferers, even without a permanent cure being available.
Where an individual with IBS can be helped to feel physically relaxed and mentally calm this can lead to a significant improvement in their overall quality of life. As hypnotherapy has an excellent reputation for helping people become calmer and more relaxed it's natural that IBS sufferers should turn to this type of therapy.
A variety of factors can contribute to IBS developing, including:-
- Genetic make-up;
- Gut sensitivity;
- Overactivity of gut muscles;
- Amplification of gut-related pain signals;
- Choice of diet and food intolerances;
- Overall lifestyle;
- Habitual responses to life events and personal circumstances.
When our gastrointestinal system (or gut) is out of balance, as it is with IBS, it can adversely affect our body's functioning in other ways, as well as negatively influencing our thoughts, feelings and overall experience of life.
For many people the main symptoms of IBS are:-
- Pain in the abdomen;
- Feeling 'bloated';
- Problematic bowel movements.
In addition, people with IBS can also experience nausea, numerous body pains, headaches, low energy and other symptoms that are not obviously connected with the digestive process.
Worry, anxiety and IBS can often go hand in hand. So helping individuals in this situation successfully address their worrying and anxiety can potentially have a positive impact on their experience of IBS too.
Many of us experience 'butterflies' in our stomach when we are excited or nervous, whilst at other times we may have a 'gut feeling' about something or someone, so perhaps it's no surprise that scientists recognise that there is a strong connection between our gut and our brain.
Knowing that there is this powerful channel of communication between our mind and our body could help to explain why a person with IBS who makes relatively small changes to how they think about their pain and body issues could in turn make a surprisingly big difference to the way they experience their condition.
IBS Hypnotherapy is able to blend the best parts of CBT, mindfulness and the solution-focussed approach with the gentle power of hypnosis to help people make these sorts of changes.
How each of us experiences pain and discomfort is completely unique and is far more complex and variable than we may be consciously aware.
The fact that we can temporarily lose the feeling in a limb, and that we can have 'pins and needles', indicates that the presence or absence of pain signals is not always an accurate indication of the scale of the problem affecting us. Clearly our processing of pain signals is not 100% reliable and can be affected by other factors.
Hypnotherapy helps individuals with IBS explore ways that they can influence their pain signalling processes. Whilst they are in hypnosis, each IBS sufferer will access and manipulate personally significant images and metaphors using their imagination. With practice this completely natural approach can make a positive difference and any such lasting improvements will have been achieved without any harmful side effects.
If you have an open-mind and a desire for change then that's all you need to get the most out of hypnotherapy for IBS.
As with all forms of therapy - the precise results achieved may vary from person to person.