How hypnotherapy can help IBS...

If you have ever suffered from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) you will know how inconvenient and painful it can be. The symptoms can be mild discomfort or more chronic, severe pain. IBS can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing for the sufferer. Some secondary issues can crop up as a result of IBS.

Some people find it leaves them feeling drained and tired, or even depressed. Your social and work life can be affected, by making you late for work due to constant trips to the toilet, or avoiding going out and eating a meal as you know you'll feel uncomfortable. You may make several trips to the loo before you go out anywhere and immediately check where the nearest toilet is when you get to a new place. It’s quite common for people to restrict their food intake the day/morning before going out, this is known as a ‘desire for control’ behaviour. You may find your symptoms get worse if you're anxious or stressed, and this then becomes a vicious circle as you worry about it even more. 

There has been good evidence that hypnosis helps IBS symptoms. One study revealed “Hypnosis can be a highly effective treatment for the bowel disorder IBS. Studies involving a total of 346 patients showed that hypnotherapy alleviated symptoms in 40 percent of those affected - and that the improvement is long term.” - The Sahlgrenska Academy of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

So how does hypnosis help IBS? Hypnotherapy can help sufferers relax from a general point of view. We know that there is a direct link between the brain and the gut, so if there is any excessive worrying this can be alleviated and calmed down with hypnotherapy. It can also help by using structured visualisation methods, actually visualising the digestive system slowing down, turning it from being very ‘busy’ to being very calm.

The use of colours can be utilised, red can symbolise inflammation and ‘angry’ symptoms and blue can symbolise calm and smooth. Whilst in hypnosis the sufferer can imagine the digestive system turning from red to blue and from the sensation of twisting itself in knots to flattening and smoothing out. The brain works well with analogies and this is why visualisation is a powerful method used in hypnosis.

If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome it may be worth considering hypnotherapy to help alleviate your symptoms…

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