IBS, also known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, impacts 10 to 15% of the US population. IBS symptoms include irregular bowel movements, bloating, and cramps. More severe symptoms include vomiting, weight loss, bleeding from the rectum, intense pain, and nighttime diarrhea. These intense symptoms maybe a sign of something more serious like colon cancer. Regardless of the type of symptoms they can interfere with a person’s daily life but thankfully, treating IBS with hypnosis can be very effective.
What causes IBS?
While the exact cause is unknown, Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be caused by muscles in the intestines that are not contracting normally. These contracting muscles help to move food through the digestive track. If the contractions last too long, or are too strong, patients can experience bloating, diarrhea, and gas. Contractions that are too weak can cause hard dry stool and slow down the digestive process. Other causes include severe infection, nervous system abnormalities, an imbalance in the gut microbes and stress.
Who are Most at Risk
Studies show that people under the age of 50 and women are more likely to have IBS. Those who have experienced mental, physical, or verbal abuse, or have a family history of Irritable Bowel Syndrome are also more at risk. Additionally, people who suffer from anxiety and depression are more likely to suffer from IBS.
Doctors often suggest dietary changes including drinking more water and getting more fiber through food. They also encourage patients to stay away from foods that may trigger symptoms in the patient, like gluten and alcohol. Over the counter laxatives and fiber supplements as well as antidepressants, antispasmodics, and medications that prevent diarrhea may be prescribed. However, studies show that these options have a success rate of only 25%.
Treating IBS with Hypnosis
Often misunderstood, hypnosis is a naturally attentive state that allows for access to the unconscious mind. Clients experience formal hypnosis by following the direction of a hypnotist who will use a combination of guided imagery, confusion, deep breathing, overload, and body relaxation techniques. Contrary to popular belief, the client does not relinquish control and is aware and awake. Hypnosis naturally addresses stress which is one of the triggers of IBS. Additionally, hypnotic suggestions related to minimizing IBS symptoms help patients to experience relief.
Hypnosis has been shown to be an effective treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Studies show that hypnosis helps to address the psychological, as well as the physical symptoms of IBS. A medical study found that hypnotherapy helps to address the short term as well as the long-term symptoms of IBS. Another scientific study found that over 70% of the participants benefited from hypnosis and over 80% of those, experienced long-term benefits.
As documented here, from anxiety to pain to depression, hypnosis is an effective mind body modality. The impact or relationship of stress and cardiovascular disease, asthma, inflammatory diseases, autoimmune diseases and cancer has been well documented. Hypnotherapy can program the mind to release stress and anxiety by shifting the patient’s perspective of stress inducing stimuli. When traditional methods fail treating IBS with hypnosis should be considered.