IBS is characterized by a collection of symptoms affecting the small or large bowel, which can cause pain and discomfort.
According to the NHS, the symptoms of IBS usually appear for the first time when a person is 20-30 years of age. They tend to come and go in bouts, often during times of stress or after eating certain foods. The exact causes are unknown and sufferers normally have no physical abnormalities in the bowel, so it has been suggested there is a mind-body / stress link with IBS. It is important to stress here that no one is saying that IBS is in the mind; the symptoms are very real and are enough to cause stress in themselves. However, the symptoms may improve and be better managed by addressing the mind-body link.
Because Irritable Bowel Syndrome is such a loose collection of symptoms, there is no one definitive ‘cure’ for IBS. However, there are a number of self-help treatments that can alleviate and improve symptoms, such as diet and therapies such as hypnosis.
How can hypnotherapy help with IBS?
IBS can often be stress triggered, i.e. stress is the stimuli which sets off the spasms, cramps or other reactions affecting the small or large bowel. Hypnotherapy could help in the following ways:
- Helping you to relax, easing the symptoms if they are triggered by stress
- Teaching you powerful creative visualisation techniques to imagine relief for your symptoms
- Programming in a new, positive reaction to stress triggers
Although hypnotherapy can help IBS, it is a medical condition and the symptoms can mimic other symptoms. If you think you have IBS or are experiencing Irritable Bowel symptoms, if you have not done so already then speak to your doctor in the first instance to get their diagnosis and advice on treatment. If after this you are interested in using hypnotherapy to help combat IBS, please contact me for advice or to make an appointment.