Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a very common and distressing gastrointestinal disorder, which affects 20% of the UK population at some stage in their lives.
No one knows for sure what causes IBS – even doctors diagnose it by ruling out other options. However it is widely acknowledged that the symptoms become worse when you feel stressed. This does not mean that you are more stressed than people who don’t have the condition; it just means that your body responds to stress in a different way, causing your bowel symptoms to become worse.
Having butterflies in your tummy or noticing a slight change in bowel functioning is something that even non-sufferers of IBS experience, from time to time, however, when these symptoms occur more frequently and constantly, it can be a sign that your body is not coping well with stress.
The main symptoms are a turn-about cycle of constipation and diarrhoea, sometimes accompanied by cramping pains in the lower abdomen. Sufferers can link times of increased stress to instigation or worsening of their condition. In fact the gut and brain are connected by very direct nerve fibres, making it possible for the brain to exert strong influences over the bowel and even for the bowel to overpower the brain with messages too.
How Does Hypnotherapy Help with IBS?
As irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not life-threatening, people who do not understand the condition are sometimes quick to trivialise it. However, the symptoms of IBS often have a significant impact on a person’s day-to-day life. The pain, discomfort and inconvenience of IBS is very real and can have a deep psychological effect. Fortunately Hypnotherapy has been used successfully to help ease the anxiety and stress related to IBS so that you can function better in your daily life.
The main theory behind the success of hypnosis is that IBS is governed by anxiety and stress and it makes sense that by reducing the levels of anxiety through hypnosis and relaxation, you are already remedying the root of the condition. Hypnotherapy is also a very powerful tool in pain reduction and changing your subconscious mind’s attitude towards your symptoms. By lowering the perception of pain and discomfort (which is related to anxiety) and also by directing positive images and suggestions to the gut, that spiral of stress and symptoms can be uncoiled.