If conventional treatments have failed you, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) agree that hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and specifically chronic IBS when symptoms have persisted for more than a year, or have not responded to pharmacology.
NICE Recommend hypnotherapy for IBS
The NICE recommendation is a research-based acknowledgement from independent committees which report to the government’s body responsible for providing national guidance and advice to improve the UK’s health and social care.
NICE recognise that IBS as well being a physical illness with very distressing and disruptive symptoms, also has an emotional component. Every person who suffers from IBS has a unique experience of how the illness affects them and the impact it has on their life.
Many people experience a flare-up in symptoms corresponding with an increase in stress or anxiety. Alternatively, specific stressful events can trigger IBS symptoms.IBS can also be unpredictable with little or no obvious or conspicuous causal links. Because of IBS’s unpredictability,
it can make it difficult to fully relax and enjoy periods of time when symptoms lessen or abate completely. There is often a preoccupation of fear and dread that the symptoms will suddenly return, creating an unremitting and self-perpetuating cycle of stress and anxiety so that even when living free of IBS it can still dominate and limit one’s life.
Hypnotherapy as a way forward for IBS treatment
A therapeutic approach to IBS works below conscious awareness direct with the sub-conscious mind to quickly improve and increase day to day levels of calmness. Long-term stress and anxiety can also be released with hypnotherapy.
This would enable the fear and stress triggers which would have previously resulted in an IBS flare-up to be resolved and released.
It is also possible to influence the Amygdala when working with hypnotherapy. As the emotional centre of the brain, it controls the primitive fight or flight response. The Amygdala can get ‘over-cranked’ by years of stress so that it gets ‘stuck’ in high alert. Under hypnosis, a person can take a guided journey into their mind’s control centre and dial down their fight or flight response to reset it at a calmer level.
This powerful technique can in effect reset the brain’s habitual responses to pain, emotion, stress and fear, all of which play a critical part in the severity of the IBS symptoms. Hypnotherapy is known as an effective method for releasing long-term stress that may have originated many years previously. Improvements in levels of relaxation and calmness can be achieved even when the memory of the originating specific events are forgotten and lost in time.
Clearing negative emotions attached to old memories or events enable a person to be no longer bothered or triggered by their past. Lowering stress levels generally is beneficial for everyone. In particular, the mind and body can benefit from the reduced production of Adrenalin, and it’s bi-product Cortisol. Both of these stress hormones can increase IBS symptoms so feeling calmer improves digestion; lowers blood pressure; improves sleep patterns and many other physical improvements.
The benefits of hypnotism increase as the client allow themselves to relax deeper and deeper. The hypnotic process can then effortlessly create profound changes in the belief system and how a person thinks and feels about themselves. To be most effective the guided visualisation techniques and the appropriate hypnotherapy approach is customised to each person’s specific needs. As well as improving a person’s ability to relax it may also be necessary to clear negative emotions attached to old memories or events so that they no longer bother them as they used to.
Part of a holistic treatment plan includes teaching clients powerful self-help tools to manage their stress levels in the future so that they can release day to day stress before it builds into chronic stress.
There are many relaxation audio recordings and meditation teaching resources available online designed to help you to reduce your overall stress levels. Taking steps yourself can also help you to feel pro-active in the face of an illness that can often feel beyond personal control or influence. Be kind to yourself if you struggle with IBS.
Try writing down your feelings in a notebook if you find it challenging to express your emotions or find it difficult to access your real feelings. At the very least it may offer you some useful insights into the thought processes that influence you, plus you may also discover some of your triggers to your IBS too.
If you want to find out how hypnotherapy can be customised to help with your unique IBS symptoms or other health challenges, then please book an obligation free discovery call via the link on this page.