What is IBS?
It is a common gastrointestinal disorder characterised by chronic abdominal pain and an abnormal pattern of bowel movements such as, diarrhoea, constipation or both which can be intermittent or become chronic. In addition there may also be passage of mucus rectally, lethargy, nausea, backache and bladder symptoms present.
IBS occurs in 10-20% of the population in the UK and is more common in women than in men. It is often experienced in times of stress or after eating certain foods. The discomfort and pain associated with IBS can have a big impact on your life. IBS sufferers often find that they have to plan their life around their IBS and this may impact on confidence, relationships, travel, socializing, working. This in turn can cause further stress and anxiety leaving the sufferer emotionally drained, which then aggravates the condition even more.
What causes IBS?
The cause is unknown but it is thought to involve abnormal smooth muscle activity and is associated with increased levels of distress and poor coping strategies.
Studies suggest that psychological factors play an important role within IBS – in particular, emotional stress and anxiety. When a person is under stress, the body reacts by triggering the ‘fight or flight’ response. This increases hormone production [growth hormone, cortisol, glucagon and adrenaline] which then means that
The liver releases sugar and fats to provide fuel for quick energy
Respiration becomes faster to provide oxygen
Red blood cells increase in number to carry more oxygen to the muscles
The heart beats faster and causes the blood pressure to rise
Blood clotting mechanism is activated
Muscles become tense
Digestion slows down
Bladder and bowel muscles relax
Pupils dilate and all senses are heightened
It is thought that the relaxation of bowel muscle may be a trigger for IBS, though it is still unclear how stress, anxiety and IBS are related.
Hypnosis and IBS
The use of hypnosis in hypnotherapy has been shown to have the biggest impact [80% success rate] on managing IBS. Some studies have suggested it may help with the symptoms of IBS, by affecting parts of the brain that experience abdominal pain or influence bowel movement. It can therefore help to get the symptoms under control.
In addition hypnotherapy is very effective at controlling stress and anxiety and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [NICE] have recognised it as a possible treatment for IBS in those who haven’t responded to other treatments. As a result doctors and health professionals are able to refer patients for hypnotherapy though it is not widely available on the NHS. Professor P. J. Whorwell from Manchester has undertaken a great deal of research on the use of hypnotherapy and IBS and pioneered the ‘gut focused’ therapy that is used widely now by therapists with a success rate of 70%.
How can I help?
Using a research based approach I can work with you to manage the stress which is an important factor in IBS and develop a bespoke plan of action. I will support you through the next few weeks to help you gain back control of your life. I use a combination of relaxation hypnotherapy, behavioural and conversational techniques and practical advice that helps you deal with your stress.
Are you ready to take the next step?
This is a therapy where we work in partnership to achieve the results you want.
The therapy lasts for up to 5 sessions with support from me over 20 weeks:
Step 1: Book your free 15 mins session to see if I’m the therapist for you. Finding the right therapist is essential as it means you can feel confident, comfortable and relaxed about working with me knowing that you will get the results you want
Step 2: Arrange the dates for your 5 session programme.
Step 3: Attend all your sessions
Step 4: In between sessions listen daily to the recordings that I will give you