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Hypnotherapy Fast Becoming the Treatment of Choice for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

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The Mayo Clinic among many other major IBS research facilities spearheaded countless studies on IBS over the last 20 years and found that it was not caused by dietary/nutritional/bacterial problems and attention to diet has never provided permanent relief. Indeed, one’s doctor would have checked for this as well as for parasites and pathology before settling on the diagnosis of IBS. In fact, research shows that many sufferers have a perfect balance of digestive enzymes and gut bacteria, leaving stress and cortisol the likely culprits.

Dr. Grant Thompson, one of the world’s leading authorities on IBS concluded in his review of drug management of IBS “the sheer number and variety of drugs sold for IBS treatment are testimony to their collective uselessness (Thompson, 1994). There is occasionally temporary relief of symptoms by diet control.

Permanent response of IBS to hypnotherapy treatment is in 80-95% range (studies: Whorwell et all 1984,1987), Palsson et al 1997,2000). They concluded it is a comfortable, relaxing and enjoyable treatment, without side-effects, often resulting in significant improvement or complete dissolution of other problems usually found with IBS, such as headaches.

According to solid data by IBS expert Michael Mahoney, Hypnotherapy has proven highly effective in alleviating IBS symptoms. In his 15 year scientific research, it is shown that it is safe and inexpensive and conclusively shows Hypnotherapy routinely produces positive results in over 85% of the people who use it.

Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, Chair of the National Women’s Health Network in Washington DC stated because of it’s efficacy Hypnotherapy should be the treatment of choice for IBS before drugs or the humiliating treatments are tried.

Journal of Gastroenterology: Dr. Peter James Whorwell, Manchester, UK, a world leader in IBS research, reported significant benefits of Hypnotherapy in all gastrointestinal disorders, particularly IBS. Many studies in pain management at Case Western Reserve University, found Hypnotherapy to be a very valuable and reliable tool.

The BMA (British Medical Association Journal) specialist publication “Gut” reported a long term study of more then 200 IBS patients and found 71% of patients had permanent improvements with 8-12 sessions and that this was faster, more cost-effective treatment then the temporary fixes of medicine and surgery. The UK government operates hypnotherapy clinics for IBS sufferers and their results are phenomenal as well.

Hypnotherapy is not counseling (talk-therapy) in the sense people are accustomed to. Hypnotherapy works with the subconscious mind of a person to convince it to normalize body functions. It guides a person into a state of relaxation and lower brain-wave frequency that allows that person’s subconscious to accept direct suggestions about gut function, as well as to help reduce the sufferer’s reaction to stress.

Whether stress is/was the precipitating reason for the development of IBS, stress affects all bodily functions and distorts memory and thought…those are also very well researched facts. People under stress get headaches, irritability, etc. etc., therefore it is not hard to see how stress could impact the way their digestive tract functions. The reason for the stress may be long gone, but the memory of the events may well work subconsciously.

It only stands to reason that if a person is stressed and they hold the stress in, their entire body will be tense. If the entire body is tense long enough, not only their breathing, but other bodily functions are affected…affected long enough, the effect becomes permanent. Just as people subjected to prolonged stress soon become shallow breathers, many people subjected to prolonged stress also develope digestive problems.

The common thread for all sufferers I have worked with is how they have learned to manage stress…many of those who internalized stress ended up with gastro-intestinal issues. There are many forms of stress…physical, mental, emotional. Therefore it is not only the source of the stress, but how the person has learned to manage stress that factors in. There is a great deal of stress associated with having to manage a life with IBS for instance.

My Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) treatment program therefore targets not only the resumption of normal gut behavior, but the sufferer’s reaction to stress. If the stress is emotional and is tied to past unresolved events, then those old memories are neutralized in hypnosis as well, so that they no longer impact the sufferer’s current life.

IBS can start in childhood, as children have even less opportunity to relieve emotional and mental stress. It is not something that starts overnight and it takes years to manifest as full-blown IBS, a syndrome that often gets worse with time, severely interfering with a person’s quality of life and mobility.

In the past it was thought that diet/enzymes, etc. caused IBS, however better information through research is conclusive on that issue now…certain foods can cause a worsening of the symptoms in some people some of the time, but they are not the cause of IBS and attention to this, as many have discovered, does not relieve IBS symptoms.

The program used at GracePlace Wellness focuses on resolving the emotional root-cause of the sufferers anxiety and once that has been completed, attention is directed toward teaching the client new ways to manage stressors in their lives, so that their reactions result in the release of calming hormones into their bodies rather than the damaging stress hormone cortisol.

I see many clients with IBS…always there is ‘stress’ factoring in, whether it is recognized or not. Some may be from past unresolved events and always there is some accumulated from having to deal with this suffering. To heal through Hypnotherapy it is not necessary to believe in hypnosis, hypnotherapy or even agree on the causes….it just works because the subconscious mind is convinced.

Using my emotional freedom program, which targets and resolve the root cause of the high anxiety levels which manifest as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, my success rate has been over 90% .

In the end, it doesn’t matter what the stressor is, the subconscious mind can be convinced to resolve the issue and restore normal gut function and that is what is important. Working with the subconscious mind while a person is in a relaxed hypnotic state is the purview of a competent hypnotherapist specializing in IBS symptom relief….that is why hypnotherapy is fast becoming the treatment of choice for permanent IBS symptom relief world-wide.

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  1. Mark Powlett  March 1, 2013

    Good to see all the information that people can read for themselves to back up the success of Hypnosis for IBS.
    I will certainly point clients towards this if they want to read more information. many thanks

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