Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
“IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) cannot be diagnosed based on history alone.” Almost anyone can develop IBS. It does not hit only seniors and adults but youth as well. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, affects millions of Americans. It is now proven that the major cause of IBS is considered psychosomatic and stress-related.
A diagnosis of IBS is actually a diagnosis of exclusion–you rule out everything else. It is characterized by intermittent abdominal cramping, constipation, diarrhea, a combination of pain and bloating. It is one of the leading causes of missed work days in the United States. With a recommendation from your primary care physician, I can help you start managing your symptoms in 3-5 visits.
How does Hypnosis help IBS?
Most IBS patients, following a diagnosis, should consider mind-body strategies such as diaphragmatic breathing, visual imagery, mindfulness meditation—or clinical hypnosis.
The powerful technique of hypnosis is being explored and applied by medical schools worldwide (including Duke University and Johns Hopkins) in treating patients with IBS, chronic pain, psoriasis, obesity and other conditions.
The evidence is overwhelming that IBS symptoms do respond to hypnosis. Not only do they respond, but they respond dramatically! The research evidence to support this is so dramatic and so overwhelming that Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D., chair of the National Women’s Health Network in Washington, D.C., says that hypnosis should be the treatment of choice for severe cases of IBS. In my practice so far, 90% of the clients I have treated with either hypnosis or medical massage have shown drastic improvement in their symptoms. Almost all have gained greater than a 50% reduction in symptoms and 83% have become symptom free and remained that way long after the sessions have ended.
For IBS patients, hypnosis involves focusing attention and letting go of negative thought patterns and habits, to achieve deeper relaxation and suggestions for healing and decreasing pain sensitivity. Ultimately, clients learn to bring themselves into the relaxation state by using a cue, such as a breathing pattern or a phrase.
The effect of relaxation on the body or increased motility of the colon attributes the value of hypnosis in IBS cases to its ability to reduce a person’s sensitivity to pain: “Patients learn to regulate themselves and triggering situations, taking greater control of their symptoms.”