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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder of the digestive system affecting up to 1 in 5 people in the UK, with symptoms including bloating, stomach cramps, indigestion, acid reflux, diarrhoea and constipation. Doctors now recognize that psychological factors play a considerable role in IBS, with stress being the biggest contributing factor.

When we are stressed, the ‘fight/flight’ response within our subconscious survival mind is switched on. In this state we produce stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, which are intended to help us escape from truly dangerous situations. However, in our modern lives we rarely flee or fight, and therefore these stress chemicals often linger far longer than they should in our bodies, taking a toll on our overall health and well being.

When we are stressed, our digestive system is often one of the first things to be affected. We’ve all experienced a nervous feeling in the tummy before a performance or event, a feeling of ‘butterflies’, or even an upset stomach. During times of stress, our survival mind will usually direct precious energy away from our digestive system and into our muscles. (There is little point digesting your last meal when you’re running from a polar bear!) However, this means that what we have eaten is not being processed as it should be, and we may become bloated, nauseous, constipated and experience cramps, indigestion or diarrhoea. If our lives are constantly stressful, and we never really switch off the stress response through relaxation and stress management techniques, such digestive symptoms can persist almost constantly.

Hypnotherapy is extremely effective at reducing stress and anxiety, and helping you learn how to relax. Relaxation is vital for our overall well being, including proper function of our immune system, and the body’s ability to repair itself. By learning to move out of the constant stress response and into the ‘relaxation response’, your body will be able to resume proper function again.

The following excerpt is taken from the National Council for Hypnotherapy website:

‘Research pioneered by Professor Whorwell, a gastroenterologist at Wymthenshawe Hospital, shows that hypnotherapy can make significant contribution to the treatment of IBS. Whorwell began investigating the application of hypnotherapy for management of IBS in the 1980s and his research shows that over 60% of IBS sufferers who undertake hypnotherapy see long term improvement, or complete disappearance of symptoms, often with no recurrence.

Hypnotherapy is now acknowledged within the wider medical profession as an evidenced-based therapy that can help reduce the symptoms of IBS, and sometimes alleviate those symptoms entirely. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) also lists hypnotherapy as one of the treatments to help with IBS.’ (http://www.hypnotherapists.org.uk/hypnotherapy/hypnotherapy-for-ibs/)

We can also help you manage and cope with medical conditions such as Diverticulitis and Chrone’s Disease. Get in touch to book your FREE Initial Consultation to discuss how hypnotherapy can help you.

N.B. IBS is regarded as a medical condition, and it is advisable to consult your doctor for information, advice and a diagnosis.