With 1 in 5 people affected by it during their lifetime, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can have a serious impact on the lives of many and the common symptoms of pain, nausea, diarrhoea or constipation are well documented.
Less well known is the part that Hypnotherapy can play in alleviating the condition – even recognised by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) as an effective complementary treatment.
IBS is considered a biopsychosocial disorder – put simply this means having elements associated not only with the physical functioning of the body, but also psychological factors such as stress and anxiety, as well as potential social influences. This can make the condition difficult to treat, as instead of one single cause rooted either in the body or the mind, it is often the interaction between the mind and the body which produces and magnifies the symptoms.
It is recognised that IBS is exacerbated by stress and anxiety, perhaps initially caused by external factors but then also by the additional worry about the symptoms. In this way a vicious circle is created where anxiety causes a worsening of symptoms, leading to further anxiety, which in turn further amplifies the physical aspects of the condition.
Hypnotherapy works by helping to break this cycle through:-
- processing existing fears and anxieties which contribute to symptoms
- focus on reducing the negative thinking which perpetuates anxiety
- visualisation of specific goals which may be attained when the IBS is under control.
If you believe you are suffering from IBS it is important that you visit your doctor to obtain a diagnosis and rule out any other causes for your symptoms. Then don’t suffer in silence – why not give Hypnotherapy a try?