Chances are if you’ve been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by your GP then you’re probably not controlling your symptoms satisfactorily.
Coupled with being too sick to work, or having to take time off to visit your doctor adversely affects your quality of life. Bloating, intermittent diarrhoea, constipation – all things that end up causing tiredness and general irritability. I frequently hear people say they’re so tired and irritable with it, and just want to feel right again. Simple things as not even being able to wear comfortable trousers because their bloating has become so bad become difficult to cope with.
Symptoms vary between individuals, but the following are common symptoms of IBS:
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
- Abdominal contractions, spasms or cramps
- Excess wind
IBS sufferers may experience a combination of some of these symptoms. With one symptom in particular occurring more regularly or with greater severity. Symptoms vary from mild, where they do not really affect someone’s quality of lif. To serious, prompting the sufferer to seek medical help.
The precise cause of IBS is unknown. But, there is general agreement that it’s due to an increased sensitivity within the gut. It can be very painful, not to mention depressing and stressful – but there is hope! Most individuals with IBS use some form of self-treatment, with a proportion trying alternative therapies or management strategies.
There is now significant evidence demonstrating that the power of our minds, when directed appropriately, can significantly improve symptoms of IBS. Not only that, it can have a major impact on our psychological wellbeing and general quality of life. Hypnosis has been demonstrated to be effective in working with the symptoms of IBS and to sustain it’s effects over time. Reducing stress levels although not necessarily a cause of it, is known to exacerbate it.
Hypnosis sessions involve deep relaxation, positive suggestions and various imagery techniques. You’ll be given a CD to take away to help ensure the most effective results. Associated symptoms of stress, anxiety and so on are worked within sessions. With the assurance that consultation and therapy are undertaken with the utmost sensitivity and respect.
Indeed the National Institute for Clinical Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends the use of psychological interventions for people who do not respond to pharmacological treatments after 12 months https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/CG61/chapter/1-Recommendations
Do I need to see my GP before I try hypnotherapy?
Absolutely, yes. You’ll need to ensure it’s diagnosed as IBS before you see me. You probably already know it, but we need your GP to confirm it first.
Evidence shows that 6 sessions of treatment can work well, with the opportunity to top these up in the longer term. Sometimes, hypnotherapy can work in a few sessions, or just one. I will monitor your progress on a session by session basis and make recommendations from there. The crucial element is attitude. Without determination to overcome your problems, hypnotherapy is not likely to be successful. Your motivation to change is the key to a successful outcome. Motivation means more than just wanting to be rid of your IBS, it means being determined to overcome the symptoms yourself. The attitude I need to see from my patients are “I will control my symptoms”.