Hypnosis for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Relieve Stomach Pain and Discomfort
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (more commonly known as IBS) is a gastrointestinal condition with a variety of symptoms, and it can cause great distress to those affected. Many of those affected might suffer from intense and seemingly unbearable stomach pain and discomfort in their daily life. Since no physical causes can usually be identified, those affected are often left feeling abandoned by conventional medicine. This is not only frustrating - it can also be dangerous. This is because a pronounced irritable bowel syndrome can very quickly develop into other physical illnesses. These include stomach ulcers or gastritis. At Hypnosis Berlin, we attend to the health of the whole person on a holistic level, regardless of whether there are visible, physical causes for illness or not. This empathetic approach is often what supports the healing process of mind and body.
Image: Hypnotherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Relieve Stomach Pain and Discomfort
Irritable bowel Syndrome symptoms
How to recognize IBS
At least four different clusters of conditions and symptoms are distinguished under the term Irritable Bowel Syndrome. These include bloating, constipation, diarrhea and cramps. The cause of all these complaints is believed to be rooted in disruptions of the so-called enteric nervous system of the intestine. This is a highly complex network of nerve cells that runs through most of the gastrointestinal tract. It has almost four to five times more neurons than the spinal cord. The enteric nervous system responds to the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, just as our brain does, which makes our gastrointestinal tract particularly sensitive to emotional instability or stressful events. Linguistically, the psychological role of our stomach seems to have been widely known - we can make gut decisions, have a gut feeling about people and things, and our gut can often let us know that we are unwell before we have mentally caught up. It's no wonder that such a complex and sensitive system is also prone to disorders.
IBS manifests itself through different symptoms and reactions on a physical and psychological level:
On a physical level, IBS involves bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, digestive problems and cramps. Digestive functions are disturbed in IBS, and those affected often report alternating between diarrhea and constipation. Many of those affected describe feeling weighed down and exhausted from the intense pain.
IBS has an influence on the psyche, and vice versa, the psyche has an influence on the body - including the stomach and digestion. Today we know that stress, depression, anxiety disorders and other forms of psychological stress can be triggers for IBS. Affected people often describe feeling frustrated, since the body does not react in the desired way, which creates a difficult relationship towards their own body. Some also report fears and thoughts such as "What if in a particular situation, the symptoms return very strongly?", "What if I am once again affected by diarrhea or bloating?". For many, these types of fears are difficult to cope with, which in itself can exacerbate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Affected people withdraw more and more, and they avoid situations or activities where there is no toilet within reach or where they have to share the toilet with other guests. Quite often, the symptoms are easier to manage in a familiar atmosphere such as at home; those affected often relax better here, which has a favorable effect on gastrointestinal activity.
A client reports about irritable bowel syndrome
For several years, unfortunately, I suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. I then decided to start hypnotherapy and so far, it has helped me a lot. Ms. Isabella Buschinger is an extremely competent and empathetic person, and I feel very comfortable at her practice. I have finally learned to relax thoroughly and I am very impressed with the positive effects of hypnosis on my body and mind. I am more motivated and have more energy for my everyday life and I can only thank Ms. Buschinger for that
Irritable bowel Syndrome self test
Do I suffer from IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
The following questions may give you the first clues as to whether you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome:
Do you have the impression that you withdraw or avoid certain situations and activities because of the gastrointestinal symptoms?
Do you experience any of the following symptoms: Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, pain, digestive problems or cramping?
Do you worry about how you will feel on your way to work, potentially being stuck in a traffic jam, or are you anxious about your next meeting at a restaurant or movie theater?
Do you feel sick, run down or exhausted when the symptoms appear or even after the symptoms have subsided?
Do you know anyone in your family who is affected by IBS or gastrointestinal symptoms?
If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions and feel restricted in your daily life, you should seek medical or therapeutic advice. You may have irritable bowel syndrome. Please note that questions are always asked broadly, so it is possible that even people who are not affected by irritable bowel syndrome may get a positive result. Not everyone who has stomach and intestinal complaints suffers from IBS.
Irritable bowel syndrome facts
Scientifically confirmed: Effectiveness of Hypnotherapy for IBS
In 1984, gastroenterologist Peter Whorwell conducted a study on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome. During a three-month period, patients received seven hypnotherapy sessions and learned to implement self-hypnosis on a daily basis. During the same period, another group received a so-called "psychotherapeutic placebo treatment". The result showed a significant improvement of symptoms in the group with the hypnosis treatment. A result that was also confirmed after six years. 81% of those treated with hypnosis reported being symptom-free after six years.
Sources: Gonsalkorale, W.M., Houghton, L.A. & Whorwell, P.J. (2002). Hypnotherapy in irritable bowel syndrome: a large-scale audit of a clinical service with examination of factors influencing responsiveness. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 97, 954-961. gonsalkorale et al, 2002
IBS Statistics in Germany
27% of female respondents who suffered from gastrointestinal complaints at least once a month reported having irritable bowel syndrome. 19% of male respondents who suffered from gastrointestinal complaints at least once a month reported having irritable bowel syndrome. 51% of respondents (both sexes) who suffered from gastrointestinal discomfort at least once a month reported suffering from bloating.
Irritable bowel syndrome causes
Causes of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is complex in its effects, symptoms and also in the causes of the disorder. Even though the exact causes of IBS have not yet been conclusively clarified, today we can assume that different factors are potential triggers. Physical causes can play a role, such as: infections, imbalance or changes in the intestinal flora, hypersensitivity of the intestine and reaction to certain foods, intestinal inflammation, diet and food intolerances. In addition, a genetic predisposition, i.e. hereditary predisposition or pre-existing conditions, can lead to the expression of irritable bowel syndrome. However, psychological influences are equally relevant, such as excessive stress caused by psychosocial problems.
Irritable bowel syndrome consequences
What consequences can IBS have?
The longer IBS persists and remains untreated, the greater the suffering and the reduction in the quality of life of those affected. Affected persons often feel helpless, while fear of the next abdominal pain episode can increase.
The consequences of IBS may include:
The quality of life is severely affected.
Increased feelings of helplessness and even aggression can present themselves in private and professional life - this leads to psychosocial, somatic and economic consequences.
Significant behavioral changes due to avoidance of activities.
Secondary disorders can develop, such as anxiety disorders and depression, due to an increase of intense stress.
High psychological and physical stress due to gastrointestinal symptoms.
Withdrawal from social activities with friends and family.
Increased health risks due to "self-medication".
IBS and secondary conditions
First of all, irritable bowel syndrome is not dangerous. Nevertheless, those affected often feel very restricted on a mental and physical level. This can lead to secondary conditions, such as the development of anxiety and depression. Sufferers often withdraw more and more and avoid situations or activities where there is no toilet within reach, or situations wherein they have to share the toilet with other guests.
Irritable bowel syndrome hypnotherapy treatment
Treating irritable bowel syndrome with hypnosis
Hypnotherapy helps to calm the stomach and bowel. Hypnosis does not need any tangible organic findings, no clear physical diagnosis, in order to fully grasp the human being with his or her conditions. It finds direct access to our inner being, and to the huge network of nerves that make up our intestines. At the beginning of the IBS treatment, relaxation techniques are practiced. At the same time, the patient learns to focus feelings and thoughts on a specific point. This also means that pain can be blanked out, an experience that can be euphoric for some clients. In any case, the bowel relaxes and the first signs of progress appear. The second step is to identify and defuse the triggers of IBS. Often, those affected know one or the other "trigger" that hits them in the stomach. Sometimes it is a smell, a certain word or a color that causes memories to flare up and evoke nausea. During hypnosis, the patient has the opportunity to look closely at these "triggers" and very slowly charge them with something else, something innocuous. The triggering moment is reprogrammed, so to speak, or more precisely, it is rendered harmless.
Hypnotherapy helps with irritable bowel syndrome
Hypnotherapy can be a very good tool to get your symptoms under control. It helps against irritable bowel syndrome and allows you to experience deep calm. Through hypnosis, you will find access to your subconscious, have the opportunity to understand your wishes and desires, and find ways to fulfill these desires. This provides you with an overall sense of fulfilment. Your life becomes more calm and the discomfort caused by IBS will becomes less and less.