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Can hypnotherapy help calm an Irritable Bowel?

Could Hypnotherapy help calm the symptoms of irritable bowel? Unless you have ever lost control or nearly lost control of your bowls in a public place you may not understand the total horror that results of such a horrendous experience. A year after I had the awful experience of having to find a toilet really […]

Portait of Julie Phillips, Stokesley, North Yorkshire, online support, Julie Phillips Therapeutic Coaching,

Could Hypnotherapy help calm the symptoms of irritable bowel?

Unless you have ever lost control or nearly lost control of your bowls in a public place you may not understand the total horror that results of such a horrendous experience. A year after I had the awful experience of having to find a toilet really quickly, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS.

After several visits to the doctors &, I was given a diagnosis. There was a vague discussion about possible food triggers plus dietary & lifestyle changes but nothing specific.

What is IBS?

IBS is a wide spectrum of symptoms varying in severity. At least one in four of the general population is can be affected at some time in their lives (Jones 1992, Harvey 1983 Cook 1987)  IBS is described as a bowel disorder in which abdominal pin is linked with defecation or a change in bowel habit. Symptoms can include loose bowels, sudden need to go to the toilet, fatigue, head ache, bloating, frequent wind and pain.

Although this condition is classed as ‘non serious’ it can have significant negative impact upon the health and wellbeing of sufferers.

Stress can be a factor

It has been noted that stress and trauma can also exacerbate symptoms of IBS. I did not manage my stress well. I had a full time teaching job plus Head of Department role. I was also  working late, working weekends and making sure I gave time to  my own two school aged children who needed me. This meant I put myself last on the list. I over worked; I drank too much alcohol on a Friday & Saturday night to anaesthetise the stress of the working week. I started work again on Sundays  just to try and keep up with the demands of the job . I did not focus on my own nutrition and I was not sleeping well and my body reacted badly.

The stress increased and the IBS got worse. At one point I was going to the loo two or three times before meetings, I was in pain with bloating and wind.  I felt such anxiety about being in a classroom away from a toilet that  I used to sweat profusely.  I cut out food groups, drank buckets of peppermint tea and avoided gluten. Nothing worked. It was like being trapped in a nightmare.

The road to wellness

I knew I needed to make some changes. Sadly my stress had reached such a toxic  level that I decided to leave my full time teaching career and reassess work life balance.

As a clinical hypnotherapist, I have taken particular interest in the management of IBS and reduction of symptoms. 2008 NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) guidelines cite hypnosis as a psychological treatment rather than complementary or alternative. Using hypnosis, I was able to help myself reduce IBS significantly. I am over 99% better (symptom free)  than I used to be!

My road to healing started with stress reduction.  IBS is extremely common but not always spoken about to others. Perhaps it is the fear or embarrassment that prevents suffers from seeking help. Certainly I have no such embarrassment now about talking with my clients about symptoms as I experienced many myself.

Hypnotherapy is a natural choice

Often clients consider hypnotherapy as a last resort and yet the medical profession are becoming more and more aware of the holistic benefits of hypnotherapy delivered by a trained clinical hypnotherapist. I have empathy with my clients; I understand they may feel anxious about coming to see a therapist.

It can feel exhausting just talking about the symptoms – many people can feel emotionally drained before they can even think about treatment.  I use Hypnotherapy to help clients by

  • Teaching effective relaxation techniques & self-hypnosis
  • Supporting clients in creation of small positive goals
  • Creating sensory approaches to stress reduction
  • Providing post hypnotic suggestions and audios to maintain changes

Hypnotherapy supports people who suffer from IBS to reconnect with their bodies; clients learn how to improve their management of symptoms and improve their confidence and self-esteem. Just sitting down with a client and exploring how they feel and why they feel as they do can be the first step on the road to recovery. Restoring their emotional energy is often the second step. There are other steps along the way and I combine them in separate sessions for each client as an individual.

Want to know more?  

If you would like to know more about how I work with clients who suffer from symptoms of IBS, get in touch for your free phone consultation Contact Julie

Workshops

I am currently running a taster workshop on relaxation and stress reduction on 23rd September at 7pm. The cost is just £10 and the workshop will last for 90 minutes.

Places are limited.