IBS is a common condition that can affect as many as 1 in 5 of us. You may be experiencing symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, wind, indigestion and nausea.
If IBS is making your life miserable, you may be feeling that there is no hope for living a “normal” life.
Hypnotherapy can be the solution that enables you to remove the worry and discomfort that has been taking over your life.
The Gut-Brain Connection & IBS
The gut is our second brain and what is happening in the mind is reflected in the gut.
The gut and brain are communicating with each other continuously and if there is dysfunction in the flow of these messages, it can play a role in IBS symptoms. The brain can misinterpret signals from the gut, which increases the body’s response to stress, food and other triggers and results in digestive discomfort, bloating and many trips to the toilet. Your gut is trapped in “fight or flight” mode and becomes hypersensitive to triggers.
When we are feeling stressed or anxious, we may experience digestive issues due to this strong connection between the gut and the brain.
You may notice that IBS symptoms get worse when your stress and anxiety levels are high. It’s a catch-22 situation as the nature of your symptoms creates stress, which keeps the vicious cycle going.
Now that we have moved into a brand-new year, you may be putting yourself under pressure to achieve new goals and it’s only going to add more stress.
If there is trauma that isn’t being addressed, it can also have an effect. Trauma encourages the stomach to “freeze” and stops it from functioning as it should.
Many people find that diet alone will only go so far in helping you to overcome IBS as it isn’t addressing the gut-brain connection.
Benefits of Hypnotherapy for IBS
Hypnotherapy is a safe and effective treatment for IBS. It uses the power of your mind, which can “retrain” gut-brain communication and reduce symptoms in the long term.
Hypnotherapy is one of the tools that can help to move the body into a “rest or digest” state and away from “fight or flight”, which is crucial for managing IBS symptoms. By programming your mind, it can reduce pain and sensitivity, giving you more control over how your gut functions.
Solution-focused hypnotherapy can also help to:
Calm your mind. By activating the parasympathetic brain, we can help to calm your digestive system and reduce the effects of IBS. We are effectively retraining the brain and gut to communicate in a different way. Mindfulness, meditation and breathing exercises can also support this.
Let your brain know that your body is safe. Believe it or not, pain can be a safety mechanism. It’s your brain’s way of trying to protect you against threats. One of the keys to managing long-term pain is to help your brain be less protective of you. Hypnotherapy can provide your brain to feel this safety and reduce the “evidence” of a threat being present.
Manage your stress levels. We can work on reducing stress and anxiety and addressing trauma so that your digestive system can function properly. We can address emotional triggers behind your IBS symptoms so that your symptoms can be reduced.
Boost serotonin levels. As much as 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut (not the brain!) and it has a significant impact on digestive symptoms. Reducing your stress levels is crucial as stress encourages the release of stress hormones that can have an impact on serotonin levels. Reframing your thoughts can also help to naturally increase serotonin levels.
Online hypnotherapy can be even more relaxing than face to face hypnotherapy. It takes place in the comfort of your own home, and you can even wear your PJ’s if it helps you get the most from our sessions (no judgement here!). When you are already feeling anxious and on edge due to IBS symptoms, this can be invaluable.
A Combined Approach to Treating IBS
I combine hypnotherapy with NLP to overcome traumas safely and efficiently. As you learned already, trauma can freeze the stomach and move the body into “flight or fight” mode.
You don’t need to share and relive traumatic memories to move through them. Trauma has a domino effect. It has a huge impact on your behaviour, choices, how to live your life, how to deal with friends and family. But the amazing thing is that if we take one of the dominos away, the whole trauma pattern collapses. That's why I love NLP and use it with all my clients.
Hypnotherapy can be incredibly effective for managing IBS but it’s even more powerful when it’s combined with other therapies like NLP.
Another great tool to use for IBS is Reiki.
Besides the brain-based therapies, I am also a Reiki master. Reiki can help to balance your address energy blockages and rebalance energy flow in the body. It can also reduce stress, anxiety and pain and increase energy levels. It’s a great way to move the body into a “rest or digest” state.
All my therapies will lead you into a lovely, relaxed state that supports your journey towards being back in balance. They also enable your body and mind to receive suggestions that help you to feel better.
The only belief that is needed is that it is possible for you to get better.
I have struggled with IBS myself, so I know just how you feel. Years of anxiety and trying to look and be perfect resulted in IBS that quickly took over my life.
I was afraid of eating out and had to make sure I could always be close to a toilet. I wouldn’t eat when travelling in case I couldn’t make it to a toilet, and I would have to give myself plenty of flexibility with my plans to keep using the bathroom.
This was my life for 10 years.
During a break in Malta (one of many trips that had been disrupted by my IBS), I decided that things needed to change. It led me to discover brain-based therapies and ultimately, my IBS symptoms disappeared, and I can enjoy life again.
I created an approach combining different techniques so I can help other people to do the same.
Feel free to get in touch and see how I can help you to overcome IBS 😊