Can Hypnosis Help IBS Sufferers? Yes but only if you try it!


Every once in a while a real Gem appears about the efficacy of Hypnosis. Hopefully, as the cost of medical treatments continues to rise, alternative treatments, like hypnotherapy will help to lower costs! In this particular article about IBS, hypnotherapy is a shining example of how the human brain, via our ability to effectively communicate with it, shows its potential  .  .  .

 Every once in a while a real Gem appears about the efficacy of Hypnosis. Hopefully, as the cost of medical treatments continues to rise, alternative treatments, like hypnotherapy will help to lower costs! In this particular article about IBS, hypnotherapy is a shining example of how the human brain, via our ability to effectively communicate with it, shows its potential

The most logical reason for the success of hypnotherapy relating to IBS is the effect it can have on the hypothalamus. While a very small region of the brain, it plays a very large role in how we function, both physically and emotionally! There are several regions in the hypothalamus that regulate our body's functions. For example, the anterior hypothalamic nucleus (supraoptic region) plays a role in thermal regulation, preventing us from overheating but it also has several parasympathetic nervous system functions (PNS). It's counter-part, the posterior hypothalamic nucleus, (mamillary region), prevents us from getting too cold and has several sympathetic nervous systems responses (SNS). The tuber cinereum, containing the arcuate nucleus, is responsible for the release and inhibition of many hormones, peptides and neurotransmitters, This occurs through a very complex veinous/capillary system, called the hypothalamic-hypophysial portal system. This complex system involves the activation and inhibition of growth hormones, gonadotropin hormones (FSH/LH), thyrotropin hormones, prolactin (with dopamine acting as its inhibitory system), ACTH (initiating the stress response),

When it comes to IBS related structures, the medial/dorsal hypothalamic nuclei (with lateral connections), is involved in the functions relating to satiety are medial and hunger and thirst, dorsal. They also play a role in certain mood functions, medial good/joy and dorsal bad/anger. Eating behaviours (chewing etc) are a function of the mamillary nuclei. Another important nucleus is the suprachiasmatic nucleus (supraoptic region) which, together with the habenula and pineal body, regulates our internal body clock (circadian rhythms). So, much of our everyday life experience comes under the purview of the hypothalamus. However, it is its. involvement in the initiation of the stress response (SNS) and subsequently the relaxation response (PNS), that may hold the key. Ghrelin is a hormone that tells the hypothalamus you are hungry and leptin is a hormone that tells your hypothalamus you are full. However, stress hormones affect both of these hormones and there's an evolutionary logic to that. No matter how hungry you are, if you are being chased by a predator, you need to switch off the 'let's eat' switch. And no matter how full you are, if there is an emotional feeling, that is only satisfied by the hypothalamic pleasure centres, then you may go beyond full.

In that sense, hypnotherapy can help to uncover the causes of unnecessary stress and/or the need for emotional satiation. The increasing presence of parasympathetic stimulation makes the brain and body, work in a more normal way. So, the calming effect of hypnosis puts us in a state of mind that allows the brain/body to work in a more optimal way. From a technical, maybe even primordial perspective, the PNS is akin to the chemical correlates of the emotion we call love. Human experience as a consequence of romantic love (including sex), alcohol or mind-altering drugs, is akin to a highly exaggerated form of this chemical love experience. Because the feelings that emanate from romance, sex, drugs and rock n roll are often highly pleasurable, naturally, the brain wants more of it, why wouldn't it! However, it's way more than the brain needs to do an excellent job.

The downside of this hypothalamic yo-yo between ghrelin (hungry) and leptin (full), is that it often a consequence of excessive stress hormones. The Yo-Yo is a consequence of, on the one hand, feeding the emotional need for joy and, on the other, the need to survive. This results in survival system activation and often a pronounced dampening of the gastrointestinal system. The last thing you need when the bear is after you is a McDonald's! IBS is, therefore, the presence of certain neurological and gastrointestinal chemicals that are sending and receiving mixed messages, resulting in the digestive system having a meltdown. Hypnosis, apart from its ability to realign the dysfunctionality of our mental-emotional systems, is a great way to increase the parasympathetic (relaxation) response and it is in the presence of the PNS, that normal hypothalamic function can be restored.

Hypnotherapy stands out as one of the most effective strategic life management methods there is, especially in its ability to promote clear thinking and good states of mental wellness. The behaviours that make life challenging are often a result of too much stress, too little or poor quality sleep and too little by way of mental and emotional clarity! So, to get or take back control of your mind and your life, it makes perfect sense to use a methodology that addresses the subconscious brain's role in perpetuating negative, vague and ambiguous states of mind. Hypnosis helps us to create calm relaxing states of mind that make life work better! If you would like to address any concerns you have in this direction, or, if you just want the ability to make your life feel better, then why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation? Hypnosis gives you the ability to have a good life! 

My objective is to help people understand how and why we become illogically trapped into emotional experiences that may actually be happening but for reasons, we may never have imagined! If you want to know more about Hypnotherapy, why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation? 

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The Research:
The BBC report on the findings of a top Dr in gastroenterology; Dr Roland Valori of the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital in the UK.

Dr Roland Valori, the editor of Frontline Gastroenterology, said of the first 100 of his patients treated, symptoms improved significantly for nine in 10. He said that although previous research has shown hypnotherapy is effective for IBS sufferers, it is not widely used.

This may be because doctors simply do not believe it works.

Widely ignored

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gut problem that can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and sometimes diarrhoea or constipation. Dr Valori, of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, said the research evidence which shows that hypnotherapy could help sufferers of IBS was first published in the 1980s. He thinks it has been widely ignored because many doctors find it hard to believe that it does work or to comprehend how it could work. He began referring IBS patients for hypnotherapy in the early 1990s and has found it to be highly effective. "To be frank, I have never looked back," he said. He audited the first 100 cases he referred for hypnotherapy and found that the symptoms stopped completely in four in ten cases with typical IBS. He says in a further five in 10 cases patients reported feeling more in control of their symptoms and were therefore much less troubled by them. "It is pretty clear to me that it has an amazing effect," he said. "It seems to work particularly well on younger female patients with typical symptoms, and those who have only had IBS for a relatively short time."

Powerful effect

He believes that it could work partly by helping to relax patients. "Of the relaxation therapies available, hypnotherapy is the most powerful," he said. He also says that IBS patients often face difficult situations in their lives, and hypnotherapy can help them respond to these stresses in a less harmful way.

NHS guidelines allow doctors to refer IBS patients for hypnotherapy or other psychological therapies if medication is unsuccessful and the problem persists. Dr Valori thinks that if hypnotherapy were used more widely it could possibly save the NHS money while improving patient care. Dr Charlie Murray, Secretary of the British Gastroenterology Society, said: "There is no doubt that hypnotherapy is helpful for some patients, but it depends on the skill and experience of those practising it. "But the degree to which it is effective is not well defined. "I would support using it as one therapy, but it is no panacea."




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