Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS as it is known as a long-term ailment which affects a person’s digestive system. 10 % of the population can be afflicted with this issue at some point in their life. Some sufferers have extreme symptoms and in many cases need to seek medical help.
These can include tiredness, stomach pain, loose stools, sickness, constipation, flatulence and often coincide with depression and anxiety. The food we ingest travels through the digestive tract and if it moves through the gut at an incorrect speed it can cause IBS.
When the circular muscle in the colon wall contracts behind a portion of food or digestive products, the central hole of the tube narrows and pushes its contents along. At the same time the circular muscle in front of the contents relaxes making the central hole enlarge and allowing the contents to slip along easily in a normal bowel movement.
At the end of the colon, a strong movement known as mass peristalsis pushes the contents toward the rectum. This movement occurs when more food enters the stomach. Mass peristalsis happens three to four times a day, during or soon after a meal and is the cause of abdominal rumblings, and bloating and pain, and it is also these strong contractions that stimulate a bowel movement
Research has found that the colon of an IBS sufferer is more sensitive and reactive than usual, so it responds strongly to stimuli that would not bother others.
IBS is often accompanied by fear, fear of pain, fear of uncontrollable diarrhoea, fear of being out of control, and this is most likely to set it off again. It’s a vicious circle.
Lyta Humphris of Hypnosisdevon says there is much evidence to suggest that hypnotherapy can have long term positive effects on IBS This is done by using relaxation, stress management, ego strengthening, and getting rid of the fear of going out in case you cannot find a toilet, together with gut directed hypnotherapy. We have had many, many positive results.
*Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person