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Are you someone who experiences digestive discomfort? Abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or gas dragging you down? Does abdominal discomfort send you running to the bathroom at inconvenient times? Keep you from doing your favorite things or achieving your goals, because of stress and worry about your symptoms?

If so, you may have gone to the doctor for a battery of tests, and, barring any other diagnoses, have been (or will be) told that you have irritable bowel syndrome.

The diagnosis of IBS can feel frustrating because it’s often portrayed as having stress-related causes, also known to some people as being “all in your mind.”

This article is going to explain how being stress-related does NOT make it all in your mind. But you can use your mind to heal your gut! We are going to explain how you can use the power of your subconscious mind, through hypnotherapy, to begin to heal your gut and manage (by significantly reducing) your IBS symptoms! Hypnosis for IBS can help heal your gut.

What is happening in my body with IBS?

The technical definition of the syndrome, according to John Hopkin’s is “a digestive disorder that causes abdominal paindiarrheaconstipation, bloating, gas or a combination of the above.”

However, a stress-related disorder doesn’t mean that the symptoms are imaginary or that it’s all in your mind. The symptoms are very real. The bloating, cramping, constipation, diarrhea, and non-stop or sudden running to the bathroom … can significantly impact you every day and affect your quality of life.

What is going on in your body is a series of miscommunications between your brain and your gut.

The information superhighway communicating these messages (part of the gut-brain axis) is called The Vagus Nerve.

Our digestive system has an incredibly complex system of nerves that operate as its own nervous system, called the enteric nervous system. The central and enteric nervous systems communicate via the Vagus Nerve.

Meet the latest celeb: The Vagus Nerve

The vagus nerve is enjoying a bit of celebrity status right now because it plays a critical role in the parasympathetic response. It transmits the neurochemical messages that tell our body to calm down, relax, enter “rest, and digest” after periods of stress and activation.  And in our modern-day, stressed-out society, we don’t activate our parasympathetic response nearly enough. This leads to physical problems when the body stays “stressed out” for too long (or all the time!).

The vagus nerve “wanders” throughout the whole body and innervates every major system of organs. Many stress-related disorders involve dysfunction at the endpoint of the vagus nerve. This is caused by a constant flow of “danger” messages from the vagus nerve. The body’s systems are directed to stay in “fight or flight.” This means we rarely get to the state where our digestive and other systems can catch up and be operating normally, as in “rest and digest” – the state where our body is calm, orderly, and doing its necessary functions like fueling, repairing, and healing.

An overactive danger signal can impact digestion by blocking, slowing down, or suddenly activating our digestive motility. This is the process of muscles in the gut moving food through.  It can also speed up the gastrocolic reflex, which signals the body to eliminate food after eating (making us run to the bathroom. Over time, we can become even more sensitive to what is going on in the gut, causing our stress to be triggered just by thinking about what is happening in our stomach. Anticipating the pain or discomfort only makes it worse. It creates a cycle of stress and discomfort! (Source: https://mindbasedhealing.org/alternative-healing-irritable-bowel-syndrome/)

How can I heal my gut from IBS?

But don’t fear, we would never end this article without telling you how we can help. While conventional medical treatments tend to be less effective for IBS, hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy are two modalities that have demonstrated very good scientific results for the improvement of physical and psychological symptoms.

A randomized, clinical trial published in the Journal of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics in 2021 showed that gut-directed hypnotherapy had the same effect as a low FODMAP diet on functional and gastrointestinal symptoms, and demonstrated better psychological outcomes than diet alone.

Hypnosis for IBS: Heal Your Gut

A gut-directed hypnotherapy approach throughout 6 – 8 sessions can help by:

  • Decreasing sensitivity to physical sensations in the gut (the feelings of discomfort decrease in severity)
  • Increasing the relaxation response; strengthening the calming signals coming through the vagus nerve
  • Disconnecting any unhelpful connections in your brain & nervous system between digestion and stress/activation
  • Changing the subconscious messages that are activating the stress response
  • Altering brain-to-gut messages affects the movement of the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. It also affects elimination and other gut functions
  • Sending signals of safety from your brain through your vagus nerve. This, in turn, reduces inflammation, improves digestive motility and calms your nervous system
  • Identifying and resolving past experiences & emotions that may be triggering the stress
  • Significantly improving physical and psychological symptoms, with results that have been demonstrated to last over five years in 81 percent of cases 

As a clinical hypnotherapist, I would be happy to work with you virtually from the comfort of your home. Hypnosis can significantly improve your IBS symptoms so you can find relief and regain your quality of life! Gut-directed hypnotherapy can help you get back to a life worth celebrating.

We are excited to offer a 20% discount on your first hypnosis for IBS session. (Please confirm you have a medical diagnosis to exclude other possible causes.)

Please feel free to reach out with any questions! Just click here to book using code 20CRYSTAL for 20% OFF.