How much do we actually know about Irritable bowel syndrome? Irritable bowel syndrome, otherwise known as IBS, is a very common condition concerning the digestive system. Symptoms of IBS include bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.
Although the cause of IBS is still unknown, individuals suffering with IBS may be more sensitive to emotional life problems. Thus stress and anxiety may be considerable factors affecting patients,as they become more aware of spasms in the colon.
In addition, irritable bowel syndrome may also be triggered by the immune system, which is subsequently affected by stress. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), individuals suffering with IBS who are unable to respond to pharmacological treatments after a period of 12 months,
should consider a referral for psychological interventions, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy is now recognized by NICE as a possible treatment for IBS. Based upon previous studies, evidence has shown that hypnotherapy is an effective method for treating IBS. A particular study illustrates this.
Within A study 30 patients were randomly allocated to receive one of two treatments, either psychotherapy or hypnotherapy and also a placebo treatment. All 30 patients suffered from severe Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The results showed that the patients who received psychotherapy treatment had not shown any improvement in bowel habit however, there was a small but significant result in abdominal distention,
abdominal pain and general well-being. On the other hand, the hypnotherapy group had no relapses during the 3-month follow-up period and showed a dramatic improvement.
The differences between the two groups’ results were highly significant. (Whorwell PJ, Prior A, Faragher EB. 1984).
The question that many tend to ask is this; what is the relationship between the brain and IBS? The relevant area of the brain is known as the anterior cingulate cortex, whereby emotional content of pain is processed, and activity occurs when influenced by hypnosis.
For instance, a particular study has shown that the anterior cingulate cortex becomes activated when a hand was placed in hot water, and by suggesting to the individual under hypnosis that it will no longer feel painful, activation was consequently reduced. Therefore, it is presumed that hypnosis facilitates change in this area of the brain that has been shown to “overreact” in patients with IBS and could thus be another important component of its therapeutic effect (Whorwell, 2008).
AG Confidentiality Therapy specialises in cognitive behavioral hypnotherapy, a form of psychotherapy known to have an exceptionally high success rate.
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