The gut-brain connection
Our brain and gut are intrinsically connected. We have ‘gut feelings’ about a person or event, and feel ‘butterflies’ in our stomach when something exciting happens. Neuroscientists have become increasingly aware that our gut may hold key insights into brain function.
The gut has a ‘mini-brain’ a network of neurons called the enteric nervous system. The brain and enteric nervous system talk, and the shared communication line between the two is often called the gut-brain axis “The gut brain superhighway”.
Living with IBS
Bloating, constipation, cramps and diarrhoea are some of the physical symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It can cause extensive anxiety, worry fears, obsessions and embarrassment that can negatively affect all aspects of a person’s life from their relationships, work, and social activities. IBS sufferers usually feel trapped and have to plan their lives meticulously around the nearest toilet or exit.
How we think affects our gut
It has now been shown that in some cases how we think and emotional triggers, affect the function of the central nervous system (or brain) by the connections of the brain gut relay, can affect the intestines. This in turn can bring about a nervous reaction in the gut. These emotional triggers could be stress or anxiety, or physical or verbal abuse for instance. A given amount of stress has been shown to have a greater adverse effect on intestinal reaction and sensation than in non-sufferers. Certainly, many sufferers consider that stress is an important factor and is responsible for triggering flare ups of their symptoms.
How can gut focused hypnotherapy help?
The good news is that there is effective help available! Gut focused hypnotherapy has been shown to significantly improve symptoms and is now listed in the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines as a recognised IBS therapy approach.
Hypnotherapy can help break this cycle. It can help reduce anxiety and stress levels, which can lead to improvements in the frequency and intensity of symptoms (including pain), but it can also help sufferers to develop strategies to effectively deal with stress and anxiety for longer-term improvements. In addition to this, it can help individuals to take control of their lives and to build confidence and self-esteem. In combination, these benefits help individuals to reconnect with their lives, so that they can be free to enjoy activities, be spontaneous and spend time with friends, family and work colleagues.
Peter Whorwell, Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology in the School of Medicine and Director of the South Manchester Functional Bowel Service, discovered a way to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) using hypnotherapy. Most recently, 250 patients who have suffered from IBS for over two years were given twelve one-hour sessions, during which they were given an explanation of how the gut works and what causes their symptoms.
During the hypnotherapy, sufferers learn how to influence and gain control of their gut function, and then seem to be able to change the way the brain modulates their gut activity. The treatment has a success rate of about 70%. Gut-directed hypnotherapy is a special form of hypnotherapy developed for IBS and digestive disorder sufferers. It uses the therapeutic qualities of hypnotherapy, such as deep relaxation, and adds gut-specific treatments and suggestions.
The gut brain superhighway
Hypnotherapy is now acknowledged within the wider medical profession as an evidenced-based therapy which can help to reduce symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome or alleviate it completely. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) lists hypnotherapy as a treatment for IBS. I always advise you to seek advice from your GP if needed especially in the case of IBS and migraines or ongoing physical problems which might need medical interventions. I receive referrals from local Gastroenterologists as they understand that hypnosis can help alleviate the symptoms of IBS, especially where anxiety is concerned.
Hypnosis is completely natural, safe & relaxing. You will remain conscious and in complete control during the treatment.
All client data is kept strictly confidential.
Hypnotherapy individual sessions £80.00, including MP3. (Block bookings of 6 sessions £400.00, a saving of £80.00).
Payment is required before a session begins and payment for block bookings is required before the first session begins.
We offer a free initial consultation before any treatment begins at the Bourne Practice.
Face to face sessions in my Practice or online - Zoom hypnotherapy