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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Hypnosis
Hypnotherapy For Irritable Bowel Syndrome
(Tracy Bowden, the reporter interviewing the IBS patient Sally Casper)
For Sally Casper, a trip to the local dog park was once a stressful and unpredictable exercise.
(Sally Casper, talking to her dogs)
Come on. Let’s all go.
(Sally talking to Tracy)
Just out of the blue, your body tells you: “I have got to go to the bathroom now.” It’s just all-encompassing. You don’t think of anything else but: “How will I get there?” This terrible fear that: “Will I make it in time?” (Sally laughs)
It’s just dreadful.
For 30 years she struggled with irritable bowel syndrome.
(Tracy to Sally)
How often might this hit you?
At its worst, before I’d go out in the morning: Maybe three times that I’d have go to the bathroom, And perhaps after lunch, another couple of times. Again in the evening, I might be just ready to go out and all of a sudden I’ll say, like, “Wait. I’ve got to go back inside again.” And out we’ll go – and again.
So yeah, too much. Way too much, which is an awkward thing. So nobody actually knew. It was something I controlled. It wasn’t something I discussed with anybody. You keep it to yourself. You’re pretty private about having irritable bowel.
Sally Casper might have suffered in silence but she’s definitely not alone.
(Peter Gibson, a gastroenterologist)
Probably 10, 15 per cent of Australians will have at it some time in their lives, so it’s very, very common. It’s the second most common cause why people will not be at work: absenteeism. And when you’re at work with it, you don’t work as well. So we call that presenteeism.
Professor Peter Gibson is a globally recognised expert on IBS.
IBS is a condition where people get bloating, abdominal pain and change of bowel habits over a long period of time. They might get it three, four, five, six days a week; even seven days a week they get the symptoms. And it goes on. It goes on and on. So it’s a chronic condition.
So do we know what causes it?
Some people, it’s brought on after a very major stress. But many people, it just occurs and we can’t find anything to blame.
Professor Gibson and his team at Monash University developed a diet which has provided relief for thousands of IBS patients. It’s called the low-FODMAP diet and eliminates certain carbohydrates.
Zooming into the molecular surface of the intestinal cells, we see they are covered in molecular machines that accelerate the breakdown of carbohydrates.
Some carbohydrates are not digested or absorbed by people. The rapidly fermentable short-chain carbohydrates that can’t be absorbed are called FODMAPs.
And they bring more water into the bowel. They also get fermented to make more gas. So in all of us, what they do is: They stretch the bowel wall. And that’s a major stimulus for symptoms, if you have got a sensitive gut. In other words if you have got IBS.
Now there’s another treatment proving equally successful.
I’ve never had hypnotherapy in any way before. I’ve seen it at a hen’s night. (Sally laughs) But that wasn’t what I was going to have.
(Simone Peters, a psycho-physiologist)
Well, if I’m honest, I don’t think hypnotherapy was probably something that I was all that interested in when I first started in the area.
(Sally is at a hypnosis session with Simone)
(Simone, doing the hypnosis on Sally)
Powerful changes are happening inside your body. This medicine is doing you so much good. Soon you notice that you can feel this medicine travelling further down into your intestines.
It leaves a strong, protective coating: A coating that…(Trails off)
Sally Casper tried medication, alternative therapies and diet changes without much success. So decided to try what’s called gut-directed hypnotherapy, consulting Dr Simone Peters.
(Simone, doing the hypnosis on Sally)
You no longer feel sensations of pain, bloating or discomfort. Your bowel habits are normal.
The hypnosis itself is really just a state of relaxation. And once we get somebody into a really nice deep state of relaxation, the aim is to provide suggestion to that sort of subconscious part of the mind. And I guess the key thing about gut-directed hypnosis is that that suggestion is made toward controlling gut function.
(Tracy to Sally after the sessions)
What difference did it make?
Quite dramatic. I only ended up having – you have five sessions over, let’s say, a weekly basis if possible. I think an 80 per cent improvement, which is miraculous. I’m really excited about it.
The team at Monash Uni carried out a study which compared the impact of gut-related hypnotherapy with that of the low-FODMAP diet. The results were dramatic.
So we found, actually, that after six weeks of treatment, 72 per cent of participants had improved with regard to their global gut symptoms following hypnotherapy.
Why does it work?
Good question. We don’t know exactly how it works. So mechanistically we don’t know exactly what is causing this improvement. But we do know that there are changes from both a psychological and a physiological perspective.
And it’s equally as beneficial as the low-FODMAP diet. So the low-FODMAP diet is now considered the gold standard with regard to dietary therapy for irritable bowel syndrome. And we can show, in fact, that hypnotherapy is just as beneficial as the low-FODMAP diet.
But I think that the really key thing, is that people actually don’t need to change their diets when they do the hypnosis.
As Professor Peter Gibson and his team continue their research, they also hope to better inform general practitioners and increase the number of people trained to treat those with IBS.
Our registrars, who are the training gastroenterologists, get active training in irritable bowel syndrome. In the past it’s been a little bit more passive.
Sally Casper feels so liberated that she’s now happy to talk about what was once her inconvenient secret.
It was remarkable. I wouldn’t have believed that it could work so effectively. There can be relapses. It’s not always perfect. But in comparison to how things were for me, it’s amazing.
Change your mind; Change your life
I have seen firsthand that hypnosis can be a powerful tool to help clients overcome IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
I know that I can help you if you are ready to take that first step to taking back control of your health and well-being – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I pride myself on being honest, thorough and highly ethical. Life experience has given me a natural empathy for those who seek my help.
You can start to change your life now and beat IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
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08 9388 6322
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