Hypnotherapy | Crohn's, Colitis and IBS

Hypnotherapy | Crohn's, Colitis and IBS

Some people with Crohn's, Colitis and IBS find that the use of alternative therapies to help them manage some of the symptoms. There have been a number of studies carried out which have concluded that hypnotherapy may be effective in treating Crohn's, Colitis, IBS and other gastrointestinal disorders.

Many physical illnesses have found help with Hypnotherapy. The power of suggestion and mental imagery is a tool often overlooked but which can be of great benefit to sufferers of gastrointestinal problems. These illnesses are stress related, and Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy are both excellent aids to help control emotional stress.

How can hypnotherapy help?

Stress & anxiety

The body's default response to a stressful situation is to go into what is commonly known as the ‘fight or flight' mode. When this occurs, the blood drains from your digestive system and goes to your muscles preparing us for either ‘fight or flight'. Our awareness also changes, as we tend to perceive everything in our environment as a possible threat.
When this happens, we can lose the ability to think rationally and logically. Our immune system can become compromised. We can suffer from digestive problems, and getting enough restful sleep can also become a problem.

The ‘fight or flight' response is a primitive one and is hard-wired into our brains. It is a genetic trait designed to protect us from harm. To primitive man, stress occurred when having to run away from a predator; today stress is dealing with ill health, irritations at work, technology, project deadlines, relationships and family. The fight or flight responses is not helpful in today's stressful situations because there is nowhere to run and we can't use aggression to resolve every stressful situation, we get trapped in a semi-permanent state of tension. A quick burst of adrenalin is fine if you are about to be hit by a bus, but, consistently high levels of adrenalin caused by everyday life can be very detrimental.

So what do we do about stress? Clearly, a bit at appropriate times and places is a good thing to keep us out of danger. We can change our perception of stress especially when the situation is not life-threatening. The decision to use the stress response comes from our subconscious, and the most efficient way of communicating with that part of your brain is via hypnotherapy.

Confidence Issues

Everyone is actually born confident. As we go through life, some experiences add to our confidence levels, and other experiences take it away. If something has taken it away, it can seem difficult to get it back, as we become more sensitive to other things that knock our confidence further. Poor health caused by gastrointestinal problems can also affect your confidence as you may be reluctant to put yourself in unfamiliar situations, or we may find that we are always over analysing and doubting ourselves.

It may be that we have never had any encouragement or confirmation that we are doing the right thing. Starting a new job and worrying about how we are going to get on can affect your confidence, as can pressure from people around us.

Whatever your issues are for lacking confidence, be they caused by gastrointestinal problems or other factors, hypnotherapy can help you regain your confidence. In turn, this can have an incredibly beneficial effect on your life and health. Results can be quick, efficient and lasting.

Bathroom Anxiety

With diarrhoea being a primary symptom, those with gastrointestinal problems can find themselves becoming obsessed as to where the nearest available toilet is. This 'obsessing' can create anxiety - especially if we don't know if there is a toilet available nearby.

As we have seen, anxiety can have a harmful effect on the digestive system, and this heightens the need to use the bathroom. For some, just being away from the comforts of home can be enough to cause anxiety and consequent diarrhoea.

We can also start to create negative thoughts and ideas of what's likely to happen based on past history, and this is incredibly powerful. So if there has been a problem in a given situation in the past, you might then expect it to happen again in the future, or just worry about it happening at the worst possible moment. Unfortunately, this often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Hypnotherapy can not only calm down this negative stress response it can also change your perception and expectation of how your body will respond in certain situations.

How is hypnotherapy done?

Hypnotherapy is done on a one-to-one basis, in a quiet, comfortable environment. All your questions will be answered before taking you into a hypnotherapy session, and the process of hypnosis is done by talking you through a relaxation.

You will hear everything that is being said to you, and you will remember everything. You are always in control at all times during a hypnotherapy session. It's a very similar experience to meditating or daydreaming and is a very relaxing experience.

About the Author

Tara | BA (Hons), MSc, DHP Acc. Hyp., DPLT.

Tara is a fully qualified psychotherapist specialising in counselling, hypnotherapy and fitness training in Lincoln, Lincolnshire UK.

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