IBS Relief

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It was just a little more than a year ago that I became known as the Hiccup-notist. That is, I helped a young girl overcome her hiccups of 38 days. The case made international headlines. It resulted in my working with others with similar ailments. I often refer to the individual who had severe, chronic burping for two years solid and another hiccup case, that individual suffered for four years, not to mention work I have done with sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS consists of abnormal changes in the way the gut normally functions, without any detectable structural changes. IBS is diagnosed by physicians based on the symptoms described by the patient, it is one of the most common functional disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. IBS is characterized by symptoms including diarrhea, pain and bloating. The condition can seriously affect sufferers’ quality of life and finding treatment can be difficult, leading many doctors to feel they can do little to help. These symptoms are often intermittent, however they can last for years.

I have taken further training in the area of IBS, there is so much research into the effectiveness of hypnosis for this condition. Hypnosis is one of the most successful treatment approaches for chronic IBS, the response rate to treatment is 80% and better in most published studies to date. Research by Peter Whorwell, Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterology in the University of Manchester, Medical School (in the UK) and Director of the South Manchester Functional Bowel Service, has been researching the use of hypnosis for over 20 years. Whorwell is quoted as stating, “IBS is ideal for treatment with hypnosis, as there is no structural damage to the body. 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.” This program is done in workshops, including ten one-hour sessions. During the sessions, participants are given an explanation of how the gut works and what causes their symptoms, and then utilizes the healing power of the person’s own mind. The treatment sometimes results in improvement in other symptoms or problems such as migraine or tension headaches, along with the improvement in IBS symptoms. I will be holding workshops starting the end of June. I will post the announcement soon.

Meanwhile, perhaps you recall my mention of Seth-Deborah Roth, the nurse hypnotist I had the great pleasure of meeting in Daytona. It just so happens she came upon an interview with Dr. Mayer of UCLA regarding the body mind connection and pain and IBS! Apparently, Dr. Mayer studied hypnosis in his fellowship. At any rate, here is the link to Seth-Deborah’s blog with a great interview! http://hypnotichealth.blogspot.com/

There are times when an individual may seek help for an issue, appear to be trying and yet success alludes them. There are those who reach their desired success quickly, then seem to do a complete 180 degree turn. Why is this?

Perhaps it is due to something called a secondary gain. If your disease allows you to miss days of work or school, illicit sympathy or gain attention, these are some examples of what a secondary gain is. Every behavior we have rewards us in some way or we wouldn’t have that behavior. That’s right, every behavior. Even the negative ones. Therefore, when changes don’t seem to occur, it is time to take a look at what the benefit is.

It is usually said that to suggest you might be taking advantage of others as a result of your suffering is to blame the victim. How can you take any course of action when you are assumed to be unable to help yourself? This allows you to be treated as a victim, removing any responsibility to change your circumstances.

Are you giving yourself permission to act out irresponsibly because you “can’t control yourself”? Going a step further, you can treat others poorly or have power over them if you are the “victim” and they need to conform to your special needs. Perhaps your family all has a similar issue and this allows you to be a part of the clan.

Through hypnosis, we can journey together to discover what the gains are. They are often not something the logical mind would expect. Once discovered, another method of meeting that need can be established. A healthy habit, thought or behavior that will allow you to move beyond the issue towards success. Away from over eating, nail biting, smoking or even the hiccups towards a life of freedom!

A former client with a long term physical ailment came to me hoping for a cure. There had been quite a bit of attention given to her ailment and her attempts at curing it. In my office, she was able to find relief. However, we agreed there needed to be more work done, to allow this to become a permanent change. The siren call of the media attention took hold. The follow up visits were not kept. The relief was sporadic. Perhaps a secondary gain can be seen here.

When you make a commitment to yourself, for change, it is important that you follow through with the entire course of action. You are worth it!