- You have a big presentation due at work which could make or break your promotion ….
- You are going to meet someone for the first time; someone who can influence your entire future …
- You are traveling to see your family for the first time in a year with your fiancé who they have never met ….
- Your anxiety is running high and your heartbeat is racing and then it happens: You have to find a bathroom. NOW!
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
If one of these is a situation that you are all too familiar with then you might have already been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). If not, researchers have found that personal stress level and anxiety level can have a direct effect on the development of IBS. Sure, there might be other factors present for developing IBS but often there are few medical reasons why IBS occurs.
IBS affects the large intestine and causes gas, bloating, diarrhea, cramping, and constipation and it affects more women than men. It may be an embarrassing situation to talk to a doctor about these symptoms but IBS is considered a chronic condition and you are going to need help controlling the symptoms. Most of the time IBS can become controlled by managing a person's diet, lifestyle, and stress; however, others may need more assistance from a second party, and this may mean medication or counseling.
An effective treatment during counseling sessions is hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy can reduce a person's panic attacks and anxiety. While everyone has anxiety, it becomes disruptive for some people, especially those with IBS - even celebrities. You may feel like it will be impossible for your fast-thinking brain to become relaxed enough for hypnotherapy, but you would be surprised what you are willing to try when enough is enough.
Time Tested Hypnotherapy
When anxiety is high and it starts affecting your life, career, and developing personal relationships, hypnotherapy is commonly utilized. This could be better for your whole self because it does not involve taking a drug or messing with your personal hormones.
Hypnotherapy is usually effective with people that have anxiety problems because it puts the patient in a relaxed state so the anxiety does not flare up to cause problems with the treatment. With an anxiety flare there might be added muscle tension, rapid heartbeat, and with that rapid breathing.
There are two ways someone can reach the state needed for hypnosis. One is called progressive relaxation which focuses on the entire body becoming relaxed enough to enter the trance state. The second method is called rapid induction, which is a faster way to achieve that trance state, and focuses on key areas of the body to place in a relaxed state. Rapid induction is the method that is most effective when dealing with anxiety.
Rapid induction normally takes three minutes or less to reach the trance state needed for hypnotherapy. Developed in 1935 by Dave Elman, who actually wrote the book on hypnotherapy, is still seen as a great reference for today's practitioners. His induction method has helped people from those people experiencing pain from cancer treatment to people who want to quit smoking.
Dave Elman's method of deep trance state is not needed to get the desired effect to help with anxiety. During the light or medium trance state a therapist can uncover the root causes of a person's anxiety and stress. Direct suggestions can take place to ease a person's anxiety towards that specific subject or stressor. Being relaxed helps with the overall healing process and has far fewer side effects than taking prescription drugs.
You may also be interested in these other articles about hypnotherapy:
An Example of Success
A recent example is a patient whose 13-year battle with IBS had become so severe over time that she was unable to successfully make it to work because of her 90-minute commute. She would miss work for days, risking that she might lose her job and be unable to provide for her family and herself.
In addition to IBS, she also suffered from panic attacks. While on her bus and train commute, unable to visit restrooms along the way, she said that her "stomach rolls and I feel trapped."
Elman's method of rapid induction was used to place Andrea in a trance state to gain access to the unconscious mind. While in the trance, the patient was provided with direct suggestions that she was going to be relaxed and calm when she was traveling and that she was in control of her thoughts, her feelings, and her body.
After the single session the patient was able to see the results of the hypnotherapy. She had no stomach discomfort when traveling and was free of panic attacks. She had no urges to know where every bathroom was located and, after a few months, she reported that she was still IBS symptom free.
Hypnosis is rapidly gaining acceptance for an effective treatment for IBS. Because IBS has little medical reasoning of why it occurs, a physiological approach is becoming the first defense in terms of treatment for IBS. Commonly doctors prescribe depression or anxiety related drugs. But who wants more chemicals in their bodies?
For those people with high anxiety and high stress, every day is seen as a hurdle to overcome and everyday situations are seen as a nightmare, combine that with IBS and self-confidence and self-control can quickly spiral out of control. Hypnosis is becoming more accepted by medical professionals as well as patients to treat IBS because it takes less time than traditional therapy and gives the opportunity to treat the whole person verses minor problems. (1)
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Date of original publication: November 11, 2015
Updated: February 11, 2016