Hypnotherapy in Vancouver for IBS

How to use hypnotherapy to alleviate Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

About two in 10 people in the UK have IBS and get episodes six times a year or more. How long a flare up lasts varies from person to person and may change from one episode to the next. You can develop IBS at any age, but you usually have your first symptoms when you’re between 20 and 30.

Although older people may feel that IBS is an inevitable part of ageing, the opposite is actually true. While sensitivity of the nerves within the digestive system may increase with age, there are ways to help reduce the overall risk or alleviate the symptoms.

Whilst the cause is largely unknown, we do know is that stress, anxiety and depression increase gut symptoms and severity of IBS and that people with anxiety, depression or those with high levels of stress are more likely to have IBS.

What will I learn in this blog?

• That IBS can affect people at all stages of life

• That it is often linked to stress, anxiety and depression

• There are things you can do to alleviate the symptoms

• How hypnosis can resolve the underlying causes of IBS

What exactly is IBS?

According to the NHS, Irritable bowel syndrome is a common condition that affects the digestive system.

• It causes symptoms like stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. These tend to come and go over time, and can last for days, weeks or months at a time.

• It’s usually a lifelong problem. It can be very frustrating to live with and can have a big impact on your everyday life.

• There’s no cure, but diet changes and medicines can often help control the symptoms.

• The exact cause is unknown – it’s been linked to things like food passing through your gut too quickly or too slowly, oversensitive nerves in your gut, stress and a family history of IBS.

The excellent UW Medicine website says IBS is a functional gastrointestinal syndrome, which means there is no visible damage to the bowels. This makes IBS different from inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, where the bowels are visibly enflamed.

“In IBS, we think there’s a brain-gut dysregulation so that the brain is misinterpreting the signals it gets from the bowel. There’s an alarm bell going on in the brain even without any injury or irritation. Even the normal digestive process creates sensations of bloating, pain and discomfort,” says Shoba Krishnamorthy, M.D., a gastroenterologist at UW Medicine’s Eastside Specialty Centre who treats people with IBS.

In times of actual crisis, this process is helpful. If you’re trying to run away from a threat, for example, you don’t want your brain to send blood to your bowels so they can digest food; that energy is best diverted elsewhere. But for people with IBS, our brains and guts somehow think that danger is a constant.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms of IBS are:

• Stomach pain or cramps – usually worse after eating and better after doing a poo

• Bloating – your tummy may feel uncomfortably full and swollen

• Diarrhoea – you may have watery poo and sometimes need to poo suddenly

• Constipation – you may strain when pooing and feel like you cannot empty your bowels fully

IBS can also cause:

• Flatulence

• Passing mucus from your bottom

• Tiredness and a lack of energy

• Feeling sick (nausea)

• Backache

• Problems peeing, like needing to pee often, sudden urges to pee

• Not always being able to control when you poo (bowel incontinence)

What do I do to change all this?


There’s no single diet or medicine that works for everyone with IBS. But there are lots of things that can help if you have been diagnosed with it. The NHS has gone good tips:

IBS can be treated, but there is currently no cure. You may have heard claims that things like peppermint oil or probiotic-enriched yogurt will banish your IBS symptoms for good, but there’s little scientific evidence to prove that.

Still, there are things you can do to learn more about how IBS affects you, and there are simple steps you can take to stop it from interfering with your life.

Try an elimination diet

Food is a major player in IBS — and what foods prove bothersome vary from person to person.

If you’re not sure what foods trigger you, or you have an inkling but want confirmation, try eliminating common offenders — things like dairy, gluten, acidic foods, coffee or carbonated beverages — from your diet for a couple of weeks and see if you start feeling better. Then, slowly add each food back into your diet, one at a time, and see if you start experiencing symptoms again.

For more accurate results, you can also do this with the guidance of your doctor or a dietitian.

Learn your other triggers

Along with certain foods, IBS symptoms can be triggered and exacerbated by other things, primarily stress and hormonal changes. It’s common for women to experience worse symptoms shortly before or during their period, for example.

If you get a better idea of what triggers you, you can take extra steps to decrease the effect. If you’re having a stressful week, choose foods that are less likely to bother your stomach. This approach probably won’t entirely rid you of your symptoms, but it may lessen them.

Talk with your doctor about medication

While you can always take over-the-counter medications like laxatives, antacids or medications that help relieve an upset stomach, there are also prescription medications that might be helpful.

Antidepressants may work for some people, especially those who experience anxiety, too.

You can also talk with your doctor about non-medication aids like probiotics. While more research needs to be done to determine if probiotics truly ease IBS symptoms, there are specific strains of bacteria in certain probiotics that might be helpful for some people. Your doctor may be able to recommend a probiotic supplement that may work for you.

Deal with the underlying issues

Psychotherapy, hypnotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy is another solution for some people.

If you have anxiety that interacts with your IBS, therapy to treat your anxiety could help relieve some of your IBS symptoms. And if you only have IBS, there are even therapy practices that focus on how IBS affects you that could be helpful.

How does hypnosis help with IBS?

As you’ve seen, anxiety, stress and depression can all play leading roles in the story behind IBS.

Seeing a Clinical Hypnotherapist really can help you to change your relationship with your digestive system for good.

Hypnotherapy works from 2 different directions, firstly to look and see what has actually caused the underlying problems and then to give you the tools you need to be able to fight that anxiety, stress and depression by increasing your feelings of calmness, physical relaxation and control.

You see, what often happens with anxiety is that we get a circle of behavior that gets out of control. Firstly, concentrating on the thing that makes you anxious makes you … well, anxious! That continued concentration can turn a small puddle of worry into a massive sea of anxiety; your mind becomes a stressful place, where the anxious thoughts seem to dominate all the other, more tolerable thoughts.

This has a knock-on effect on your body; it goes into ‘fight or flight’ mode, your muscles tense, blood pressure increases, heart rate goes up, digestion slows down or stops working properly, your senses heighten, it’s as if the body is preparing for some really physical challenge. That’s where the symptoms of IBS really start.

Calmness is the antidote to anxiety and stress. When your mind is calm, you see things in their true perspective, and with their correct levels of meaning. Because your outlook is more rational, thinking and optimistic, it prevents the negative thoughts from getting a hold and taking you someplace you don’t want to go.

Now, there is a side-effect of being calm, and it’s that your body relaxes. No longer at DEFCON 1 and under attack, your muscles relax, your heart rate and blood pressure are adequate and you feel at ease with yourself. That frees your digestive system to work at the optimum level to process food properly.

In the sessions of hypnosis, you are taught to relax to a very deep level and you can also have a specially-recorded self-hypnosis session. To use at home, then you can gradually replace the old feelings with the new ones, until they just feel right. You can even have a bespoke self-hypnosis program for you to use at home.

It’s important to find a therapist that respects your confidentiality, so that you feel comfortable telling them all about your issues.

Remember, your digestive system reflects how you feel on the inside. To change the way your gut works, you need to change the way your mind works. That’s where hypnosis really comes in.

What did I learn here?


That having a healthy digestive system is as much to do with your mind as it is with your body!

The right diet, coupled with the right attitude will take you to where you want to be.


For help:


Take the next step and book your session with DHP. Lazzaro Pisu in Vancouver, today,

Call 604 202 7938.

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