Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 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 can be very frustrating to live with and can have a big impact on your everyday life.
The cause of IBS is unknown, although it can run in the family, be due to stress, diet or how food moves through your gut. Diet changes, medicines and relieving stress can often help control the symptoms. More info here
Therapies that help
Hypnotherapy can help people with IBS by providing you with tools and techniques to reduce your level of anxiety and stress. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend NHS referral for those suffering with IBS, who haven't responded to treatment after 12 months, but you can use hypnotherapy at any sign of symptoms.
Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system which can trigger colon spasms, resulting in stomach pain. Acupuncture can help with the symptoms of IBS, by providing pain relief, regulating the motility of the digestive tract, activating the parasympathetic nervous system which initiatives the body’s relaxation or ‘rest and digest’ response. By releasing serotonin and endorphins, acupuncture can also help to reduce the anxiety and depression that can be caused by persistent IBS symptoms leading to a vicious cycle of anxiety–pain-anxiety.