In 2008 I was diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and at the time I felt very lost and confused. Looking back now I know it was the start of my IBS recovery journey. I’d like to share with you what worked for me so you can recover quicker.
At the start I remember every day feeling ill, not ill enough to not to go into the office but just generally not well. I felt like my innards were all over the place, I felt nauseous, bloated and tired every day. After going to the doctors and having the necessary tests I was given the diagnosis of IBS, given some tablets and pretty much told to get on with things.
But probably like you, that just wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t want to just manage my IBS symptoms and hope that one day they would go away. I wanted to recover.
What confused me the most was that my life at this point was great. I had the job I always wanted with an amazing team of people, I was engaged to be married and about to purchase my first house. On the outside everything was rosy. If anyone asked me if I was stressed I’d have said absolutely not.
I researched and read a lot about IBS at this point and learnt that it was a stress-related illness but I couldn’t accept that as I truly felt I wasn’t stressed. In fact I would categorically get frustrated when people kept mentioning it. It was only later that I had an epiphany which would make the stress part make sense (keep reading I’ll explain more.)
Does Diet affect your IBS Recovery?
The first thing I started looking at was my diet. I went to have some allergy testing and I learnt so much about the impact of food on health. My results stated that dairy was my main intolerance with sugar also being a contributing factor. I decided to cut out dairy and monitor my sugar intake.
I went home and everything in my cupboards had dairy in it and after spending 2 hours in the supermarket I came home deflated with 3 items in my bag and sobbed. The free from food has come a long way since then
After just 2 weeks I was starting to notice a difference and over 10 years later I still don’t eat dairy. I found out that it is the hardest substance for your body to digest so when your system is under pressure it can often find dairy becomes a problem. I also know other IBS sufferers who have problems with wheat, gluten and other foods so it’s definitely worth getting tested. I just searched online and found someone who did it close to where I lived.
Whilst I found that food made a difference it didn’t feel like it solved the problem, more just managed the symptoms. One of my colleagues suggested hypnotherapy and I thought in for a penny, I’ll give anything a go.
What transcribed was something miraculous a ‘aha’ moment which has led me to a new career and countless epiphanies about mindbody connections. We truly are amazing beings, here’s what I learnt.
Can Hypnotherapy Help with IBS?
Hypnotherapy taught me how to rest. It taught me how to connect with my subconscious knowing so I could understand what was going on and why I was feeling the way I felt. It helped me stop and be kind to myself so I could give myself the time and patience I needed to recover.
Through the hypnotherapy process it occurred to be that in the previous 12-18 months before the onset of my symptoms I had:
- quit my stressful job in catering
- split up from a long term relationship
- given up my house
- moved back in with my mum and dad who lived 3 hours away.
- got a new job in another part of the country,
- moved to a new house and….
- found a new relationship.
All of this in a very short space of time had taken it’s toll.
It was the very fact that life was now stable and rosy that allowed my body and mind to stop being in survival mode and deal with the stress of everything that had happened. I wasn’t allowing myself to rest, process and think, in fact I was doing the exact opposite. Feeling worried and anxious about the symptoms I was feeling.
Since my first session I practised self-hypnosis every day and I still do. I use visualisation to let go of life’s demands and pressures so they don’t build up and to give myself support, guidance and encouragement.
IBS and Hypnotherapy results
I can honestly say that I have truly recovered from IBS. I feel I now have the understanding and tools to take on challenges and not experience the negative effects of built up stress. I left my corporate job and set up my own business in 2011 and managed to do it without the IBS symptoms returning. I now value the mind body connection and the need to listen to your body.
If I get symptoms now I use it as a barometer to check in with myself and ask sincerely ‘how am I feeling.’ I usually find I’ve been pushing myself too hard or not giving myself enough self-care. I rectify that and the symptoms settle down within a couple of days. I don’t have IBS, I have a wonderful body which alerts me when things need addressing.
Chronic Pain, IBS, Migraines, RSI etc aren’t symptoms to be afraid of, they’re messages from the body to be listened to and I love teaching people how to do this so they can recover faster. It took me 18 months to find my resolution, I now support people to recover in just 12 weeks. I wish I had given the mindbody connections more credit in the beginning, I wouldn’t have suffered for so long carrying around my food parcels and making sure I knew where every toilet was.
Is there any evidence supporting hypnotherapy for IBS recovery?
Yes, hypnotherapy has shown positive results with IBS in 9 separate studies, starting in 1984. Studies which followed up clients 3 months or more later found many still in remission. This particular study concluded that “in addition to relieving the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, hypnotherapy profoundly improves the patients’ quality of life and reduces absenteeism from work.”
Want help with IBS?
If you would like support in recovering from IBS I’d love to help. I start with a complimentary 30 minute chat so you can ask any questions and I can find out a little more about what you’re experiencing. I’ve been there and got the t-shirt when it comes to IBS so you’re in safe hands. Often just knowing you’ve got support can make you feel better. Click below to book a call and lets have a chat.
I hope you’ve found this post reassuring and inspiring, if you struggle with IBS or have recently been diagnosed you are certainly not on your own and you do not have to feel this way forever. Please feel free to comment below if there’s anything I’ve shared which has sparked your interest and also share this article with others who would find it beneficial.
Until next time,