Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a functional bowel disorder typically found in the gastrointestinal tract, more commonly known as the GI tract. Persons who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome can be affected for months or even years. Around 20% of American adults suffer from IBS, which leads to more than 3 million annual doctor visits for treatment and surgery. Women are more likely to suffer from IBS, making up 70% of the patients with this condition. The cause of irritable bowel syndrome is unclear and varies among sufferers of this condition. However, the diagnosis of IBS requires no discoverable disorder in the biochemical or structural parts of the body. However, every patient with IBS is unique in that their cause and symptoms will vary depending on the individual and their lifestyle choices, including diet and emotional health.
The most common symptoms of IBS include chronic abdominal pain and stomach cramps. This pain is accompanied by dysfunction of the bowels, which leads to any combination of constipation and/or diarrhea. Individuals will suffer from abnormal stool frequency, resulting in more or less than three bowel movements per day. Individuals may suffer from straining or urgency when passing their stool, as well as loose or lumpy stool forms accompanied by mucus. The patient may also feel bloated, as if their abdomen is distended. Typically an individual will suffer from these changes over a period of at least 12 weeks.
Treatment for IBS using hypnosis varies by practitioner. Mr. Glaser uses a structured treatment protocol established by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by Olafur Palsson, Ph.D. This IBS hypnosis treatment has shown a success rate of 80% in terms of psychological treatments for this disorder. Beneficial effects of IBS treatment using hypnosis include a relaxing and enjoyable technique without the toxic side effects of the most common IBS prescription drugs. Treatment using hypnosis can also help remedy side effects of IBS including tension or migraine headaches.
The treatment approach calls for seven bi-monthly sessions, using scripted hypnotic sessions, supported by a 12 minute hypnotic audiotape patients can use at home. Information about the program and supporting research can be viewed here.
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