Empowered gut health for IBS & Weight loss – The potential to solve gut issues
The gut itself contains a thin layer of brain cells (neurons) called the Enteric Nervous System (ENS) which is involved with managing the process of digestion and moderating gut discomfort.
The ENS is often referred to as the body’s second brain. There are hundreds of millions of neurons connecting the brain to it, the part of the nervous system that is tasked with controlling the gastrointestinal system.
Not only is the ENS involved with appetite control, signaling to the brain when we’re full, but an emerging area of research suggests the second brain can affect many parts of the “main” or “big” brain, including how it processes thoughts and emotions.
Medical professionals have long been aware of the link between anxiety and depression and digestion issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), thinking the former caused the latter.
It is via this system, the central nervous system, the gut communicates with the brain and the brain communicates with the gut known as the ‘Brain-Gut Axis’. This means our thoughts, memories, feelings and pain regulation are communicated from the brain to the gut and vice versa (Peters et al, 2015).
The cause of IBS for instance, is thought to be multifactorial, including increased sensitivity of the gut tissue and changes due to population of the gut bacteria, motility of the intestines and how the symptoms are perceived. This is also thought to be greatly affected by stress and anxiety related to the condition.
IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome) is a common condition affecting the small and large intestines resulting in bloating, abdominal pain, and a change in bowel habits such as diarrhea and /or constipation.
Research undertaken at the university hospital of South Manchester found Gut Directed Hypnotherapy reduced the symptoms of IBS long term for 80% of clients (Gonsalkorale, 2006).
Peters et al (2015) in a review of clinical trials also found that Gut Directed Hypnotherapy is effective, safe and produces long-term results: “Considering our gut sends out chemical messages of its own separate from the brain, including producing around 90 percent of our mood calming neurotransmitter, serotonin, it is no surprise that having a healthy gut has been shown to be associated with enhanced mood regulation.”
A new study, led by the Francis Crick Institute in London, mapped the ENS in order to make sense of the complicated system with the aim of identifying the cause of common gut and digestive issues, like IBS and constipation.
“Now that we have a better understanding of how the enteric nervous system is built and works, we can start to look at what happens when things go wrong, particularly during the critical stages of embryo development or early life”, said Reena Lasrado, first author of the paper and researcher at the Crick Institute.
Better understanding the ENS is also likely to help people who are overweight or obese due to overeating, as Landau explains.
“This could lead to poorer appetite regulatory hormone signaling between the gut and the brain, and therefore result in increased hunger or a decrease in satiety cues, and therefore overeating or gaining weight.”
If this system is defective, correct signaling may be impeded. Hypnotherapy aids in correcting the messages and signals from brain to gut.
What is Gut Directed Hypnotherapy?
During Gut Directed Hypnotherapy, hypnosis is used to help the client control and assist the gut to function normally again and help regulate digestion.
When the client is in a relaxed trance the hypnotherapist repeats direct suggestions, imagery and metaphors to promote change in the client’s perception, emotions, thoughts and behavior (Peters et al, 2015). The focus is on control and normalization on the focus of the gut. Reducing any pain and bloating and assisting regulation and restoring healthy fermentation.
The program involves 3-6 sessions of Gut Directed Hypnotherapy and is tailored around individual history and behaviors. Stress management and mindfulness skills, breath work and homework are also included in the program.
To ensure the most effective treatment we work in partnership with your GP, and any Gastroenterologist, Dietitian or Naturopath you may be seeing at the same time.
Hypnotherapy is an effective and safe treatment to assist and regulate gut health.
Call for appointment -Jane Johnston 0417 545 475 to begin feeling better