Hypnosis Controls Severe Intractable Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Hypnosis Controls Severe Intractable Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Article by Wilfred Hontiveros

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS henceforth) in itself is not a dangerous disease in that it is not life–threatening yet has remained to be one of the common ailments-may be one can blame it on the life style- having the ability to impact some people more severely than others. So for there has not been any breakthrough in conventional medication that could bring in long lasting relief as has been the case with many other such dis-eases and it is in such a context hypnosis assumes relevance. The impact of the ailment is directly proportional to the coping up ability of the individuals and even though much is not known as to why some people react more severely to it than others, to the extent of whatever is known it is attributed to the psychological status of the patients. Without digging further deep, it can be said that the severity of IBS affects the life of those who cannot cope up at times in a crippling manner and continue to remain a drain on the health care services and resources. An alternative therapy among which hypnosis is shown to be having superior value has made it the focal point in many scientific oriented studies. Through this article, we have further amplified this theme.

Scientific experiments on studying the impact of intractable IBS gained importance since the 1980s. One such experiment took up a sample of 30 patients in two groups, viz, one for control and another for case and the duration of the experiment was 12 weeks. During the experimentation, period, the control group received hypnotherapy and the case group was given care with medication but no hypnosis. The schedule of the treatment was at weekly intervals. At the end of the trial period, both the groups were compared for their responses in terms of the scores for pain, distension, bowel dysfunction and overall well being. All these parameters significantly improved in the case of the control group-that is those who had received hypnotherapy-viz-a-viz the case group. What is of more relevance is that in a subsequent study where the control group was further investigated, the results showed that the relief was long lasting.

Some may contend that the study is outdated and in the absence of father investigations which are of much recent origin, no definitive conclusions of the benefits of IBS could be formed. Fair enough. In odder to convince such doubt-mongers we have discussed another study which is relatively of a recent origin (carried out in the year 1996). At this stage we need to point that evidence based studies in this field have been slow due to various constraints and hence we have to take treat this as recent and that is the reason we have qualified it as relatively recent. It is possible there could be studies as recent as 2010 but since it is better to go for studies which continue such experiments on a sustained basis focusing on a single area as IBS in this case, we have chosen to take up this study for analysis.

Intractable IBS also produces a number of extra-colonic symptoms as backache, adverse bladder and gynaecological symptoms and lethargy the ultimate effect of all of which is seen in the reduced qualify of living of those who are affected by it. This study focused itself on such related symptoms which arise out of intractable IBS and how subjects fare when they were given hypnotherapy. The results of the study gave encouraging hope in these areas also as it was found that there was significant reduction in many of the extra-colonic symptoms which resulted in the improvement of the quality of living of these people. More importantly, subsequent to the administration of hypnotic sessions, these people visited their general practitioner fewer times than when compared with situations prior to the hypnosis sessions not only for conditions of IBS but also other conditions associated with it.

In conclusion, the mechanism by witch hypnosis acts on the human system in reliving them of their intractable IBS conditions is attributed to its psychotherapeutic components acting on the motility and visceral sensitivities. Data analyses in a number of studies tend to confirm this but the more the number of experiments the greater the chances to arrive at indisputable conclusions. It is true establishing conclusive pieces of evidence is time consuming which needs sustained funding but when the ultimate test of cost-benefit analysis is applied, hypnosis scores over handsomely with a top notch ranking making it the most preferred choice of many who qualified professionals who believe in the science of hypnosis.

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