Advances in our understanding of the nature of functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) have continued to advance beautifully. That is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, all that understanding hasn’t yet effectively translated into what sufferers of FGID’s (IBS, dyspepsia, globus, aerophagia, and more) can do to feel and function better. Studies clearly show that more than 25% of people suffering with FGIDs and who find a treatment that helps will find that the help is only temporary. All too often, people find themselves right back where they started within a matter of weeks or months, except that they feel more frustrated, disillusioned, or despairing. There must be a better way, right?
The Proven Alternative
Happily, there is a proven alternative for relief from the
• dietary struggles
• social inconveniences
• negative symptom stigma
• and chronic worry
How Does Hypnosis Work?
Brain imaging studies, blood workups, electrophysiologic measurements, and other forms of research protocols have established how hypnotic absorption involves shifts in various “states” of mind-body activity. Greater activation of the vagal nervous system can produce a powerful quieting of the state of bodily alarm that is a hallmark of FGIDs. Moreover, when the vagus nerve system is humming along well, digestive functioning improves dramatically. In turn, using hypnosis to activate the vagus system results in changes to the microbiome involving more optimal bacterial balance (right amount of “good” bacteria and much less of the “bad” bacteria, as well as mind-body-wide benefits such as less reactive immune system functioning (less runaway inflammation), better sleep patterns, clearer thinking, and reductions in worry/anxiety, as well as improvements in energy.
Does this sound too good to be true? A very recent article published in the American Journal of Medicine (July 2020) aimed at primary care physicians and entitled, Hypnosis: The Most Effective Treatment You Have Yet to Prescribe, argued that if hypnosis were a drug and produced the kinds of results it does for many people, it would be considered the standard for of care and treatment.
What to Do?
If you are interested in learning more about clinical hypnosis, look up “gut-directed hypnotherapy” and find well-trained health professionals in your area. Don’t be fooled by the false promises touted by poorly trained individuals who are not professionally licensed clinicians practicing as accredited health professionals overseen by State Licensing Boards. In the right hands, working with a health professional trained in gut-directed hypnotherapy can be remarkably beneficial. Alternatively, you can reach out to me at drdavidalter.com or ibsreliefnow.com with your questions. I will either respond to you directly or, if the volume of responders is just too high, I will collate and categorize the concerns, and then respond to them in a future blog or vlog.