Can Hypnotherapy Have a Positive Impact on Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis can be both debilitating and painful. According to research, while it is not possible to prevent or completely cure these chronic conditions, it is possible to manage some of the unwanted symptoms that they present by using alternative therapies.
More specifically, some studies show that hypnotherapy may be effective in treating symptoms of IBD.
What is hypnotherapy?
In order to better understand what hypnotherapy is, it is helpful to understand what the subconscious is. Your subconscious is the most powerful part of your mind that contains endless wisdom, imagination, and creativity. It is a resource that holds all of your emotions and therefore, it directs nearly all of your behavior. It is also responsible for ensuring that your body stays in good health by maintaining the proper function of all autonomic processes, including your breathing, your blood circulation, and more.
Hypnotherapy should not be confused with hypnosis. It is not a practice that involves taking over your mind and controlling your actions. Hypnotherapy is the practice of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes.
It is a safe way to access your subconscious and to issue new instructions that suggest healthier behavior for both your mind and your body. Some of the ways in which hypnotherapy is used to refocus the mind and to promote healthier choices include the following:
- To help individuals quit smoking or overeating
- To help individuals cope with IBD and dermatological conditions
- To help individuals deal with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and addiction
How does hypnotherapy work?
Hypnotherapy is typically done in a one on one session, with the help of a clinical hypnotherapist or a professional mental health therapist, in a quiet and comfortable setting. The hypnotherapist talks you through the entire process and uses a variety of mind-body techniques to get you to a relaxed state of mind, known as a trance.
Once you are in a trance, your therapist will make suggestions as guidance to help ease your symptoms. You hear what is being said and suggested to you, but you are in control at all times and it is up to you to decide whether or not to act on your therapist’s suggestions. “Through the ‘memory chip’ that has been laid down in the subconscious mind, we can trace back the experiences and subconscious decisions we made as children that may be leading us to the behavior that is no longer healthy for us,” said Diane Zimberoff, hypnotherapy expert.
The way that hypnotherapy works is by connecting your conscious to your subconscious.
Think about it this way - each type of unhealthy behavior that you express, whether it is losing your temper or smoking, has a chain of events that in a sense, has laid the foundation for all your unhealthy choices to date. Practicing hypnotherapy may help you to overcome a physical or mental problem or condition by getting to the root of the cause. “Hypnotherapy allows us to drop beneath the rational part of our mind. We can get hung up on not understanding why we do something or why we feel something because it doesn’t make rational sense. Hypnotherapy accesses those emotional beliefs that are running amok,” said Stacie Beam-Bruce, hypnotherapist.
Read on to learn more about how hypnotherapy can benefit people living with IBD.