Sixty million Americans deal with this uncomfortable sensation at least once a month — heartburn. It’s not only painful, but can be life-altering, or even deadly if ignored. No wonder that heartburn and other gastrointestinal medications are among the most popular drugs on the market. But these “miracle drugs” are far from perfect; some patients report mixed results and long-term side effects.
Some readers may know that I’ve used hypnosis to help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome for several years. I recently received a cross-country referral from the psychologist who is featured in the above article, Laurie Keefer, PhD. She worked with the North Carolina therapist who developed the IBS protocol to extend his work for those who suffer with GERD.
She generously shared the protocol with me.
First, an assessment session for getting acquainted and questions. Then, 7 sessions, ideally spaced about 2 weeks apart. Hypnosis at every session – with a focus on deep relaxation and symptom change.
Solo/at-home hypnosis to be practiced everyday starting with the time of the 2nd session, through the end of treatment. And, hopefully, beyond that time, as well – to maintain comfort and support continued stress management.
The normal stress of everyday life can aggravate certain GI conditions. And in a vicious cycle, worrying about or dwelling on severe pain, constipation, diarrhea and other GI symptoms can make the symptoms worse, which in turn increases the stress.
Gut Brain: The health of the gut is tied to more than digestion, with links to processes and conditions including bone formation, learning and memory, Parkinson’s disease and, in lab rats, depression and anxiety, the WSJ reports. Researchers call the enteric nervous system the “gut brain” and note that about 95% of the neurotransmitter serotonin is produced by neurons in the gut.