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.
Life goes a lot smoother once you let go of grudges and forgive even those who never said they were sorry. Grudges let negative events from your past ruin today’s happiness. Hate and anger are emotional parasites that destroy your joy in life.
Brain imaging studies demonstrate that hypnosis influences cortical areas and neurophysiological processes that underlie pain and emotions.
Having a chronic health issue can be stressful in and of itself. However, over time, suffering and loss of function can be especially discouraging. Simultaneously, we are starting to become aware of the trouble that can derive from the long-term use of opioid pain medications. They don’t always help the way we want them to; the danger of addiction looms for even cautious users after a very short time.
Medications can help with the symptoms of IBS; this can be combined with dietary changes suggested by your physician. Yet, many find that the result obtained are disappointing. Advancements have been made, too, for those who are troubled with migraine headaches. Biofeedback, medications, and trigger identification [allergies] all make for better adjustment.
Options are great
All of these treatment options are great, but I often hear that people’s response to care can be incomplete, or that medications have side effects that are challenging to manage. Is it time to consider clinical hypnosis?
The link below will take you to an online post that summarizes recent research and clinical findings. After reading, talk it over with your healthcare professional. Questions? Give me a call. 402-334-1122
Danish workers have a single payer health system, so it’s easy to track how people use their benefits. This study appears to confirm the link between a rise in work-related stress and the negative impact on our health.
More work and pressure to perform beyond certain levels leads to an increase in depression, anxiety — and eventually, an increase in sick days taken by the overworked.
The takeaway? If you run a company, you risk harming the people you depend on to run your business and to keep your customers happy. If you are an employee, be thoughtful about how you respond to someone else’s appeal for you to work faster, or more intensely. Think carefully about the toll that overtime, or extra shifts, make on your overall well-being.
It may be better to take a pass on that.
For all the details of the Danish study, click the link below.
If you’ve wandered around a bookstore, you’ve likely had the experience of picking up a book that you didn’t know existed. And, maybe, that book – now known to you – changed your life, or influenced it in a substantial way.
The same thing happens on the Internet. I’m looking for something, and bump into something that I didn’t know existed. But, that found thing is useful, or inspiring, or worthy of sharing with others.
Here’s a video from University of California Television. It features Martin Rossman, MD. He’s talking about neuroplasticity and retraining the brain with imagery, biofeedback and hypnosis/suggestion. It’s almost 90 minutes long. But not a moment wasted, I think.
Rossman suggests that we can begin to shift our thinking, to quiet down the inner storm of worry and anxiety. Here’s the video;
The link will take you to a compelling and informative article about one woman’s journey to find answers about her lingering chronic fatigue, sense of unwellness – and the difficulty of finding answers.
This is a long article, but worth your time.
Clearly, the author had a network of friends and family that stayed in touch with her throughout her long search for answers. As I read, I kept waiting for mention of a support group or a therapist. The author did spend a lot of time on the Internet looking for information and guidance – but didn’t seek out [it appears] mainstream counseling or psychiatry. Not a problem – but I can’t help but thinking that this might have been an added dimension to her recovery. To not feel so alone, to have a place to air out her thoughts and feelings.
Follow the link above to read the full article – but here’s the key paragraph – from my perspective:
“This finding is very important as it focuses our thinking about treatment on promoting recovery after stress rather than suppressing the normal adaptive reaction to threatening situations. Fear, at times, is the best possible reaction to life events. However, persistent fear can be destructive. This new finding points us in the direction of new treatments that aim to promote resilience rather than blunting one’s life experiences,” said Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.
It sounds like Dr. Krystal is advocating facing trouble, learning to adapt – gaining resilience. I like that idea.