Originally published January 30 2009
Hypnosis Therapy for the Second Brain: Naturally Treat Digestive System Disorders
by Steve G. Jones, Ed.S.
(NaturalNews) Imagine yourself walking through a relaxing rain forest, exotic wildlife all around you, with nothing but the sweet sound of a waterfall beside you. Now imagine that this sort of imagery is actually a treatment for a problem that plagues 1 in every 5 people. Disorders of the digestive system have long been an uncomfortable problem for many people. Until now, there have been few treatments that didn't involve the use of prescription medications whose side effects were often worse than the symptoms. This is where visual therapies such as hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) come in. New research shows that hypnosis therapy and CBT are becoming more and more effective in treating many different disorders of the digestive system.
The digestive system is everything included within the digestive tract. It is associated with any and all organs that are involved with the breaking down and digestion of food. Organs within the system include the stomach, liver, large and small intestines, throat, etc. Digestive system disorders are any diseases that obstruct the normal functions of these organs. Such disorders often include Crohn's disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), acid reflux disease, etc.
The treatment of such disorders has long relied heavily on prescription medications, but with the increasing recall of the drugs, it leaves many people suffering from the same symptoms and not getting results. Drugs such as Zelnorm, used to treat IBS, had been recently recalled due to the increase of heart related risks.
What should be mentioned is that some digestive system disorders can be exacerbated and sometimes even caused by increased levels of stress. The nerve cells in the stomach have many tiny nerve endings, even more than the spinal cord. Because they are responsible for carrying out the majority of the functions within the digestive system, it is often known as the "second brain." When stress levels are elevated, a signal is sent from the cranial brain into the "second brain" which thereby releases hormones and functions that can often irritate the digestive tract. The result is the worsening of a lot of the disorders that plague the digestive system.
It is estimated that a whopping 80% of our well-being is depended upon how our stomach feels. Likewise, the opposite works just as effectively. Many times, when people get stressed or nervous, conditions that are purely mental, they complain from stomach pains or abdominal discomfort.
Turning to Hypnosis and CBT shouldn't always be a last resort, but often times, it seems so. CBT, like hypnosis, teaches relaxation techniques, and also includes certain characteristics of helping people better cope with their emotional conditions.
In August of 1975, a study was conducted on patients with IBS and the effects of hypnosis and CBT on their conditions. 75 patients were randomly placed into one of three groups. In the first group, which consisted of a self-training manual and 4 therapy sessions, almost 75% of participants reported significant improvements to their conditions and even their quality of life.
In the second group, 61% of participants reported significant improvements in their conditions. The second group's treatment consisted of 10 therapy sessions. Lastly, of the control group, which didn't receive any treatment, only 7% showed a significant improvement in conditions.
It seems like an easy enough solution. If the diseases and disorders that people are suffering from are purely due to their mental conditions, why not simply change their mental conditions? 60% of IBS sufferers have reported a history of stress. By learning to control stress and be more relaxed with the help of hypnosis and CBT, digestive system disorders can not only become less severe but make the quality of like that much better.
digestive system, human. (2009). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved January 24, 2009, from Encyclopedia Britannica Online: http://search.eb.com/eb/article-9106179
Andrews, M. (2008, December). Tackling Those Tummy Troubles. U.S. News & World Report, 145(12), 59-60. Retrieved January 24, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.
About the authorSteve G. Jones, Ed.S. has been practicing hypnotherapy since the 1980s. He is the author of 22 books on Hypnotherapy. Steve is a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, American Board of Hypnotherapy, president of the American Alliance of Hypnotists, on the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Lung Association, and director of the Steve G. Jones School of Clinical Hypnotherapy.
Steve G. Jones, Ed.S. is a board certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Florida (1994), a master's degree in education from Armstrong Atlantic State University (2007), and is currently working on a doctorate in education, Ed.D., at Georgia Southern University. Learn more at:
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