Our hypnotherapy practice offers IBS patients the proven benefits of the evidence-based North Carolina Protocol, which can be delivered only by practitioners who have permission from its creator, Dr Olafur S Palsson, Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina. For more information about this remarkable course of hypnotherapy treatment and its success in relieving IBS symptoms, please visit our “protocol” page.
The Telegraph, writing about “poo” and the ever-growing awareness of the importance of gut health, advised its readers “to embrace the movement…” (my italics).
A Svengali in Broadstairs? Perish the thought!
“When a hypnotist appears on screen, expect evil,” according to Harvard Medical School researcher Deirdre Barrett, writing in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis. In a study of more than 200 films, she found “predominantly negative stereotypes”. This unfortunate tendency may all have started in 1894, when George du Maurier wrote his Gothic horror story Trilby and created the character of Svengali, a villainous and manipulative hypnotist… The everyday truth about hypnosis has always been that people who have been hypnotised remain aware of who and where they are and most definitely do not lose control over their behaviour.
Doctor, doctor – I feel like a bell…
Take these tablets and if they don’t help, give me a ring
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is how doctors refer to a collection of otherwise unexplained symptoms relating to bowel disturbance. In the UK, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides evidence-based recommendations for GPs. It tells doctors that patients diagnosed with IBS whose symptoms have not responded to prescribed pharmacological treatments should be referred for a “talking therapy”, one of which is, of course, hypnotherapy. Sadly, for IBS sufferers (and hypnotherapists), such GP referrals are not yet the norm. In fact, it’s not easy to find a GP practice that makes use of hypnosis. If the prescribed treatment does not bring symptom relief to the sufferer (given that there is no “cure” for the condition), the patient may well look for an alternative source of help. Fortunately such help is available: the North Carolina Protocol is intended for adult clients with a confirmed diagnosis of IBS who have not responded to standard medical treatments. The hypnotherapy is offered as an adjunct to standard medical care. So, give me a ring!
Lifting the lid…
The National Poo Museum (yes, it does exist!) is raising funds to finance a move to a new permanent home on the Isle of Wight, from which it hopes to better pursue its mission “to lift the lid on the secret world of poo”. A museum spokesman told BBC News: "We want to break the taboo about talking about poo and to create an organisation that…makes a difference to how people think about their own health”. Any initiative that encourages people to think about their health is to be applauded. And the museum’s new home also promises to have “the world's most brilliantly interesting public toilet” – a visitor attraction that will resonate with most IBS sufferers.
Spring into action this April
April is International Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month (although sufferers will not need alerting to the condition!). If there’s one thing to be got from an “awareness month” it’s a nudge towards taking action: suffering in silence just prolongs the suffering. Call Anthony Cox on 07881 783994 to talk about the North Carolina Protocol, the seven-session course of hypnotherapy for IBS symptom relief.
Time to go - it’s the call to stool
The “call to stool” is the neural nudge that tells you that faeces have arrived in the rectum and it’s time for you “to go”. Sometimes that nudge can be more like a push but quite often the sensation is mild or uncertain and can quickly pass. Constipation is definitely linked with failing to respond to those vague feelings of “wanting to go”. And so it pays to cultivate an awareness of the signs that something is stirring within! However vaguely they are felt, those signs – or signals – should not be ignored.
IBS relief needs early start
Hypnotherapy is non-invasive, brief, has no unpleasant side-effects and has been demonstrably successful in treating IBS symptoms.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends it – for patients who have been on “pharmacological treatments” for a year and whose IBS symptoms are “refractory” (ie, have not yielded to treatment).
This raises an important question: wouldn’t it be better to make hypnotherapy the initial treatment of choice rather than holding it back in the last chance saloon?
If hypnotherapy offers hope of relief after everything else has more or less failed, surely it must offer the same hope of relief before anything else is even tried…
Most lavatory jokes are crass but here’s a “punny” one that offers a little light relief along with a social commentary:
“Mark my words, when a society has to resort to the lavatory for its humour, the writing is on the wall.” – Alan Bennett. However, the “bog standard” loo joke doesn’t tickle most IBS sufferers - who find their symptoms no laughing matter.
The hypnotist in wartime
This photograph, from an archive of images of the history of medicine, captures a hypnotherapist “in action” on the Western Front during the First World War. Sgt Van Valkenberg is shown using hypnosis in a surprisingly modern conversational bedside manner to treat a patient at an American military hospital.
A corker of a hypnosis story
People enter hypnosis through a process known as “induction”. James Braid, the early 19th Century surgeon now generally acknowledged as the founding father of modern hypnotherapy, experimented with various methods until he settled on one that would not be out of place today.
However, Braid’s earliest experiment in induction would make modern hypnotherapy clients raise their eyebrows: the pioneer hypnotist tied a cork to his patient’s forehead and got them to stare up at it, cross-eyed.
“This was a very efficient plan with those who had the power of converging the eyes…I very soon found, however, that there were many who could not keep both eyes steadily fixed on so near an object,” Braid concluded – and the technique was abandoned in favour of a much more comfortable one.
Today, the emphasis is all on making hypnosis a comfortable – and comforting – experience.
Refer yourself for IBS relief
The NHS Choices web site says: “If your IBS symptoms are still causing problems after 12 months of treatment, your GP may refer you for a type of therapy known as a psychological intervention [hypnotherapy, for example].”
Your GP could refer you, but referrals for hypnotherapy are not yet the norm – despite the growing body of evidence in support of its use with IBS patients. Fortunately, “going private” for hypnotherapy is affordable, has no lengthy waiting list and requires only self-referral (after IBS has been medically diagnosed).
Diarrhoea or diarrhea? Spell it out
Diarrhoea or diarrhea? Cheque or check? Tyres or tires? It all depends on whether you’re writing British-English or American-English.
You would have diarrhoea in Margate, Kent, and diarrhea in Margate, Florida. However, diarrhoea and diarrhea – with their misspelt cousins diarhea, diarrea and diarreah – sound the same and name the same thing wherever you are!
A stomach ache by any other name
Here is an undoubtedly incomplete list of synonyms for “stomach ache”: stomachache, stomach upset, upset stomach, bellyache, belly ache, belly pain, indigestion, tummy ache, upset tummy, collywobbles, gripe, gripes, colic, dyspepsia, cramps, gastralgia, tormina, enteralgia, agita...
A sensitive subject
The sensitive subject is “the call to stool”, which is the neural nudge that tells you that faeces have arrived in the rectum and it’s time for you “to go”. Sometimes that nudge can be more like a push but quite often the sensation is mild or uncertain and can quickly pass. Constipation is definitely linked with failing to respond to those vague feelings of “wanting to go”. And so it pays to cultivate an awareness of the signs that something is stirring within! However vaguely they are felt, those signs – or signals – should not be ignored.