Combination of Therapies Offers Help for IBS
Combining conventional and complementary therapies may provide relief for irritable bowel syndrome sufferers.
Stress Reduction continued...
Hand-in-hand with the dietary management is the hypnosis.
"Fifty percent of the battle in dealing with IBS is in stress
management," says Hamilton, director of the Wellness and Fitness Institute
in Tampa, Fla., and author of Mission Possible: A Therapist's Guide to
Weight Loss with Hypnosis. "Stress and diet are IBS triggers."
Hamilton, who has been certified in irritable bowel hypnosis by
the American Council of Hypnosis Examiners, uses traditional hypnotherapy
techniques, which relax both the body and the mind, as well as specific
mind-body suggestions that help clients visually see in their mind's eye
improvement in their specific situation.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) may also be successful in
treating IBS, says Noah Rubinstein, a licensed acupuncturist, Chinese
herbalist, and faculty member of the New York campus of the Pacific College of
Oriental Medicine. Herbal medicine, acupuncture, diet, exercise, and stress
reduction are all part of IBS therapy, says Rubinstein.
Herbal formulas are aimed at fortifying and supporting the
digestive system, says Rubinstein, who cautions against self-medicating with
Chinese herbs. "Even seemingly inert substances can cause problems," he
says. Because herbal formulas are crafted to meet specific patient needs, it's
best to consult a TCM practitioner, Rubinstein advises.
Acupuncture can help those with IBS by easing the perception of
pain, reducing stress, and improving the function of the liver, which regulates
chi or energy, Rubinstein explains (the liver in traditional Chinese
medicine does not have the same function as the liver in Western medicine,
Rubinstein points out; if an acupuncturist says your liver is blocked or
stagnant, that doesn't mean you have a serious illness, but rather, a blockage
Whether you rely on conventional therapy or complementary
therapy or a combination of the two, most health care professionals who treat
people with IBS agree with Rubinstein when he says, "IBS is not just about
the intestines. You have to take into account the whole person."