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What types of behavioral therapy has helped people with irritable bowel syndrome?

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Types include:

Relaxation practice: The goal is to get your mind and body in a calm, peaceful state. Techniques include meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and deep breathing.

Biofeedback: To start, you use an electrical device to help you recognize your body's response to stress. It helps you learn to slow down your heart rate to a more relaxed state. After a few sessions, you should be able to calm yourself down on your own.

Hypnotherapy: You enter an altered state of mind, either with a trained professional's help or, after some training, on your own. Visual suggestions can help you imagine pain or tension slipping away.

Cognitive behavioral therapy: This form of talk therapy teaches you to analyze negative, distorted thoughts, and replace them with more positive and realistic ones.

Talk therapy: A trained mental health professional helps you work out conflicts and understand your feelings.  

SOURCES: 

Philip Schoenfeld, MD, MSEd, MSc, co-author of American College of Gastroenterology's "Evidence-Based Position Statement on the Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in North America." 

Jeanine Blackman, MD, PhD, medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine. 

Jonathan Gilbert, diplomate in herbology and acupuncture from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. 

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." 

Mayo Clinic: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome." 

WebMD Feature: "Natural Alternatives for IBS." 

University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter. 

Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis" and "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on April 10, 2018

SOURCES: 

Philip Schoenfeld, MD, MSEd, MSc, co-author of American College of Gastroenterology's "Evidence-Based Position Statement on the Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in North America." 

Jeanine Blackman, MD, PhD, medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine. 

Jonathan Gilbert, diplomate in herbology and acupuncture from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. 

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Acupuncture." 

Mayo Clinic: "Irritable Bowel Syndrome." 

WebMD Feature: "Natural Alternatives for IBS." 

University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter. 

Medscape: "Probiotics Significantly Reduce Symptoms of IBS, Ulcerative Colitis" and "Highlights from Digestive Disease Week: An Expert Interview with Lawrence R. Schiller, MD."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on April 10, 2018

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How successful is behavioral therapy for people with irritable bowel syndrome?

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