IBS – A Gut Wrenching Experience

Hypnotist Ron Eslinger

by Ron Eslinger, RN, CRNA, MA, APN, CMI

We have all heard “I feel it in my gut. That was a gut wrenching experience. You make me sick to my stomach. You’re a pain. My stomach is all tied up in knots. You scared the … out of me. I’ve got butterflies,” and there are many more.

Dr Andrew Wiel, M.D. is a noted physician in the area of complementary and alternative medicine. He states that stress often displays itself in the two largest organs of the body, the intestines and the skin. Every thought we have affects some organ or gland of our body. Negative thoughts (worry) can make us sick and positive thoughts can make us well. You yourself may notice how your body responds to stress. Like irritable bowel when nervous or blushing or a rash when upset. We all have the power of positive self-talk, self-suggestion, and meditation for healthy change. Even Albert Einstein suggested we take out time each day to Creatively Day Dream.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects 15% of the population according to research at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, The University Hospital of South Manchester, England, and The University Hospital Sweden. The primary United States investigator is Olafur S. Paulsson, Psy.D. UNC, Chapel Hill. Hypnosis is 80% effective in the treatment of IBS with no untoward side effects.

Medication for IBS may state the following: If you get new or worse abdominal (stomach) pain, or blood in your stools, stop taking the medication right away and tell your doctor. Sometimes this medication causes diarrhea. Stop taking the medication and call your doctor if you get lightheaded, dizzy, or faint.

What is hypnosis? It is a safe focused concentration of the mind that uses ones own thoughts and abilities for healthy change. We all enter hypnosis many times throughout the day. Examples are driving our car, staring into space, daydreaming, or watching TV.

Circumstances which hypnosis takes place:

  • Hetero-hypnosis: when someone else makes suggestions (guided imagery)

  • Auto-Hypnosis: using an audio CD or tape with hypnotic suggestions.

  • Self-hypnosis: giving yourself hypnotic suggestions. All hypnosis, whether hetero or auto, is self-hypnosis. You’re always in control while in the state of hypnosis, therefore, you can accept or reject any suggestions.

Psychosocial and personality factors that may play a role in the expression of IBS symptoms:

  • Major life events and ongoing minor hassles

  • Relationship difficulties

  • Always on the go, which may mean skipping meals.

  • Perfectionism, high expectations of self and others

  • Irrational beliefs, rigid rules, with feeling of you should or must do something.

  • Feeling guilty about attending to personal needs.

  • Need for social approval, pleasing others

  • Over responsibility for others

  • Lack of assertiveness

  • Low self-esteem and confidence

  • Negative emotions, anger and resentment

  • Poor coping skills

  • People who are highly suggestible

Hypnosis is safe, effective and inexpensive. There is no other treatment that can boast the same empirical data with the safety and high degree of success that hypnosis offers.

About the Author:

Michael R. “Ron” Eslinger, Captain, U.S. Navy, Retired is a Board Certified Hypnotist, Advanced Practice Nurse, Certified Hypnosis Instructor and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. He has served as Chief Nurse Anesthetist, Assistant Department Head for Administration Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Portsmouth, VA. and is the Past President, Virginia Association of Nurse Anesthetists. He is Owner/Director of Healthy Visions Wellness Center in Oak Ridge, TN, USA.

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