Following on from my blog article of last week, I am back with a simple and easy process today to help ease IBS symptoms. I am going to look at different types of approaches in coming weeks, but thought this is a lovely simple process to be starting the week off.
We are surely all aware that when we have experienced an upset tummy, that we often instinctively place our hand upon it as a means of soothing – in much the same way that a parent may have done when we were smaller.
Likewise, I can remember being in bed with stomach cramps after sporting exertions and dehydration when I was in my early teens and found holding a warm water bottle on my tummy helped it to relax, stop its spasms and eventually ease the pain.
This hypnosis session is similar to our previous one in terms of it helping to relax and ease the stomach area when you have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and it also helps to establish a sense of self-efficacy in dealing with those symptoms and gives us a sense of personal control. Ideally when we start to rehearse these types of processes, they can be used not only as a preventative measure, but also then can be used as a coping skill to abate and deal with symptoms if and/or when they occur in the future.
Get yourself into a comfortable, attentive, seated or lying position, (if you are seated, ideally with your feet flat on the floor) and both your arms and legs uncrossed. Then make sure that your dominant hand has your palm facing upwards and we are ready to begin. Just follow these simple steps:
7 Steps For Using A Warm Hand And Hypnosis To Ease IBS
Step One: Induce hypnosis.
If you know a progressive relaxation process to enter hypnosis, that would work well with this session, as IBS sufferers do benefit from the added physical relaxation.
Otherwise, you can do so by any means you desire or know of. You can use the process in my Science of self-hypnosis book, use the free audio we give away on this website to practice or have a look at the following articles as and when you need them; they are basic processes to help you simply open the door of your mind:
Heavy Arm Self-Hypnosis Induction Method
Using Eye Fixation for Self-Hypnosis
The Chiasson Self-Hypnosis Method
Hand to Face Self-Hypnosis Induction
Using Magnetic Hands for Self-Hypnosis
The Coin Drop Self-Hypnosis Induction
However, with this process, an induction is potentially too much activity, so I teach my clients how to adopt a hypnotic mindset and simply have a mindset that is positive and expectant. Again, to really understand the cognitive set of the hypnotic mindset, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book where it is explained in simple but comprehensive terms.
Once you have induced hypnosis, move on to step two.
Step Two: Focus all your attention and all your awareness on your dominant that has its palm facing upwards. Imagine the area on the centre of the palm is starting to warm up. Just start with a small spot of warmth on the middle of the palm and then imagine it spreading and widening, slowly and powerfully and surely.
There are a number of ways to use your imagination to help you with this.
Firstly, you might imagine a hot water bottle being placed onto that hand as the heat spreads all over the hand.
Secondly, you might imagine the heat is a colour you associate with heat and that colour spreads.
Thirdly, you may recall a time you have be close to an open fire when the embers are glowing and how you felt that heat. Imagine that your palm is held towards such glowing embers and you feel that intense heat spreading comfortably into the palm of your hand.
You might choose to use any other means of imagining your hand getting warmer and comfortable hotter. Tell yourself, your hand feels as if it is getting warmer, engage your imagination at the same time
Let the sensation grow and as it does let it take you deeper inside your mind. When you have a notable belief and sensation of warmth in your hand – which requires you to really engage your imagination, and believe and expect it to happen – then move on to the next step.
Step Three: Ideally, just having to bend your arm at the elbow, move your warm hand and place it upon your stomach. In the centre of your stomach.
Using the least amount of effort, move your warm hand to the stomach area.
As it arrives, start to imagine how warm it feels as it touches the stomach area. Start to spread warmth and a relaxing healing sensation into the stomach area. Imagine that it penetrates deeply into your stomach, your intestines, bowel and other areas, warming, relaxing, soothing.
Again, it is important to engage your imagination – whether it is the colour you spread into your tummy, or again imagine that you brought the hot water bottle with your hand to the stomach, or that you brought the heat of the glowing embers to soothe and relax and warm deeply, do engage the imagination in whatever way is right for you.
Spend plenty of time on this step and continue to do so until you notice a warmth in your stomach that is really relaxing and soothing the stomach area.
Step Four: Continue to allow the relaxation to grow and warm and soothe. As you do so, start to use your internal dialogue and cognitions to help amplify and enhance this process. Affirm to yourself to support the warming, healing, soothing sensations, for example; “my tummy is more and more relaxed” or “I enjoy these warm sensations as they soothe my tummy.”
Make sure you say this to yourself in a way that you find to be convincing, believable and in a way that enhances the warming soothing sensations that are spreading from your hand into your stomach and surrounding areas.
Once you have said this and repeated it over and over a few times to enhance the sensations, then move on to the next step.
Step Five: Now you are going to mentally rehearse being in any situation of your life, maybe a situation that you used to avoid due to worry about your IBS symptoms flaring up and causing you issues.
Imagine really being there and feeling these ongoing warming sensations from your hand, soothing, warming and easing the stomach area, keeping your stomach more and more comfortable and relaxed, in a stable state.
Really imagine being in that situation and taking control of how you feel, spreading this warmth. Start to associate the warmth and soothing sensation you have generated in this session, with the scenario you are imagining.
This requires some time and diligence to be thorough so that you benefit the most from this part of the session.
Tell yourself that you know you are becoming better and better at doing this process and that anytime you require it, you can use the warm hand to soothe and ease your stomach area and the old unwanted symptoms lessen and lessen.
Be undeniably convincing. Affirm your believe in your ability to do this whenever you need it, and then move on to the next step.
Step Six: Now finally, start to imagine that warming relaxation is emanating from stomach area. It is starting to spread throughout your entire body.
let it help you start to relax deeper throughout your entire being. Engage in some progressive relaxation while you are there letting that warming sensation spread from your warm stomach region throughout your body:
You can do this in a number of ways…
1. You can simply breathe and say the word ‘soften’ to yourself as you think of the muscles of your body.
2. You can spread a colour through your body, one muscle at a time.
3. Imagine light and/or heat spreading through you, relaxing you deeply.
4. Imagine that you are a rag doll and that your muscles are loose, limp and dormant.
5. Imagine being close to the heat source that spreads throughout you.
There are many, many other ways to use progressive relaxation. Just use whatever process you know of to deeply relax and allow your body to be more and more relaxed.
Once you have relaxed your entire body, simply move on to the final step.
Step Seven: Exit hypnosis. Take a couple of deeper breaths and get some air in your lungs. Wiggle your finger and toes and open your eyes.
Maintain the warmth in your tummy if pertinent, and keep on enhancing your belief in your own abilities to do this process in order to help you cope with and deal with situations in the future.
I hope both of these processes (other one from previous blog entry) has helped give you some tools for dealing with your IBS symptoms… I’ll be revisiting this topic again soon with some very different strategies.
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.