Treatment of Irritable bowel syndrome
For many people, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is caused and maintained by stress and/or anxiety. Biofeedback training is extremely useful to learn to manage and reduce stress, in addition to reducing the pain of IBS. Treatment generally begins with biofeedback training for improved heart rate variability in conjunction with temperature biofeedback. These techniques are non-invasive and gentle ways of learning to manage pain and reduce stress through correct breathing habits and learning to raise and maintain a normal peripheral temperature. To learn more about biofeedback, click here.
However, everyone is an individual and treatment aims to help a person with IBS understand their own maintaining factors of IBS and we discuss the impact it is having on your life. It is treatable using a conjunction of biofeedback training, relaxation strategies and cognitive therapy. Treatment targets the management of pain, and a reduction of symptoms. In certain cases, other types of interventions may be necessary such as the use of a TENS machine for pain relief during flare-ups. In addition, our pEMF device has proved useful in decreasing symptoms of IBS.
Rebecca is a 37 year old woman who came to our clinic for support with IBS. Treatment began with a discussion of the relationship between anxiety, depression and IBS. These factors were playing a role in exacerbating her symptoms and periods of stress were highly correlated with high levels of gut pain. Rebecca learned diaphragmatic breathing and was asked to practice breathing exercises daily between sessions. Rebecca’s training in diaphragmatic breathing was supported by biofeedback during which she could see in real time the physiological effects of her use of diaphragmatic breathing. Through practice she became adept at breathing correctly and reduced anxiety and stress levels. Rebecca was supported through cognitive therapy to develop coping strategies and workable ways to respond to her IBS symptoms. In addition, she took home a TENS machine, which she uses for pain relief during bad days. Rebecca experienced a significant reduction in symptoms and is achieving her life goals. Although bad days still happen, they are less frequent and she is equipped with the tools to manage them and develop the confidence to do so effectively.