The brain gut connection is real The visceral hypersensitivity seen in some IBS patients is a result of changes in nervous system functioning on both the level of the intestines and the brain. At the level of the gut, it seems as if nerve pathways in the gastrointestinal tract become sensitized to stimulation, resulting in over-reactivity and resulting in pain amplification.
Brain imaging studies provide even more clues: When comparing healthy individuals with IBS patients, there are significant differences in the parts of the brain that are activated in response to pain. In individuals who do not have IBS, rectal distension triggers a response in parts of the brain that are associated with modulating pain. In IBS patients, this same rectal stimulation triggers a response in the parts of the brain associated with vigilance and anxiety -- parts of the brain that serve to AMPLIFY the sensation of pain.
Research is beginning to point to the existence of a mild inflammatory process, particularly in Post Infectious cases of IBS It seems that the cells involved in this inflammatory process are very close to GI nerve cells and thus may contribute to the sensitization that result in pain amplification.
In hypnosis, we retrain the brain in how to interpret the signals as well as releasing emotions that may add to the problem and also to retrain the gut itself.