Over the last decade, scientists have speculated that our intestinal linings contain certain cells that are exactly the same molecular structure as brain cells. From there, the scientists make the logical and seemingly feasible assumption that our guts act as a second brain in the body, even dispensing orders and signals to other cells.
Gut instinct, indeed.
A study published last year in the American Journal of Gastroenterology gives credence to the “second-brain” nature of the gut—and, perhaps even more surprisingly, the study gives some major props to the healing power of hypnotherapy.
Forget the hypnotist at the county fair. British researchers have shown that one 50-minute hypnosis session can significantly reduce the inflammation associated with ulcerative colitis in the colon and rectum, which isas disruptive to quality of life as it sounds with
abdominal pain and chronic diarrhea. In the study, admittedly small, the Brit researchers administered a 50-minute session of “gut-focused” hypnotherapy to 17 patients with ulcerative colitis. The hypnotherapy was designed to reduce inflammation and encourage relaxation. A control group of eight patients with colitis were allowed to listen to music of their choice as their “therapy.”
After the 50 minutes, the researchers measured a marker of inflammation, IL-6, through blood tests. The patients undergoing hypnotherapy dropped their IL-6 by more than 50 percent. Individuals in the control group enjoyed no change in IL-6 measurements. Moreover, other chemical markets
of inflammation were further reduced in the hypnotherapy group and unchanged among the control
participants.What impressed the researchers is that one “short”hypnotherapy session made
such a big impact. While they didn’t speculate on just why or how hypnosis clears inflammation—the DHB is going the second-gut hypothesis—the scientists did strongly suggest the results dictate a larger clinical trial to see if hypnotherapy can benefit colitis patients even moreover weeks or months.
Previous research shows that hypnosis can improve quality of life and symptoms
for individuals with ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. The British scientists did suggest that perhaps hypnotherapy helps all three conditions because all three are subject to fluctuation and worsening of symptoms due to psychological stress. Hypnotherapy can potentially remedy those flare-ups without drugs.
Cited in the Alternative health Journal
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